5 Innovative Granny Flat Ideas to Spruce Up Your Space

Whether you’ve got an aging loved one living with you or you’re simply trying to increase your property value, a granny flat can be a great addition to the home. 

However, in order to get the most out of your granny flat, you’ll want to a great granny flat design! That way you’ll be able to create a space that is cozy and welcoming as it feels. 

If you’re ready to create the perfect granny flat on your property, keep reading. We’ll walk you through five of the best granny flat ideas as well as some other must-know tips about this type of property!

What Is a Granny Flat?

Before we dive into our granny flat ideas, let’s take a minute to talk about just what a granny flat is. A granny flat is simply defined as a self-contained living space on your main property. It is officially referred to as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). 

This space can be used for a live-in nanny, visiting guests, or an aging relative. It can be in a backyard house, in the basement, or in a converted garage. 

Why Build a Granny Flat?

So you’re considering building a granny flat. Good for you! There are some amazing reasons why building a granny flat is such a good idea; let’s check them out!

You Can Increase Property Value

When you build out a granny flat on your property, you can actually boost your property’s value. This makes your home much more attractive if you ever choose to sell it in the future.

You Get Tax Depreciation Benefits

One reason why a granny flat is such a good investment is that you can get tax benefits. Several states have laws in place that help you maximize your savings on your tax return. 

You Can Accommodate Senior Family Members

Just like the name suggests, granny flats were designed to house aging family members on the property. They allowed multiple generations to stick together while still maintaining independence.

Plus, using a granny flat for this purpose means you’re able to save money on a retirement home. That amount can quickly add up! 

It’s a Great Home Base

If you love traveling but don’t want to pay the hefty maintenance costs associated with owning a home, a granny flat is a great choice. It’s an ideal, cost-effective home base for you to maintain while you travel the globe!

You Can Create a Home Office

For anyone working from home, a granny flat offers a separate workspace. It’s a low-cost way for you to get out of the house and enjoy time in a private office that gives you the peace and quiet you need to get your work done. 

Your Teenagers Can Have a Private Hangout

Teenagers are constantly looking for ways to be independent and have their fun, and a granny flat can provide them with just that. A granny flat gives them space to hang out with their friends and be noisy without disturbing the peace of the rest of the household. 

It’s an Alternative to a Home Extension

If you’ve been thinking about renovating your home, you might want to consider a granny flat instead. Granny flats provide you with much more flexibility in how you use the space and they’re more cost-effective, too. 

Disadvantages of Building a Granny Flat

While it would be great if everything were sunshine and roses, the truth is that it’s important to think about what could go wrong when building a granny flat. Luckily, there are only a few disadvantages to building this type of backyard house.

They Incur Extra Costs

One of the first things to consider about building a granny flat is the cost. This includes the cost to build the flat as well as the costs to maintain it. Granny flats are big projects, as they are whole homes after all.

If you choose to rent your granny flat, the good news is you can cover these expenses with the income you earn. This can help offset or cancel out the costs of having a backyard house.

You May Not Be Able to Subdivide

Some states have laws saying that if you have a granny flat on your property you won’t be able to subdivide it. If you’re considering this option in the future, you’ll want to double-check what your locality’s laws are before building. 

The good news is that many localities are adjusting laws surrounding subdivisions. You may still be able to build a granny flat and subdivide your property so that a relative or family member can live there.

State Legislation

Speaking of laws, it’s important to check out state legislation regarding granny flats. Each state has its own rules and requirements for building backyard houses, so you’ll want to read up on these before getting to work. Not to mention local ADU regulations in California cities. Every city is different, despite the statewide rules.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Granny Flat?

While listing granny flats for rent can be a great way to keep family close and increase your property’s value, it’s also important to remember that you’ll incur some costs upfront. 

The exact cost of a granny flat will depend on your property over anything else, not to mention the city that you live in, the quality, and the size of the granny flat. Before diving into your project, you’ll want to sit down and create an accurate budget to make sure you don’t exceed your spending limits. 

How Can I Finance a Granny Flat?

Once you’ve taken the time to go over the finances of building a granny flat, you’re ready to get to work. But wait! How will you finance the project?

The good news is that there are several different ways that you can finance a granny flat. 

For starters, you can use your savings. Using savings to pay for a granny flat is a great option because it prevents you from incurring debt to start the project. Plus, you won’t have to pay any fees or interest on the money. 

If using your savings isn’t an option you can use home equity like a HELOC. 

Another option for financing a granny flat is to take out a construction loan. Construction loans however can take longer and have more fees associated with processing them. 

Ideas for Backyard Granny Flats

To really help you create a granny flat you love, we’ve put together five amazing ideas to get you started. With these granny flat plans, you’ll be able to build a cozy and enjoyable granny flat. 

1. Detached Granny Flat

One of the most common and popular types of granny flats out there is the detached granny flat. This building is a standalone dwelling place that’s located on the same lot as the main dwelling, in the backyard. 

Detached granny flats are great for creating an investment space or for housing an aging relative. Most often, there will be a fence between the main building and the granny flat to create more privacy on the property. 

However, if you want there to be easy access between the main home and the granny flat, you can leave the yard open. Some people even choose to build a path leading from the flat to the home for a more neighborly feel. 

2. Attached Granny Flat

Another dwelling unit floor plan you can try out is an attached granny flat. With an attached granny flat, the main home is connected to the secondary dwelling. The buildings have a seamless look on the property. 

One of the advantages of an attached granny flat is that it can create a more cohesive appearance on the property. And, even though the flat and the main home share a wall, they are not connected with an entryway. That way, the tenants of each home can have a little more privacy. 

It’s important to note that attached granny flats have to have fire-rated walls between the two homes. This is important for keeping the occupants of both homes safe. 

3. Junior ADU Granny Flat 

One type of granny flat is referred to as a junior ADU. These ADUs are built within the space of a primary residence, often converting a portion of the interior home to a second dwelling unit that can, in some cases, share a kitchen. However, junior ADUs have lots of red tape and you should connect with a granny flat expert to make sure its something you’d like to pursue.  

4. Garage Conversion 

The last type of granny flat on our list is a garage conversion. These units eliminate your property’s garage and convert into a complete accessory dwelling.

One thing that should be considered is the lost of a big storage space, or the fact that most garages are not built to a habitable standard, requiring lots of work to bring them up to snuff for city ADU codes.. 

Put These Granny Flat Ideas to Use

With these amazing granny flat ideas and tips and tricks on starting your own granny flat, you’re ready to rework your property. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to increase your property value by just by having one of these amazing hideaways on your property!

If you’re ready to get started building a granny flat, we can help. Get in touch with Acton ADU today and we’ll help you create the perfect granny flat for your property. 

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