Granny flats are hot property right now. As the trend towards kids staying home longer continues and the property market dwindles, building a granny flat can be a clever financial decision. Even if you don’t have children, it can be great to have when friends or family come to visit, or you can even rent it out to people or Airbnb it.
So when you’re building your granny flat, you have a few design decisions to make. First, up, is it just going to be a bedroom and that’s it? Or are you going to deck it out as a stand-alone structure? Let’s consider the first case – it’s just a bedroom. Have you ever gotten up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom? It’s hard enough walking down the hall at 2 am just trying not to bump into anything when you’re half asleep. Now imagine you’re out in the granny flat and you need to walk into the house just to do that. Annoying? Very.
If you can afford to have an ensuite in your granny flat, then it is a good idea. Even if you can’t afford it right now, it’s a good idea to have plans in the back of your mind for when you can add it. Not only would it be very annoying for anyone staying there to have to come into the house every time they need to use the bathroom, if you’re planning on renting it in the future this can drive the price that you can charge up much more. Who really wants to use a shared bathroom? Not many people, unless they’re really on a budget.
Then you have the other amenities decision to make – do you want to include a kitchenette? This is a little less critical to have in your granny flat. Sure, it’s appreciated, but lots of people just eat out or can snack on foods that don’t need cooking or refrigeration. However, including a kitchenette can also drive up the price you can charge for rental. Small kitchenettes don’t take up very much space and only require the basics – a sink, a gas/electric cooking hob, a kettle, and some implements. If you’re feeling generous you might put in a microwave or a mini-oven, however, it’s absolutely not required. If you do decide to install a kitchenette, make sure that you have enough plates, cutlery, glasses, pots and pans, and other things to cook and serve with for your guests.
If you have enough room to spare in your backyard, then the decision to put in a granny flat is a bit of a no-brainer. Taking the time out to think it all through properly and design things right in the first place will make sure that your granny flat is going to be useful (and perhaps profitable if that is your aim) for the longer term.
A granny flat can also add value to your house at the resale time, so this is something to consider – particularly if you live in the inner suburbs of a city. So if your block isn’t big enough to subdivide and an extension simply isn’t the answer, then a granny flat is a great way to add extra space to your house without taking up too much room. Installing an ensuite and perhaps a kitchenette will add a whole lot more value and will ensure that you don’t get bothered by guests at inopportune times, such as the middle of the night. Self-contained is definitely the way to go about things with a granny flat!