Granny Flats: Top Design Options

Being an accessory to the main residence, granny flats are detached or semi-detached dwellings specially designed for elderly family members who are not able to live independently.


Constructing Granny Flats

Granny flats Sydney are considered a secondary dwelling on a residential property.  Most granny flats are categorized as a tiny house. This is the reason why granny flats are also of interest not only to families with elderly relatives but also to people who have embraced the “tiny house” or “tiny living” movement.  Tiny living is a conscious decision for people to downsize the space that they are living in to enable having a simple, more efficient lifestyle.

In Sydney and in most cities in Australia, constructing or adding a granny flat in your property requires council approval. If you are thinking of building one, a good amount of research is recommended because zoning laws and rules and regulations around the construction and design of a granny flat vary from state to state. According to the State Environmental Planning policy of New South Wales, the maximum floor area for a granny flat is 60 square metres.  Furthermore, the site that the granny flat is to be built upon should be a minimum of 450 metres, and building on a vacant block is not permitted. To be allowed to construct a granny flat, property owners should be mindful of the requirement that subdivision is not allowed.  This means that it should be one principal dwelling and one secondary dwelling.


Top Design Options for Granny Flats

  1. In NSW, it is good to take note of top design options for granny flats that require what is called a development application with the local council. These three practical design options are conversion, attached, and detached.
  • The conversion design option refers to the modification of one part of the principal dwelling, such as the basement or garage, into a secondary dwelling.
  • The attached design option is a type of granny flat that is built as an extension or addition to the principal dwelling.
  • The detached design option is built as a separate building, detached from the main structure or dwelling.
  1. There are many granny flats Sydney that are smaller versions of full-sized dwellings. There are cleverly-designed granny flats that come with their own complete kitchen facilities. However, there are people who opt to limit their kitchen equipment to a few essentials such as just having a microwave and a mini-fridge.
  2. One state-of-the-art granny flat design is called a granny pod, which is especially designed for aging family members who might need special medical attention. The granny pod offers technologically-advanced monitoring capabilities. Family members who live in the main house can check on their elderly parent or grandparent through remote access. Other high-tech facilities that could be added onto the granny pod are timed medication dispensers and many other technological devices for senior family members.
  3. Some of the best granny flat designs are built with high roof lines, which give a sense of internal space. Granny flats can be 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, or even 3-bedroom dwellings.

There are more granny flat design options to choose from, and many reputable Australian builders are specializing in granny flats to serve a growing market.