Granny flats are secondary dwellings that are in addition to the main house in a property. These flats are generally used to accommodate aging parents, and hence the name. These flats allow your parents to live independently in their own home and yet be near enough for you to give them the support that they need. It is essential that these flats be self-contained.
Granny flats can also be used to accommodate members of an expanding family, as a home office, or even can be used to generate rental income. Once you feel the need to build a granny flat, find out the local regulations regarding these extensions in your property. There can be certain restrictions and legal requirements that you will have to comply with when you build a granny flat. You must also make sure that you have enough space in your backyard to accommodate a granny flat. Plan the flat and the required space, while remembering that you need to make this completely self-contained so that it achieves the objective. Building permits are a necessity, and you must get over this hurdle as soon as you have decided on the plan. Remember that the granny flat must have its own living space with a kitchen and bathroom. You can also locate these flats over the garage, though you will need to check the structural ability of the existing structure to take the added built up area.
Granny flats can add value to a property and makes your property one that can easily have dual occupancy. This enables the additional space to be rented out and become a source of income. It is also important that once you have your plans and building permit in hand, you arrange for the necessary finance. You can get a loan for such construction or an additional mortgage, after making sure that you have the capacity to assume this additional financial burden over the years.
When you design a granny flat, remember this will be occupied by your elderly parents or relatives and need to have all the necessary additions that make living easier for seniors. Look at things slip-proof flooring, grab bars in bathrooms, ramps for wheelchairs, and even single person lifts if the flat is on an upper floor. Make sure that the flat has adequate natural light and ventilation. The addition of a bathroom, will need attention to plumbing and connect it up with your existing systems. This is often a complicated affair and requires the attention fo experienced plumbers. Make sure the walls and roof are properly insulated so that the comfort of the elderly is not compromised, and internal temperatures are always cozy and to the liking of the elderly. Separate entrances are a must to ensure the required privacy, but you can always create a direct entrance to the flat from your own home, as this can be of help in emergencies, or if situations arise, where you need to constantly go into the flat to attend an ailing parent.
Another reason why many homeowners are putting up granny flats in their property is that makes for a much cheaper alternative than putting up elderly parents in nursing homes. It also makes it easier to provide them with the necessary home care so that they are able to live comfortably and yet independently. The proximity of children and grandchildren often greatly adds to the quality of life for the grandparents. Build the granny flats so that they are convenient and comfortable living units, and you will be able to get the economic advantage of renting out the flats, once your parents have passed on.