The problem with housing supply has always been quite acute, and slowly but surely rising house maintenance rates only add fuel to the fire. This issue is particularly urgent for elderly people. When it becomes too difficult for the elderly, both physically and financially, to maintain an entire house, the solution could be to move in with family members. However, many homeowners simply do not have enough space for this in their property, or they feel uncomfortable because of the need to share living space with other relatives.
So, is there a possibility to arrange a self-contained living area with its own entrance, separate from the main house but located in the backyard, so that children could pay a visit to their aging relatives at any moment? An answer is a granny unit. A granny flat is an accessory dwelling unit built on the same lot as a single-family home. Occupying backyard space, a granny flat may be attached to the main house or a completely detached tiny house created for the purposes of housing aging relatives.
In this article, we will discuss accessory dwelling unit (ADU) types and why you might be interested in acquiring a granny flat on your piece of land.
Benefits of Granny Suite Building
There are advantages to building accessory dwelling units in general and to granny flats in particular. As granny flats are basically the type (or the method of exploitation) of accessory dwelling units, you can easily transform your mother-in-law suite into a multifunctional accessory dwelling unit if you need to.
Thus, by building accessory dwelling units, you can:
Create a minimalist and affordable housing opportunity for yourself
Living space doesn’t have to be huge, but it has to be comfortable. That is why you may want to choose an accessory apartment, which implies a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living area. If you are an adult child who wants to stay in your community and is not against minimalism compensating for reduced living expenses but at the same time doesn’t want your parents to invade your personal life, then an ADU is right for you.
Arrange a garden cottage for your friends and relatives to stay during their visits
The referred garden cottage with all amenities is a lifesaver for those homeowners who prefer privacy and respectful distance, even during weekend gatherings and family visits. A detached ADU is perfect for keeping your dear guests close, but not too close.
Add extra space to work from (home office)
Do you have an unused part of the garage that is good only for piling broken kids’ toys? If that’s the case, why not take care to arrange an office for work there? Many employees remained in the remote format after the pandemic, adding numbers to the group of those who were already engaged in freelancing. Create more privacy and greater security to fully concentrate on your job. The room is already here; the only question is when it will be converted into a home office unit!
Open up the source of passive income needed to pay off your mortgage
Renting your ADU is a perfect example of how one may turn losses into profits. The rent you gradually receive from the ADU will help not only to fully cover the ADU cost itself but also to repay part of the loan for your primary house.
Add extra numbers to your property value
An accessory dwelling unit will significantly affect the value of your property in a positive way. Therefore, if you are planning a sale in the coming years, a reasonable option may be a preliminary ADU construction. So you can gain twice: by renting it out before the sale and by increasing your overall property price.
As for granny flats specifically, in addition to the first and most obvious of their advantages in the form of affordable housing, they entail three more advantages. First of all, as granny units occupy backyard space, their tenants have an opportunity to watch over another side of the shared property. Secondly, older relatives living in a granny flat nearby may sometimes look after the kids when their parents are working or share the responsibilities of the land plot care. And thirdly, main homeowners can ask their close living family members to borrow a car, share a lawn mower, and other household items. Or even use expensive equipment for the whole family to reduce costs.
Granny Unit Concepts
Granny flats or granny units differ in size, method of construction, and location relative to the primary house. You can build an in-law suite as small as 80 sq. ft. or as big as 1000 sq. ft. However, a house suitable for permanent residence should contain all the conveniences: at least one bathroom and bedroom, an area for food preparation, and so on. Some kitchens are smaller copies of their primary houses’ larger twins, and some may be confined to mini-fridges or microwaves.
Different jurisdictions may not agree on the details, but in general, each state, including, allows the following types of granny flats:
- A completely detached granny unit;
- A granny flat attached to the single-family home by one wall;
- Basement or attic mother-in-law suite;
- Garage conversion into an in-law suite;
- An attached granny unit above the garage.
A small house option depends on the needs of a particular family. If your older relatives need constant supervision, you might consider equipping the granny flat with an unobstructed passage between houses. For these purposes, garage conversions and attached granny units will be best suited. And vice versa, for elderly people whose families are ready to provide support but do not see the need for such close observation, it might be more appropriate to pick a detached granny flat.
Granny Pod is a modernized accessory dwelling unit equipped specifically for the elderly to stay safe. Safety measures inherent to this type of granny flat include slip-resistant floor covering, countertops with rounded corners, a scheduled medication dispenser, automatic temperature measurement devices, etc. Also, the construction provides caregivers with an opportunity to closely supervise their loved ones on the monitor with remote access.
Granny Annexe Builders
ADUMAXX focuses specifically on versatile and functional accessory dwelling unit (ADU) projects. Creating extra living space instead of an unutilized garage or attic, building a completely new construction suitable for a home office or for housing guests in your backyard, adding value to your property, and arranging the perfect granny flat – these are requests to which we will respond in the affirmative.
Since in this article we have considered the main issues concerning granny units, the only question left by now must be, “Why ADUMAXX? What benefits does ADUMAXX have to offer?” Answering the referred question, we will present several positions in support of the company:
- Homeowners trust ADUMAXX
For twenty years now, we have been engaged in building services and helping families in need of quality housing. Our team of specialists, which unites builders, architects, engineers, and designers, is doing a wonderful job of expanding, transforming your room, or creating a completely new living space.
- A high level of expert knowledge leads to striking quality
Our specialists are deeply interested in the result. They are already familiar with both local suppliers and procedures and the regulations of local building law. Thus, not having to dedicate many days and months to the search, they are capable of performing the agreed work scale in a limited time.
- Cost transparency
Keeping homeowners in the dark is not our policy. If you decide to supplement the space of your property plot with an additional unit, you and your family will be offered a detailed action plan from our side and will be able to discuss the cost immediately.
- ADUMAXX specialists are with you at all stages, from planning to permitting
Building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) near a single-family home means not only the hardship of property disruption but also the need to acquire all kinds of building permits from the local authorities. Keeping your comfort in mind, ADUMAXX specialists are willing to deal with all the hustle and bustle for you.
All in all, if the granny flat building is what you’re interested in, reach out to the ADUMAXX company to start the discussion of your living space change project.
Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ
What’s the difference between a granny flat and an ADU?
A granny flat is a synonym for an additional dwelling unit. The latter is just a more official term. At the same time, lay people call it many names, including “in-law suite,” “granny unit,” “backyard cottage,” “tiny home,” “casita,” etc.
How much does it cost to build a granny unit?
The average one-bedroom granny unit will cost around $120,000–140,000. This price includes building not only costs but also permitting and approvals, design, and site costs. If you’re planning a two-bedroom granny flat, then look for about $220,000–240,000. However, these amounts still vary greatly depending on individual needs and requirements.
For how much can I rent out my ADU?
Single-bedroom ADUs start at $1,000 per month, and two-bedroom ADUs start at about $2,000, depending on the convenience of the area.
What is the average size of a granny flat?
The average size of a granny flat is 300 to 800 sq. ft. However, in some cases, a granny unit can be quite tiny and limited, around 50 sq. ft., or feel almost as roomy as the primary home space, 1000–1200 sq. ft.
Can I have a granny annex in my garden?
Yes, but you’ll need permission to do that. Since buildings with permanent residents are required to undergo a permit procedure.