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KHB-Zine, Issue #014: Granny flat kit guide
February 06, 2018


Welcome to the February 2018 edition of KHB Ezine.

This month....
My Granny Flat Kit Guide

Early PS: if you are reading this on a phone, turn it sideways to enable landscape view, it's easier to read.

Over the past 5 or so years Granny Flats have really hit the headlines. There are a number of players who have added to this trend: kit home providers keen to sell their smaller kits, home owners and investors looking to increase property value, city councils running out of building room, and of course the increasing cost of retirement villages and nursing homes. Additionally, the emerging issue of stay at home children, aka 'failure to launch', and boomerang kids, who cannot afford a first home or even rent payments. There is also an upsurge in less than legal renting out and Air B&B use.

The name 'Granny Flat' is an old term which properly describes it's original use, but they have many more uses and much more value today. These days the term is still used, but it is essentially a secondary dwelling. The benefits of building a Granny flat are many including not having to purchase land, not having to pay full development costs and no extra contribution charges to the council eg rates. Additionally, they are an excellent owner builder project.

Kit home providers have leaped onto this bandwagon of late with some launching specialised businesses devoted only to Granny Flats. Generally, they are just selling a small home kit designed for a small footprint. This is usually a one bedroom, one bathroom setup with a small living and kitchen area, and a carport. Others are the size of apartments/units wth second bedrooms and bigger living areas. Variations come in roof design, raised floors, open plans, verandahs and cladding options.

One bedroom Granny Flat kits can start from $20,000 cabins right through to $50,000 small homes. These prices are for a kit home supplied to the property which includes frame, roof and gutter system, windows and doors, cladding, interior linings and achitraves/skirtings. The owner builder has to provide a slab or purchase a raised floor, bathroom and kitchen fittings, plumbing and electrical. And of course labour to erect and fit out. That will add from $50 to $100,000 to the price depending on how much the owner builder does.

A down-sized application is required, but nothing like a new house DA. Beware of advertisements and promotions stating you don't need a permit or DA to build a Granny Flat. This is absolutely false. An Owner Builder licence is also a prerequisite to DIY.

Council authorities have varying views on Granny Flats and usually have specific web pages devoted to their local regulations. Those regulations can be, among other things, minimum property sizes, setbacks from fencelines and existing dwellings, access, sewerage requirements, bushfire provisions, and the legal uses for the dwelling. For example, in Victoria, the occupant has to be nominated and be a dependent of the main dwelling owner and when they cease to live there, the dwelling has to be removed. I'm guessing there are a few illegal occupants in Granny Flats around that state.

Here are a list of useful Australian links for your Granny Flat research.

Here are some Granny Flat providers. Look for Owner Builder kit options and support.

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warm regards

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