How To Start Your Granny Flat Design Process

Below is a comprehensive guide on how to start the design process for your granny flat.

Find A Builder/Provider

The design process of a granny flat should start with connecting with an ideal partner in delivering the granny flat to your specifications, from pre-fab to custom cabin. A granny flat, while more affordable than a traditional house, is still an investment and only a reputable company should be used to ensure quality.

When you call a company expect to be asked for documents such as 149 plans that your local council has, sewage diagrams and more. These documents give a company the necessary information to conduct due diligence. They need to ensure there are no constraints that can adversely affect or prevent construction from taking place.

Have The Site Thoroughly Assessed

Once you’ve found a company you feel confident working with, the next step will be an assessment of the building site. In the assessment, all potential hazards will be considered at length. The final result will be a detailed report on where construction can and can’t take place on the site. The report will also include pricing and other details. According to Australian regulations, the minimum required size of land for a granny flat is 450 square metres. However, even if your site is 450 square metres, it does not mean that a granny flat can fit. This is why the company you’re working with must review the site first.

Another regulation is that the site must have a 12-metre frontage. This translates to the width of the block. Trees are also a consideration here. If the site has trees over 6 metres, the granny flat will need to be at least 3 metres away from the tree. In the assessment of the site, other hazards you need to check include heritage, flooding, and whether the site prone to bushfire. Improper evaluation can lead to an expensive and protracted process that may be stalled or even stopped due to building restrictions.

After the initial site assessment report and the form 149 have been obtained, the company will present you with an overall proposal for your granny flat, which may include pricing options. The company should provide the quote at no fee.

Traditional House

Actual Design Process

If you are happy to move forward with building a granny flat after the quote, the next stage of the design process kicks in. First, surveyors will be sent to the building site to get data on neighboring sites, boundary levels and other details that are crucial to the design process.

If you’re putting up a pre-fab cabin, it’s ready to go with no extra design work. However, for custom granny flats, a company should sit with the client to get their checklist. The client will specify what they want concerning design and functionality.

The only limitation for the client is space, which is restricted to 60 square metres. This is a design challenge that can be ironed out by the right company. Good builders have the expertise and know how to design around such limited space, while still creating a beautiful, liveable home. While 60 square metres sounds like very little space, it can fit an average two bedroomed home with a kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and living areas through clever design.

Approval And Construction

After you have signed off on the design, be it the pre-fab cabin or the customized granny flat, the next stage is to obtain approvals from all relevant parties. The company you are working with should spearhead consultations with engineers, relevant authorities and certifying bodies. Once all the necessary paperwork has been signed and approved, the next stage will be the construction.

On average it can take 3-4 weeks to get the approvals, while the design process can take up to a month, depending on the number of changes you make during the design process.

The construction timeline is dependent on whether the granny flat is a pre-fab cabin or a customised unit. Pre-fabs can be ordered online and just need to be assembled at the site. Customised granny flats require some building work to be done on the site, so they take more time. Either way, granny flats come up faster and more affordably than traditional houses.

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