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Granny Flats in Australia: Your Guide to Granny Flat Plans and Designs

The buzz around granny flats in Australia is growing as more people seek alternative styles of living. 

Smaller, self-contained, and environmentally-friendly home choices are becoming more popular. If you’re curious about the possibility of building or purchasing a granny flat, you likely have a lot of questions. 

In this guide, we’re covering granny flat plans and prices, the costs of building a granny flat, as well as some of the best designers in Australia.  

What is a Granny Flat? 

Original granny flat designs were actually intended as secondary residences for homeowners. They also served as primary residences for the elderly that could be placed on an existing property. 

Hence the name, granny flat

The goal was to provide independence to the elderly person while ensuring they could stay close to their family. You could place a granny flat on your property in the backyard and have your elderly family member close by as they live out their final years. 

These designs have a long history dating back to the Dowager houses of the Victorian Era. Smaller, simpler home designs like this were incredibly popular throughout Wales and Scotland where widows would move into them after their husbands pass. 

Costs of Building a Granny Flat 

One of the reasons why people are choosing to build granny flats is because they’re affordable. Depending on the size and material quality, a granny flat can cost as low as $20,000. Keep in mind that the costs are highly variable and can be as high as $200,000. 

The total cost of your granny flat will vary based on: 

  • Design
  • Building codes and approvals
  • Material cost
  • Finishes and bonus features
  • Total size

If you buy a single-level, one bedroom granny flat kit it would cost you around $70,000. 

Why Build a Granny Flat?

There are three main reasons why people are building granny flats in Australia: 

  • To build a small nearby residence for ageing parents
  • To add a rental property to their existing property for extra income
  • To cut the cost of growing building costs and reduce debt 

The original purpose of a granny flat was to provide an independent residence for ageing parents and that will likely never change. If your parents are still alive but becoming less and less capable of taking care of themselves, you could purchase an affordable, one-bedroom granny flat and add it to your current property. 

If you want to start investing in real estate but aren’t sure how to start, adding a granny flat to your property is an affordable and simple way to get started. 

You can do this without subdividing and it can provide you with an additional income to help offset the costs of your mortgage. 

Lastly, some people elect to build a granny flat so they can reduce their living costs and live a debt-free life. This is becoming more and more popular in the homesteading and off-grid living community. 

Tax Benefits of Granny Flats

Another reason people choose granny flats as an investment option is because of the capital gains tax exemption. As of July 1, 2021, capital gains tax doesn’t apply to the development or building of granny flats as long as the accommodation is built specifically for elderly people in need of care. On the other hand, it does not apply for rental or investment properties.

The purpose of this is to prevent ageing Australians from having to live in nursing homes or continue to fend for themselves. Either way, it can create a great opportunity for you to keep your loved ones close. 

Granny Flats Australia: Best Designs 

Now that we understand some of the details about granny flats in Australia, let’s take a look at some of the most popular designers and developers that can help make your vision a reality. Below is a wide assortment of granny flat floor plans, Aussie designers, and companies that build granny flats.

1. Granny Flats Australia 

Granny Flats Australia has over 50 floor plan designs for you to choose from or you can design your own from scratch. One thing that stands out right away about this company is that they’re not here simply to provide you with a template and leave you be. 

They’ll offer their services from beginning to end and help you through the entire process of building your granny flat. 

In addition to providing you with the design and inspiration, they also work with Private Certifiers and Engineers to ensure that your home is well designed, safe, and legal according to legislative requirements. Their construction is not outsourced; they handle everything in-house. 

Here’s a list of their accreditations for your reference: 

  • Proud member of the Housing Industry Association – HIA
  • Licensed Builders with the Department of Fair Trading – Licence # 218844c
  • Home Owners Warranty Insurance with QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd
  • Public Liability Insurance for $10,000,000 through MECON (Mechanical & Construction Insurance P/L)
  • Construction Risk Insurance with Hollard Insurance Company Limited
  • All Home Building Contracts are standard Department of Fair Trading Contracts

The company is located at 8/10 Anella Ave, Castle Hill NSW 2154. They have an incredible showroom with granny flat designs on display so you can shop around and customise all their available options. 

Granny Flat Solutions 

Granny Flat Solutions prides themselves in sustainable home designs and building the most well constructed granny flats in Australia. Their designs have won them multiple awards and endless bouts of recognition. 

The company provides end-to-end customer service and they have a highly qualified team of designers, builders, and organisers that sets them apart. 

Their builds are not limited to 2-bedroom granny flat designs but extend to 3 and 4-bedrooms. They have designs suitable for any budget or block and are great options if you are looking for a quick turnaround. 

Along with 2 story granny flats, studios, cabanas, and lifestyle pods, Granny Flat Solutions also provide you with a range of custom design options on prefabricated homes

Choosing from some of their templates allows for a fast turnaround which can be ideal for investors that are looking to build quickly. 

For instance, this is a one-bedroom granny flat from their designer range. It emphasises elegance and simplicity while maintaining a modern touch. For this granny flat, you also have the choice of picking floor coverings. 

The cost of building a granny flat with one bedroom, one bathroom, and a line kitchen is very low, making it a perfect option for low-income accommodation. 

Granny Flat Solutions is located at 90 Pacific Highway, Waitara 2077. You can contact them and schedule an obligation free site inspection and quote. 

I-Build

I-Build Building Solutions is another award-winning granny flat designer in Australia. They’re the recipient of “The Governor of Victoria Export Award in 2021” and the Hume Business Award as well as many others.  

They provide top of the line granny flats plans, along with various other options for home building as well. 

Besides granny flats, some of their highly optimised products and solutions include steel structures, modular buildings, and kit homes

Another great thing about this business is that they are 100% Australian-owned and they source all their materials in Australia as well. They support locally-sourced products because it keeps delivery costs down so they can then pass on the savings to you. 

Their super fast delivery and assembly method can help you achieve a quick return on your investment, especially if you have constructed the home for rental or resale purposes. 

Their large collection of materials and construction items allows you to select and customise from various granny flat designs. 

Best of all they have a wide assortment of affordable designs starting as low as $30,000 plus assembly costs. 

I-Build is one of the most popular options in Australia for a good reason. They’re located at 5A Hartnett Close, Mulgrave VIC. They build and ship granny flats to pretty much every state in Australia including Tasmania and Canberra. 

Queensland Granny Flats

Queensland Granny Flats is a family owned and operated business in Brisbane that prides themselves on using their experience to design and build you the granny flat you need. 

They have designs to suit any lifestyle or purpose whether you’re building the flat for an elderly parent or planning to use it as an investment property. They can make the dream a reality in as little as 12 weeks and all their designs have a high 6-8 energy star rating so they are sustainable, economical, and affordable. 

In addition to building and design, the company also has real estate experience so they work with you to maximise the capital growth capabilities of the home while ensuring you can rent it for as much money as possible.

The company provides a free rental property assessment carried out by one of their own experienced real estate experts. This will help you determine how much you can rent the granny flat for based on current market conditions. 

Queensland Granny Flats is located at 13B Coolcrest Street, Daisy Hill, Brisbane QLD 4127. They’re open by appointment only so be sure to check out their website and call first.

Cubitts

Cubitts is a granny flat and home extension company that is owned and operated by Australians. They state that they’ve perfected the process of building 1, 2, and 3 bedroom granny flats and they offer an extensive collection of templates and designs that owner builders can work from. 

The company offers designs ranging from 50 square-metres to 90 square-metres. You can choose one of their classic designs that comes as-is or build on a custom design that allows more flexibility and options. 

Cubitts has four locations:

  • Sydney
  • Newcastle
  • Canberra
  • Wollongong 

They break down their eight step process to include an initial site visit where they check out the conditions of the site to determine they can build on it., you’ll sit down and establish a design and price, then you’ll lead into the approval of final plans and certification of the design. 

From there, the construction crew sets up and begins building your granny flat. Cubitts is an industry-leading professional that really sets themselves apart by being transparent and clear about the process involved in building a granny flat. Check out one of their showrooms or give them a call to learn more. 

Master Granny Flats

Master Granny Flats is a member of the Master Builders Association and has multiple locations in Sydney, The Hills District, and Wollongong. 

The company takes a primary focus on building investment properties that satisfies everything you plan but also complies with regulations to prevent headaches down the road. 

They’re an Australian owned company founded by Robert Daoud who has over a decade of building experience. 

They pride themselves in combining quality workmanship with their in-house team of designers and project managers. Since they’re more focused on the investment side of things, you’ll get a dedicated project manager who will help you manage the process from beginning to end. 

Master Granny Flats will provide you with a free on-site inspection of the property to determine if they can build on it, you’ll choose from one of their many designs, and then they’ll handle the obtaining of permits, licences, and insurances. 

To get started, you can call them or stop into one of their three showrooms at: 

  • 719 Forest Road, Peakhurst NSW 2210
  • 203A Wentworth Avenue, Pendle Hill, NSW 2145
  • 12A Shellharbour Road, Lake Illawarra NSW 2528

Smart Choice Granny Flats

Smart Choice has over 35 years of experience in the building and design industry. One of the things that sets them apart from some of the competition is their transparency on fees, costs, and materials

The company specialises in custom granny flat designs so they’re a great option if you’re looking to customise something to meet the needs of an ageing parent or someone with unique disabilities.

With their efforts, you can get a granny flat that is practical, stylish, and also speaks to your preference.

Smart Choice has built over 400 granny flats and they offer customisation options on literally anything. They also have 3 and 4 bedroom granny flats that offer a much higher return on investment if you’re using them for investment purposes. 

They are members of the Master Builders Association and have three locations in Sydney, Central Coast, and Wollongong. 

Fox Granny Flats   

Fox builds granny flats in Australia’s west coast. They specifically design 1 and 2 bedroom flats and specifically pride themselves in respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in their environmentally-friendly designs and building practices. 

They can relocate their granny flats anywhere in WA so they can actually build them on-site and then transport the flat to the building location. The company has perfected their process over the years and believes they’ve developed a way to reduce their costs and ultimately pass those savings onto their customers. 

Fox Granny Flats has dozens of designs ranging from studios to 3 bedroom, 2 bath designs. Depending on your budget, they can customise your granny flat to meet the needs of the elderly by adding lower countertops, wheelchair ramps, and more. 

Final Thoughts 

Granny flats in Australia are rapidly growing in popularity and for a good reason. These flexible designs allow residents to purchase an affordable home that meets a variety of needs. Whether you’re using it to keep your elderly parents close or for a quick turnaround investment, granny flats are a great option. 

If a granny flat isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, why not check out some of the best tiny home designs in Australia?