When it comes to granny flat designs there’s so many factors to consider! For most Australian’s it can be a daunting process, with so many considerations that inevitably the crucial design elements become overlooked. We’ve decided to help with our 3 step Granny Flat Design Process below – enjoy!
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Our most popular granny flat designs – All can be custom designed to suit everyone’s needs & budget. From 1 bedroom to two & three bedroom granny flat designs.
1. Design A Granny Flat For Your Needs & Purpose – Your Designer Road Map!
Like most things in life, if you don’t have a road map you could end up anywhere. When designing your granny flat, be it with an Architect, draftsman or even yourself, the very first step is to ask yourself ‘what are my needs & what is my purpose?’ For example, you may be thinking about:
- A granny flat for rent – to achieve sustainable rental income over the lifetime of the granny flat by attracting tenants & robust rental yield.
- Tip: A modern visually pleasing design will increase the rental yield.
- Is it a granny flat for sale – you may be planning on selling your property for capital gains by designing a dual income property with granny flat & house.
- Tip: A two bedroom is the most appealing design layout for property investors, buyers & renters.
- For personal use or family use – are you an owner occupier? would you rent out the primary house & live in the granny flat? Is it for teenage kids or perhaps it actually is for granny?
- Tip: A medium to high level of finish is worth splashing the extra cash, a small investment over the lifetime of the asset.
- A combination of all reasons above – usually people design their granny flats with all reasons in mind, since most Australians prepare for an uncertain future.
- Tip: A multi purpose approach will give you the ability to personally live in or rent out the granny flat for extra cash.
Create A Design Wish List
Once you have asked yourself the most important design questions, the next step is to make a list of key designer needs, requirements & the reason why you have chosen these items.
Approach Friends As Design Consultants
Now you are ready to start designing your granny flat & communicating your needs to a designer consultant. Your consultant could be your wife, your husband, your friends & neighbors – in fact, it’s a great idea to test your design ideas within groups of friends before spending time & money with professional consultants such as architects, drafts-persons, town planners or council representatives.
An example of a granny flat floor plan designed with two bedrooms within 60 square meters plus an additional 40 square meter garage upgrade, creating a 90 square meter granny flat design which can be approved under Complying Development standards in NSW.
2. Create Your Design Brief & Negotiate Your Dream with the Reality.
Now that you have tested your design ideas & feel completely ready to proceed with the 1st draft drawings for your new granny flat – well done, great job!
At this stage it’s important to consult a professional architect, draft-person, design consultant or town planner to put your dream granny flat design to the ultimate test – by seeing what is realistic & possible versus what’s simply not.
Does My Design Meet Requirements?
A professional design consultant (e.g. Architect) will help you understand the ‘design rule book’ which will be imposed upon any new developments in your neighborhood. This means certain elements of your design may need to be adjusted to meet legal & planning requirements, hence otherwise cannot proceed to design, approval & building.
An Example of Meeting Your Design With Reality.
A simple example is: Under the Complying Development (CDC) & SEPP legislation in New South Wales, there is a maximum height allowance for all granny flats which is set at 3.80 M measured from lowest natural point of the building to the highest point of the apex of the external roof.
In other words this means you can only build a single story granny flat when using the CDC fast tracked approval laws, since 3.8 M only allows for one story.
Having said that, your consultant will remind you that your local Council’s Development Control Plan (DCP) and Local Environmental Plan (LEP) may in fact allow for two story developments up to 8.0 M or 9.0 M.
Having said that, the trade off between using the CDC design & approval laws or ‘rule book’ versus the DCP ‘council rule book’ is the closure in having guaranteed 20 day approval with CDC vs. a slower & less certain approval process with the council (under Development Application or DA approval).
3. Getting Your Design Through Approval, Engineering & Building – Turn Key Ready!
Now you have tested your design ideas by friends & the professionals, you have a design that meets your needs & purpose, whilst at the same time has the professional input required to ensure your design drawings get past the town planners desk & stamped with approval.
Ask The Right Questions From The Right People.
No doubt your designer will help with designing a granny flat that can & will be approved through the CDC or DA process. Having said that it’s important to talk to your Structural Engineer, Storm-water Engineer / Hydraulic Engineer, Private Certifier (PCA), BASIX consultant, Bushfire consultant, Flood Consultant & any other key personnel involved in the process.
A Simple Trick To Get The Answers In One Conversation – Ask A Builder.
A simple shortcut which can achieve all of the above in one conversation is by talking with your builder. Your builder works day in and day out with the above consultants, so they tend to be the experts across the whole process, being able to advise you how to create a design that will be approved without delay & most importantly can be built at a reasonable price.
It’s very easy to accidentally design a granny flat without the input of a builder, without controlling costs & allowing the entire project to blow out in budget.
Getting Your Granny Flat Design Done Right, The First Time!
Remember, once your granny flat has been designed and approved, you cannot go back and make changes without incurring the significant cost of usually re-submitting & re-drafting your plans.
So make sure you consult a professional & specialist granny flat builder before proceeding with your architect, engineer & private certifier PCA.
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Do you have a Design & Approval Question about Granny Flats?