Anyone who has bought land recently knows that it’s an expensive exercise. So it makes sense to be looking at ways to maximise the use of your block, either for your own use or as a second income.
That’s where a secondary dwelling, or granny flat, comes into its own.
The granny flat used to conjure up ideas of cramped, uninspired spaces little more than a step up from a converted garage for many. But the new breed of granny flat designs have taken the concept of a second self-contained space to a whole other level, both in design and use.
NSW sales manager for Clarendon Homes, David Bourke, says the modern granny flat is a flexible space and a great asset for those already looking to build a new house.
“You can do whatever you want with a granny flat, it’s very versatile,” he says.
While traditionally, granny flats have been used as accommodation for elderly parents, David says now they can provide a self-contained flat for older children or even be rented out for additional income.
But the possibilities don’t end there.
“You can use the space for music, making art or running a small business, with a separate entranceway,” David says. “A granny flat can also act as a cabana in the backyard. If you are building a pool and you want a high end space for entertaining, this is one way you can achieve that resort-style look.”
Although most people think of granny flats as separate dwellings, David says they can also be part of the main house. About half of Clarendon’s clients choose to keep the granny flat under the one roof.
David says the Sylvania 65, one of the separate dwelling options, is Clarendon’s most popular granny flat design. It includes two bedrooms with shared bathroom and an open plan kitchen, living and dining area on a 65sqm footprint. The Parklea granny flat is also a popular choice and has one spacious bedroom and open plan living and dining area facing onto a single wall kitchen, available on a 60sqm or 65sqm footprint. Clarendon’s granny flat floorplans have been designed to meet Complying Development requirements, ensuring a quick, streamlined council approval process so that families can get into their homes sooner.
Best of all, the designs can be customised to suit your purposes, with the addition of an outdoor shower to the side of the granny flat or an outdoor fireplace for extending the use of the alfresco area as the weather gets colder.
Inside, the spaces feel more like a mini home. As displayed at Sylvania, the Sylvania 65 has chevron timber floors and Shaker-style kitchen joinery facing onto a timber deck while the Parklea 60 on display at Parklea Super Centre has large format tiled floors in the open plan living area with stacked glass doors opening onto a roomy alfresco area.
With multi-generational living becoming more common, David says a separate, self-contained dwelling can be a great circuit breaker for growing families all living under the one roof.
“The appeal of the granny flat has a lot to do with space and privacy,” he says. “That’s a big thing - being able to segregate from the rest of the house and have some personal space.”
There are definitely a few things to look out for to get the most from these compact spaces.
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