Granny flats are independent living units that can be either attached or detached from a main house. They are fully-contained in that they include a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and living room. Typically, these are used so that one’s older parents can stay at home with their adult children rather than go to a nursing home or live on their own when it may not be safe to do so. If possible, you should allow your parent to participate in the granny flats design so that he or she can feel like it is really their own.
One positive fact you should know before embarking upon the task of building a granny flat include the cost. Granny flats cost far less to build than putting an elderly parent into a nursing home. In addition, if you have small children, having their grandparent on the property can help with childcare needs. Emotionally, granny flats are a good alternative to nursing homes because your elderly parent will not get lonely as they will be surrounded by their loving family. Finally, on the positive side, even if your parent does not wish to live in the granny flat, it can be used for other purposes, such as a rental unit for extra income or a fun space for a teenager to experience living on their own while not being too far away from your control.
You will need to get a construction loan in order to build a granny flat, or alternatively you can refinance your home loan in order to use home equity to build your granny flat. This may pose a problem for you, if you have little home equity as construction loans are difficult to get. In addition, you will need to follow all zoning laws, building restrictions, municipal statutes and so forth in your area when building a granny flat. This may not be such a problem if you are merely converting a garage, but when building an entirely new structure, it is far more important.
Another disadvantage to building a granny flat is that your parent may simply not like the living space. Perhaps they don’t wish to downsize and get rid of most of their belongings. They might rather live in a retirement community around other adults their age and resent losing their privacy and independence. That is why it is so important to involve your parent in the granny flats design to lower the risk of your parent not wanting to move into the granny flat at all. In the end, the advantages of a granny flat can far outweigh the disadvantages as long as you can achieve financing and they are completely legal and allowed in your area.