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The biggest concerns with housing for elderlies are the space, location, and expenses. All these are solved with granny flats.
Most elderlies enjoy their privacy, as they want to spend the rest of their days not worrying about household problems. It is also what many want for their families that are growing old. Regrettably, living separately comes with several issues as well. One of the most crucial has to be security or monitoring. Especially if their elderly relatives are no longer in their best condition, regularly checking up on them is a must. Going back and forth if they live far away requires a lot of effort and money. Besides transportation, building and maintaining multiple houses at once can also be quite a financial burden.
Fortunately, the current real estate trends now make it so that homeowners can have affordable housing for their elderly relatives that are close to them but still give them the privacy they need. This is what granny flats are for.
What is a Granny Flat?
As the term “granny flat” connotes, it is a home specially built for elderlies. It is a common way of accommodating aging parents in this generation. Thus, it is usually designed for only one or two people, measuring about 250 to 1,200 square feet. Think of granny flats as miniature versions of full-sized housing units, but not precisely like tiny homes, in a way that they are not standalone structures. This means they are built near or adjacent to another dwelling on the same lot. The formal and widely accepted term for a granny flat in the real estate industry is an Accessory Dwelling Unit or ADU. However, it can also be referred to as:
- secondary unit
- mother-in-law unit
- in-law suite
- backyard cottage
- laneway house
- bonus unit
- carriage unit
- Ohana unit
Structural forms of a Granny Flat
Granny flats are secondary dwellings built on the same lot as an existing primary structure, and they can either be attached or detached. Attached means the two homes are directly connected, sharing at least one side of their walls. On the other hand, detached means the two structures are separated by open space. Think of backyard granny flats built on the lawn or garden area instead of adjacent to the main home.
Another way to categorize the structure of a granny flat is if it is new or converted. The unit can be built on a new foundation within the same lot. Otherwise, it can also be converted from what was previously a garage, basement, or attic. The latter equates to lesser expenses but limits the available space and options for granny flat plans to whatever fits the existing form. Meanwhile, a new structure may provide more freedom, but building from scratch consumes time, money, and effort.
Amenities in a Granny Flat
As previously mentioned, granny flats are miniature housing units. This means all essential amenities in average-sized homes should also be in these structures. At the most basic, a granny flat should accommodate the occupants’ sleeping, eating, and sanitation needs.
Other amenities to include are the specific needs of the elderly, like technologies with monitoring capabilities. For example, there are timed medication dispensers, toilets with urinalysis features, and automatic temperature and condition checkers, among many others. A more specific term for flats with these high-tech capabilities is a granny pod.
What’s great about Granny Flats?
If you have more space than you can utilize in your current property, consider building a granny flat. For instance, you may have an unused attic, basement, or garage. It can even be an empty lawn with plenty of space to add a small structure. Using otherwise useless areas to build a granny flat can provide shelter for relatives and guests. It can also be a secondary source of income if used as a rental space and increases the property’s value.
Compared to a separate lot and home, granny flats provide better security for the elderly. It is also an affordable housing option as you do not have to buy another lot, and if you are going for a converted unit, you need to only spend for renovation.
Difficulties of adding a Granny Flat
Although granny flats are more cost-effective, financing may still be an issue for some homeowners. Even if you are not building a new structure and instead of converting it, there are still expenses for the new furniture and appliances. Include maintenance and bills as well for future costs. If you are working on a specified budget, you may want to look up granny flats plans and prices. Afterward, design and build following the chosen plan that fits your budget.
Another difficulty with adding granny flats to your property is the laws and regulations of your area. In some states, there are limitations to the minimum and maximum dimensions of ADUs you can build. There may also be lot and parking requirements that you need to follow. Therefore, before adding a granny flat, you must first be knowledgeable about the laws of your area.
Adding a Granny Flat to your property
After consulting the law, the next step to building a granny flat is determining the structural form and size, considering your available resources and budget. Only then can you specify the amenities you want to include and look up granny flats designs as inspiration for the decoration. Another option is to go for ready-made granny flats to save time on designing and building. Unfortunately, it does not give you as much freedom with the layout and decoration and may not have all the amenities you need.
Undeniably, a granny flat is the perfect housing option for elderlies regarding security or monitoring, location, expenses, and privacy. While adding one to your property requires a budget and thorough assessment of the law, this endeavor is more achievable than you think. You even have the freedom to build it by yourself or with help or even go for granny flats for sale.
However, if you want it easier, cheaper, and faster, add a granny flat to your property while working with a trusted contractor like Small House Solutions. Besides the design and building process, the team will also be with you to ensure everything follows the law and regulations of your area.
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Small House Solutions serves the following Texas Towns, Counties and nearby Areas for Tiny, Small, Large Custom Homes, Tiny Homes on Wheels, ADU’s, Accessory Structure and Park Models:
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