Many homeowners choose to have granny flats built on their properties for their aging relatives. These self-contained living spaces can offer an elderly person their own private space, while still allowing them to enjoy the support and company of their family members. Here are two factors which should be carefully considered before building a granny flat.
Your relative's personal requirements
Before your contractor starts to draw up the plans for the flat, you should think very carefully about your relative's personal requirements.
Aging people often experience a loss of mobility as they enter their twilight years. Even if your relative is in good physical condition at the moment, it's important to bear in mind that their health could deteriorate over the coming years. Taking this into account at the planning stage will spare you the stress and expense of having to make major alterations to the granny flat down the line.
For example, if your relative already has mobility problems which are likely to worsen over time, it would be prudent to have your building contractor install wider-than-average doors (to ensure there is enough space for a wheelchair or a walking frame to pass through), handrails in the bathtub and perhaps a ramp at the main entryway to the flat.
The type of granny flat that will best suit your budget and property layout
When it comes to building a granny flat, there are three main options. You can convert an unused part of your existing property (such as a garage), build a new extension onto your house or create an entirely separate dwelling somewhere in your outdoor space.Each of these has its own pros and cons.
If you're on a tight budget, converting your garage is usually the best option. This is largely because garages usually already have an electricity supply (meaning you will not have to incur the expense of installing a new electrical system). Additionally, if the garage is attached to your house or is located in close proximity to it, it should also be quite easy for your building contractor to extend the plumbing lines from your home into the garage to create a water supply.
However, garages are usually fairly small in size and as such, may not be ideal if your relative prefers to live in spacious surroundings.
Both an extension and a detached home will be more expensive to construct than a garage conversion. However, these two options both provide you with more freedom when it comes to designing a structure that will be a good fit for your relative's requirements, as you won't have the same kind of space limitations that come with a garage conversion.
They will, of course, be more expensive and may take far longer to construct. Additionally, it may be much harder to obtain planning approval for these structures.