Recently, granny flats have been gaining popularity due to rising housing prices and the increased cost of living. Also known as ADUs, a granny flat is a backyard space ideal for housing your aging-in-laws or any other members of your family who need an affordable studio apartment. Typically, granny flats can be occupied by one to two tenants, making them the perfect guest house for any of your long or short-term visitors.     

Building a granny flat on your existing property is a financially beneficial alternative to expensive nursing homes, which can add up to tens of thousands of dollars per year.

If you’re still asking yourself what is a granny flat, how is it different from other types of housing, continue reading to allow us to answer the questions people usually have in regard to granny flats. 

What Is A Granny Flat?

a single bedroom granny flat

A granny flat is a second dwelling either attached or detached from the main house. The term stems from one of the most popular functions of an ADU as a home for your aging relatives or live-in nannies. Granny flats can be constructed anywhere on your property, whether turning your basement into a studio apartment, converting your garage into an elderly care unit, or as a stylish modern shed in your backyard.

Convenient and designed to meet your needs, a granny flat is not only limited to your elderly relatives. These additional dwelling spaces have many potential uses, such as providing a guest house for visiting family and friends, or to serve as a rental property for short or long-term tenants.        

What Are The Biggest Benefits Of Building A Granny Flat?

benefits of building a granny flat

Now that you understand what a granny flat is, it’s time to learn about the top reasons why you should build one. In our ultimate guide to granny flats, we want to help understand the benefits of building one on your home’s property. 

Granny Flats Are A Better Investment Than Retirement Homes 

When our aging family members start reaching their golden years, they normally require senior care services due to their declining physical and cognitive health. Often we send our parents to nursing homes to ensure they receive proper care round the clock. However, elderly care costs increase tremendously when our loved ones are forced to live in assisted living facilities. Depending on the nursing home, common living expenses such as rent, food, and utilities can cost more per year than paying off a new mortgage.

Investing in a granny flat on your own property is a great financial decision, as you’ll still be able to provide nurses and residential care assistants for your elderly relatives. Since their new home is on your property, you can ensure they’ll be well taken care of, and always in close proximity to their growing family.

Building a granny flat allows your grandchildren to form a deeper bond with Grandma or Grandpa, and provides your parents peace of mind, knowing they’ll be well taken care of, and always close by to family members in case of an emergency. 

Granny Flats Allow Your Relatives To Stay Independent

Many elderly adults have a tough time dealing with the gradual loss of independence as they age. It can feel like they’re traveling back in time to infancy, requiring assistance for basic human tasks such as bathing and cooking. When you decide to build a granny flat, not only will your aging loved one feel more self-reliant, but you also won’t have to worry about losing your privacy inside your home.

A granny flat can completely cater to your relative’s needs, uniquely designed to accommodate their situation and limitations. Installing a hearing-impaired doorbell strobe light can visually alert someone when a visitor has arrived. For aging in-laws with mobility issues, including handicap-accessible options inside your granny flat, such as wheelchair ramps and grab bars, make it easier for them to get around their home.        

Granny Flats Can Generate Rental Income

Depending on your local Massachusetts or Southern New Hampshire building codes, renting out your granny flat as an Airbnb or short-term holiday lodge can generate a significant amount of extra income. As the rental market becomes increasingly expensive, places all around the world are seeking a much-needed fix to the housing crisis. Increasing the diversity of housing available means more affordable options for struggling people across the world.

Most homeowners can only rent out secondary dwelling units to their immediate family members, but if your local municipality allows it, your granny flat could be rented on the open market. Home remodeling companies such as Perry Brothers Construction, who have placed their focus on developing affordable modular homes, can provide homeowners with quick to build additional dwelling units on their existing property.    

What To Consider Before Building A Granny Flat

life in a granny flat

Now that you’re aware of the many advantages of building a granny flat, we’re not surprised that you’re searching for a local ADU contractor to build one in your backyard. You want to think carefully before adding a granny flat to your property, here are four things to consider. 

The Costs Of Building A Granny Flat

Adding a granny flat isn’t cheap, many factors contribute to the total cost, but the most paramount is whether you’re building an attached or detached granny flat. Constructing a livable space from the ground up in your backyard is expensive, as you need to run trenches for electricity, gas, and plumbing from your main home to the granny flat. While a home remodel isn’t cheap, it’s significantly less than building a dwelling structure from the ground up.

Then there’s the additional costs of building permits, inspections, framing stock, insulation, roofing, and just about every material involved in constructing a brand-new house. Don’t forget the cost of labor, as hiring an experienced ADU contractor is crucial to the success of your granny flat project.   

Check Your Local Zoning Laws When Building A Granny Flat

Many towns and cities in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire allow single-family dwelling properties to build granny flats, but not all currently do. Spending all the time and money to build a granny flat when it’s against your local zoning laws will only result in disappointment.

When you work with a licensed home remodeling company, they make the effort to communicate between you and all parties involved throughout the entire remodeling process. This includes obtaining the necessary rough and final inspections, as well as any building permits that are critical to allowing your property to build a granny flat that follows your local zoning regulations.   

How Does Adding A Granny Flat Affect My Home Insurance Policy

Generally, when building a stand-alone ADU unit on the property of a single-family home, your insurance policy will cover it as another structure. While uncommon, a granny flat with its own postal address might require its own home insurance policy.

Remodeling your home to add an attached granny flat is most likely covered in the dwelling portion of your insurance policy. A granny flat used to generate rental income typically requires a separate type of insurance, and may not be covered by your homeowner’s policy. Definitely discuss with your insurer to make sure you have the right coverage for a granny flat.

What’s The Typical Size Of A Granny Flat

Not only does the size of your granny flat impact the total price, it also determines whether you can legally build one on your property. For example, in Salem Massachusetts, your granny flat is not allowed to exceed 900 square feet or 50 percent of the size of your main dwelling. There are additional building regulations to keep in mind, such as setbacks from your property boundaries.

Granny flats can be designed to suit your needs and property dimensions and can be built as single or double-story structures depending on your local zoning laws.

Design And Build A Granny Flat With Perry Brothers Construction

the perry brothers construction team

As home remodeling professionals for 50 years, Perry Brothers Construction is an expert ADU contractor who understands the importance of designing a custom-built space to suit your lifestyle. As granny flats increase in popularity due to their convenience and affordability, they will likely become more common across Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.

Whether you’ve decided to pull the trigger and build a granny flat, or you have any questions regarding the ADU construction process, feel free to contact Perry Brothers Construction, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding granny flats or any other home remodeling project.