Secondary Dwellings 101: The Wonders of Granny Flats

What makes a good secondary house? This question is a bit tricky to answer since so much attention is given to the main house, which can often make it seem undesirable to homeowners. But whether it’s due to the needs of the family, adding an extra source of income, or simply to up the value of the property itself, an auxiliary dwelling can be very good for business.

Ask any of the granny flat builders in Melbourne and they might say secondary dwellings are more than just a good business opportunity; they can be used for the comfort of the family already inside it, or simply as an added attraction to a household that can afford it. They’ll also be quick to tell you about all the things you may need before setting one up. These include the following:

Zoning and building permits

Obtaining permits is often the biggest hurdle most homeowners tend to ignore when setting up an auxiliary unit. While it may be easy to think that it’s your property and you can build anything you want on it, the fact is that it’s not, and ignoring that can have plenty of legal consequences.

Before even sketching out the plans for your secondary house, it would be best to call your local town hall and ask them about the paperwork required. This isn’t just so they can have something on record. It’s important to check if the sewage, water, and electric lines to where you’re planning to build can accommodate it.

Who is it for?

While it may seem strange to ask this question for an auxiliary unit, building one just for the sake of having one is a poor use of your time and resources. While granny flats can have a variety of owners, there are often very specific needs that you’ll need to address given the person you’ll be expecting to stay there.

house construction

If it’s your elderly loved one, the place needs to be very senior-friendly. It does not need a lot of tech or gadgets that may confuse them or steep staircases they need to climb. On the other hand, if you’re expecting visitors, then technologies such as Wi-Fi or other IoT devices are an attractive addition (and can be almost considered as a necessity). Knowing who’s going to stay there is key to getting a good design, and this makes things more comfortable.

Maintenance and restructuring costs

Finally, you’ll need to consider the design of the main house and the design of your second unit. Building a secondary dwelling is far from building a “mini-house”. If you aren’t careful or put less thought into it, you can quickly be floored by all the costs that you’re going to incur with construction and maintenance.

That is why consulting with a company that has the skills and experience in building these types of houses is important. Not only will they understand what exactly it is you need and how to build it, but they can often work with you in making sure the final product is a home that is up to the standards you want and the goals you set.

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