If you’re thinking about building a granny flat in Perth, you may (understandably) be feeling a bit stressed.
Some of our customers’ biggest concerns include worries surrounding cost, quality of the build, building approval, and the duration of the build.
All of these concerns are valid points of stress, but because of the extensive experience of the team at Superior Choice Granny Flats, we’re well-qualified to bring your stress levels down. So, how can you ensure a stress-free building experience?
Use builders you can trust
It’s widely accepted that the building industry has its fair share of dodgy and even fraudulent builders. There’s even a specific term used to refer to such rogue traders, ‘cowboys’. The last thing you want to do is fork out your savings money to builders who leave you high and dry.
Even if you choose a seemingly reputable company, poor communication or miscommunication can result in a build that isn’t up to your standards, or simply isn’t what you and your family had in mind.
It’s imperative you choose a company that is experienced in carrying out the work required to meet your expectations and that prides itself on thorough and effective communication from start to finish.
The construction of your granny flat will be one of the biggest investments you ever make. Our team at Superior Choice Granny Flats understands this, and we don’t view our builds merely as jobs—we’re quite literally building our customers’ futures which is why we recognise the importance of delivering on our promises.
Key things to look for in a building company
Here’s a checklist of things you should look for when searching for the right granny flat builder for the job:
- Experience: The construction of your granny flat isn’t something you should be entrusting to novice builders. Superior Choice Granny Flats’ team has over 20 years’ of home-building experience.
- Registered: Legally, to build your granny flat, you must use a registered builder or company.
- Building approval: Look for a company that will take care of the building approval process for you (like Superior Choice Granny Flats), as this will remove a great deal of stress from your building experience.
- Good communication: Take note of how your prospective building company communicates with you. While nice manners and prompt responses are important, clear and upfront communication is even more crucial. If you sense a builder isn’t being transparent in the way they talk, there’s probably a reason—and that reason is likely that they’re looking to take you and your hard-earned money for a ride.
- A guarantee: Fortunately, in Western Australia, builders must offer a minimum of a 6-year warranty period and are required to remedy any confirmed construction defects during this time. We provide a longer seven-year structural warranty on every build.
Know the rules
There probably couldn’t be anything more stressful than realising that your new granny flat isn’t compliant with national or local regulations mid-build or even after it’s built.
The rules and regulations that govern granny flat builds are usually a top concern for our customers and definitely have the potential to cause you stress if you aren’t knowledgeable on them.
Knowing the rules before commencing the build can put your mind at ease and save you a tremendous headache. Here are a few common questions we get asked concerning granny flat regulations in Western Australia:
Do I need building approval for a granny flat?
Yes, yes, yes! Before you start worrying about tedious and confusing procedures to apply for building approval, know that Superior Choice Granny Flats can take care of this for you. We’re well-versed in getting our customers approved for granny flat builds in Perth and WA. Don’t let builders start work unless you’re 100% sure that your lot has been approved for the build.
Who can live in a granny flat (can I let it out)?
It may be comforting to know that a recent change in planning regulations means that granny flats (or ancillary dwellings, as they are formally known) can now be legally occupied by more than just grannies. Before, only family members could occupy a granny flat, but now, they can be occupied by or even rented to non-family members.
This is a momentous change that prospective granny flat owners should know about as it opens up many more opportunities, such as greater increases in property value and potential revenue through renting.
Getting in touch with your real estate agent before building your granny flat is a smart idea as they should be able to give you an estimate on its rental potential—meaning you may have a bigger budget to work with than originally thought. It’s also worth noting that there are currently no restrictions on how many people can live in a granny flat.
How big can a granny flat be?
The regulation, State Planning Policy 3.1, limits granny flats to a maximum floor area of 70 m², but this can differ across local councils.
Can I build more than one granny flat on my lot?
No, only one is permitted to be built for every lot. You’re also not permitted to divide your property’s lot to create a new lot for your granny flat without prior approval from your council.
Learn more about WA’s rules on ancillary dwellings (granny flats) here.
Think carefully about the purpose of your build
Having a clear idea about the purpose of your granny flat is paramount to achieving a granny flat that is fit for your needs, as flats for different purposes will have differing designs. So think about it—what is your granny flat for?
Firstly, is your granny flat actually for a granny (read more about granny flats for grannies here)? Although they’re colloquially known as granny flats, in reality, not only grannies occupy them—if the flat is for a teenager or a general guest house, the design will likely vary from that of a space designed for an elderly person.
Some customers like their granny flat to be multi-purpose, suitable for serving as a guesthouse but also as an art studio or home office.
While it’s obviously important to consider what you’ll be using your granny flat for in the immediate future, you may also want to think about what it could be used for further down the line.
For example, although you could make do with only one bedroom, you could open up more opportunities for your family by building a two-bedroom granny flat. Read more about the advantages of two-bedroom granny flats here
Similarly, while you may not need a kitchen in your granny flat initially, if you later decide to let out the flat to paying tenants, a kitchen will be crucial—for that reason, you may wish to create a kitchen in the initial build or at least design the layout in a way that facilitates a kitchen installation later.
Need some design inspiration? Browse our 4 customisable granny flat designs here.
Maintain consistent and clear communication
In the building industry, miscommunications are a leading cause of unhappy customers. As already mentioned, it’s important to choose a building company that knows how to communicate effectively. It’s also crucial to maintain effective communication with your builders from start to finish.
Make sure that you’re always on the same page. If you have a verbal discussion with your builders, document the key points discussed in writing so that you can both refer to it and ensure there’s no room for misinterpretation or simply forgetfulness.
A good building company will do all this legwork for you. They’ll make sure that their customers are kept in the loop on the progress of the build, and they should be in frequent communication with you to confirm small details and let you know about any issues they encounter during the build.
Great communication with our customers is something Superior Choice Granny Flats prides itself on. We like to make sure that our customers are kept fully informed and satisfied with the build of their granny flats every step of the way.
Poor communication and working relationships with builders is a huge cause of stress. Avoid it by entrusting the build to reputable custom granny flats Perth builders who will go above and beyond to deliver the results you and your family deserve—like Superior Choice Granny Flats.
Building your granny flat will be one of the most momentous experiences of your life. It’s a big deal, and it’s normal to feel stressed out by the prospective build. But you should also know that Superior Choice Granny Flats is here to guide you through the process from start to finish.
As a customer of Superior Choice Granny Flats, you can relax while we take care of things like building approval, effective and transparent communication, and building a granny flat with superior quality. All you’ll have to spend time thinking about is the purpose and custom design of your flat (but don’t worry, we can offer guidance on that too).
Get in touch with us today to recieve a FREE quote or visit our granny flats Perth showroom, located in Canning Vale, to take the first step towards attaining your dream granny flat.