Otherwise known as a granny annex or a secondary suite, a granny flat is an addition to a house that is considered to be self-contained and will offer access to water, electricity, heating and cooling. These annexes are frequently encountered as additions to an existing structure although there are times when a smaller area may instead be converted into this type of residence (as in the case of a small loft conversion). The name is derived from the fact that many families may choose to house a grandparent in such an apartment as their years progress.
These additions can be designed in a variety of designs, a few of which can include: a)A basement suite. b)A flat located above a garage. c) An attic loft. d)An apartment located alongside and connected to the home. e)A standalone structure separate from the house (called a garden suite or a guesthouse).
For flats that need to be built onto an existing structure, planning permission will be required in order to begin any significant construction or modifications. It should be noted that in some locations (and especially with apartments located within urban environments), granny suites may be illegal in terms of building codes, zoning and permit regulations.
However, granny suites can also add a great deal of resale value to an existing home. In the real estate industry, such additions can substantially raise the price of a property (assuming, of course, that all necessary planning permissions and permits have been approved).