At Classic Cabins we know first hand how much granny flats can improve the life of Melbourne families. For some, a granny flat provides an inviting space for writing, painting or study. For others, they are a functional alternative to an otherwise expensive house extension. Some use granny flats to create sub-let opportunities. Others build granny flats after their namesake, to literally give their granny a flat to live in! We’ve also seen our bespoke granny flats used as offices or turned into outdoor sanctuaries for the whole family to enjoy. They can even be sports and games rooms. Granny flats allow you to create an additional self-sufficient space adjacent to your home. You may even want to add a granny flat to a plot of land in the country for a weekend escape. The possibilities are practically endless, but when it comes to building a granny flat, there are a few common problems to avoid. At Classic Cabins we make the design, building and installation process easy and convenient, but like anything, there are some things you need to cover first to make sure everything goes to plan. Keep reading to discover the most common pitfalls when it comes to building a granny flat.

Don’t forget the red tape

No one wants to start building a granny flat only to discover that it’s not compliant with council building restrictions, or unsuitable for the site, or not covered by insurance, or worse: setback by a major clause in your contract that you completely overlooked!

Local councils and their restrictions

Before you begin building, first talk to your local council and speak to the town planner. You need to obtain all the relevant site reports, as well as ensure that there are no rules, regulations or limits to building in your own backyard or property.

Ask them everything there is to know about having two or more dwellings on a plot. For example, in Victoria there are specific guidelines about how close you can build to a
boundary that need to be followed.

But don’t just restrict your enquiries to the granny flat itself! Make sure there is room for fences, garden plots and even a water tank or solar panels if that’s part of your plans.

Insurance for yourself and others

Then there’s insurance. There’s no reason to turn building a granny flat into a nightmare. Cover all possibilities and make sure your builder and any company involved in the process are fully insured, trained and accountable. This means doing your homework, but it is better than getting financially exposed by a less than qualified builder or company.

Following this, you should also have insurance yourself, as a responsible homeowner, to cover any unforeseen circumstances. Ring your insurance provider to find out more information.

Know your building contract

Lastly, check the contract with your builder. It’s the blueprint for your entire project, so you need to make sure you’ve got it just right. It is especially important to understand what is and is not included in the price, so you don’t encounter any unexpected building costs.

Preparation is key

A lot of the common problems involved in building granny flats comes down to poor preparation. It always pays to plan in advance.

However, good preparation isn’t just about having enough time set aside to go through everything in detail. When it comes to granny flats, preparation also means good budgeting.


Budgeting is King

No one likes going over budget, but you’re less likely to encounter unexpected costs if you plan out your build carefully and thoroughly, with good communication with your builder.

If you have a particular vision in mind, make sure you share this with your builder prior to construction. This way you will know for certain if your budget is big enough to meet your expectations.

Ready to discover the gift of extra space? Contact Classic Cabins to build your own granny flat.

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