Granny Flat Designs posted on the 4th July 2014

There are a number of things to consider to maximise your Granny Flat Design. We’ll cover a number of them here below, but not necessarily in the order of importance :

Architect1.     Granny Flat Design itself. Some states require that you must have a front door and window facing the street. This is not necessary within Ipswich City Council requirements. We have a very generous allowance from a planning, building and design point of view. We are currently in the planning stages of a custom build that actually has no front door, but a magnificent set of 4m stacker doors – virtually taking up the whole end wall! This will be a beautiful bespoke building on completion, designed by our own architect Russell Wombey

2.     Passive Solar Orientation. We have discussed in previous articles the importance of good design along with passive solar orientation. North facing living areas, maximizing solar and thermal efficiency, allowing the winter sun on the concrete slab to act as a thermal energy bank, no western facing windows – simple things. If they are included in the initial design phase, as part of the approval and Granny Flat construction process, it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Nothing is more cost effective than smart design

Alfresco-dining-photo3.     Alfresco dining area. In all our designs, we recommend an outdoor alfresco dining area under roofline. From a tenants point of view, to have an outdoor entertainment area is an absolute must here in Queensland, both from a sun point of view but also because of the unpredictable nature of sudden summer storms. The extension of the roofline for such is not included in the 65sqm maximum living space

4.     Foundations – concrete slab or piers. It is generally an easier and cheaper option to build concrete slab on ground rather than piers. Within the Ipswich area there is often Mining Influence, sloping land, land that may have flooding issues or what’s locally called moving black soil (highly reactive soil). In these instances it maybe necessary to design the granny flat on steel adjustable stumps

5.     Flooring. The climate for SE Queensland, particularly here in Ipswich can be cool in winter but quite humid in summer. Our Granny Flat designs tend to have tiles to wet areas as well as non slip tiles to all living areas. Carpet is generally applied to bedrooms

6.     Wet areas. By designing your custom build granny flat with the end user in mind, simple things such as the placement of the bathroom and kitchen close together reduces the length of plumbing and drainage lines resulting in a more cost effective Granny Flat Solution

7.     Wall heights. The industry standard is 2.44 internal wall height, but it’s not that much more to have a ceiling height of 2.9m. This will add around $2,750 to the total build cost but more importantly will give you the feeling of added sense of space and height

8.     Access for the Mature Age or Disability access – access ramps, bathroom rails, wider hallways are just a few things to consider in your Granny Flat Design. In the ACT your Granny Flat Designs must clearly show future options to include in your initial drawings as part of the Disability Access Code. In Ipswich, this would only be required if you are building and designing a purpose built Granny Flat

9.     Car accommodation. Whilst there is no requirement for such, from a property management point of view we consider it essential. It doesn’t have to be a single lockup garage, but a carport design is quite adequate. We recommend that all Granny Flats have covered car accommodation to achieve a maximum rent return

10.    Hallways. An unnecessary evil – good design should preclude the need for any hallway. It’s an absolute waste of space. Even if you are consider constructing a studio style or complete open plan design, screens or cupboards will act as a room divider

Ugly-dog-photo11.    Compact style inclusions. Items such as single bowl kitchen sink, mini laundry tubs, low profile toilets, linen or broom closet integrated into a corner, dishwasher (initial setup such as power point, water tap and floor drain to be included for future installation), allowance for minimum of 10 double power points

12.    Other considerations. Security screens, pet friendly doors, kitchen benchtop heights, heights of wall switches and door knobs

By using an architect that produces a Granny Flat Design site specific for your property, you are assured of a quality outcome, not compromising costs for smart design. Our Granny Flat construction and build is second to none – I have not seen anything that comes even close to what we produce. And we are acting in the spirit with which Ipswich City Council had originally intended …


A great job by a great team !

Granny Flat Solutions

Ipswich Granny Flats



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You will not be disappointed!

Sonia : 0403 309 136

Written by Sonia Woolley

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