How to Build a Granny Flat

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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A granny flat is an addition to the existing family residence to house the beloved mother-in-law. The space usually has its own private access but has the benefit of being included in the main structure. The occupant has the privacy of her own home and the security of knowing that she has assistance if necessary.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Check local building codes, and acquire any permits if needed. Building codes may vary in different states and localities.

  2. 2

    Decide whether you want to hire a contractor or do the work yourself. Take your own skill level and knowledge of construction into account when making this decision. Subcontract difficult work to more qualified people if you decide to do the job yourself. Some excavating may be necessary for proper drainage and leveling purposes. Electrical work and plumbing may require a professional who can make sure you meet the mandatory codes and specifications for your area.

  3. 3

    Design your addition to suit your specific needs and budget. Consider any special requirements when choosing floor plans and building materials.

  4. 4

    Obtain quotes, and compare prices for building materials. Sometimes you can get a good deal on pricing when you are working on a remodeling project because you are purchasing larger quantities.

  5. 5

    Plan carefully. Detailed design and planning results in fewer headaches and fewer surprises. Your contractor or local building supply associate can aid in planning.

Tips and warnings

  • The ability to read a blueprint and a good working knowledge of the required equipment and power tools are necessary to prepare the area for building.
  • Request references for contractors or any type of labor to ensure quality work.
  • Widen hallways and doorways for wheelchair access.
  • Consider adding a separate private entrance.
  • Use proper safety gear when undertaking any kind of construction project. Improper use of the tools and equipment involved in building an addition onto your home can result in serious injury.

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