What you need to know before building a granny flat

Adding a granny flat to your property is a great way to increase the value of your property. Whether you want to accommodate older family members, offer a teenage retreat or create space for a home office, Beachside Construction can help. Whilst you might know us for our high quality custom built homes, we also design and build 1 and 2 bedroom studios.

So if you’re thinking of building a granny flat out the back, read on to find out more.


What size granny flat can I build?

One of the first questions we get asked is what size granny flat can I build. Now, this will depend on where you live as each Council has different regulations, but here on the Sunshine Coast, this is what you need to know:

  • For residential zoned blocks of 600sqm or more, you can build a granny flat that’s 60sqm (excluding verandah and carport). These may be freestanding, attached to, or built within an existing structure or house.
  • For rural or residential rural zoned blocks, the granny flat can be 90sqm (excluding verandah and carport).


What does the granny flat need to have inside?

Under the Dwelling House Guide (part of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014), a ‘dwelling house’ (this refers to the main dwelling and/or a secondary dwelling) must include the following:

  • Food preparation facilities (a kitchen or kitchenette)
  • A bath or shower
  • A toilet and wash basin
  • Clothes washing facilities


How much does it cost to build a granny flat?

This will depend on whether you’re going for one or two bedrooms, but ultimately, building a granny flat is far cheaper than building a brand new home, so it’s a great option for elderly family members, or a place for the kids to live before they can afford a place of their own.

If you’re needing finance, shop around as some banks offer products specifically designed for the development of granny flats.


Is a granny flat the same as dual occupancy?

No, these are two different things. Dual Occupancy refers to duplex style homes, where two dwellings are side by side and attached. Depending on how they are titled, dual occupancies can usually be sold separately. However a granny flat is referred to as a Secondary Dwelling and cannot be separately titled. This leads onto our next point, about who the granny flat belongs to.


Who does the granny flat belong to?

Since granny flats cannot be separately titled, it’s important to consider putting in place an informal agreement. Whilst relationships might be good now, things can go wrong and relationships can sour. Have a chat with a lawyer about writing an agreement which all parties are happy with.


Granny flats and Capital Gains Tax

There’s been a recent crackdown on CGT on granny flat arrangements between children and their grown parents (read the AFR story here). Before building a granny flat we recommend you have a chat with your accountant about any tax liabilities, so you don’t get a nasty surprise down the track.


Beachside Construction can custom build your granny flat

Hopefully the information above has helped answer your questions around building granny flats on the Sunshine Coast. If you’d like to chat further, give Paul or Tonya a call at Beachside Construction. We’d be more than happy to discuss your plans and meet on-site.