Have you seen the tiny home craze and been a bit curious? Often converted sheds or luxury caravans there's no doubt smaller homes play a part in filling the housing shortage. We compare a tiny home to a Granny Flat and give you some information to help you assess what might work for your property or situation.
Granny flats are a fully self-contained, comfortable home with 1- 3 bedrooms, and are an affordable residential option for many looking for accommodation in today’s property market. The construction of a Granny Flat is well legislated in planning regulations.
A tiny house is a smaller dwelling, often on wheels so that it can be classed as a caravan. A tiny house does not have a planning definition, and is not actually legislated and there is some scrutiny on that. There is quite a lot of hype about Tiny Homes but buyers and renters need to be careful that dwellings are safe and legal to occupy.
About Tiny Homes
No council approval sought as not deemed a house in planning legislation
Often transportable, on wheels classed as a caravan
Locate almost anywhere but regulated in how often it can be lived in
20-32 sqm living space
No building regulation
Sometimes off grid capability
Limited living areas and storage
Granny Flats Compared to Tiny Homes
Not transportable, fixed on a solid foundation
Council approval via CDC or DA
Located in the backyard of existing dwelling
40-60 sqm living space in NSW - up to 90m2 in ACT
Conventional building ethos, including for safety
Typically on grid with a secure and permanent water and energy supply
Multiple living areas and ample storage depending on personalised design
Advantages of Granny Flats vs Tiny Homes
Lenders will provide finance for Granny Flats, but probably won't lend for moveable structures like tiny houses since they are not fixed assets.
Modern granny flats offer higher levels of comfort including insulation, cooling, heating, and spacious indoor and outdoor living spaces.
You can choose from a variety of design options instead of being restricted to one standard design - you can even personalise the interior design.
Granny Flats can often be designed to match the existing home.
A well thought out design will often affect the value of your property in a positive way.
Disadvantages of Tiny Homes vs Granny Flats
There are really few disadvantages to Granny Flats
Tiny houses may offer some advantages like portability, lowered heating cooling bills (because there is less space), but they have their fair share of disadvantages.
In terms of size, they're not much bigger than a caravan, with a living area downstairs and the bedroom in a loft upstairs - nearly impossible to have friends or family over because there is simply no room.
Moving is great - but parking can be a problem with the size and manoeuvrability of the vehicle with a house attached to be be considered.
Liveability can be impractical including having to manage composting toilets, having limited water storage and missing basics like laundry facilities.
Living in a tiny house is complicated with many councils not allowing the structure as a permanent dwelling.
What Should You Choose? Granny Flats or Tiny Home?
In deciding whether to build a granny flat or a tiny house, you need to ask yourself these questions:
Would you prefer independent accommodation with its own kitchen, bathroom, and laundry, or just an outdoor room?
Are you looking to accommodate a certain number of people?
How much are you willing to spend?
How soon do you need it?
Do you need to live there permanently and what are your local council rules around caravans and tiny houses?
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