granny flat being built on vacant land

Can I Build a Granny Flat on My Property?

Granny flats are a rising trend in Australia. They’re compact, cosy and, some might even say, chic. But better than that, they answer that practical problem of extra space, while still being a dynamic, cost-effective and value-adding addition to your property. In fact, there are many (many) reasons why you should invest in a granny flat. But once you’ve decided that you’re ready to make that investment, it’s time to start considering the practicalities. And the first question you need to ask yourself is, ‘can I build a granny flat on my property?’

Can I Build a Granny Flat on My Property

When asking yourself, ‘can I build a granny flat on my property’ you have a number of things to consider.
1.     First, will you be able to get council approval (and is it even necessary)?
2.     Second, what restrictions are there on the size and placement of your granny flat, and does that work for your particular situation?
3.     And third, what is your budget when it comes to building?

Can You Get Council Approval (and Is It Necessary)?

A ‘granny flat’ is simply a colloquial term for an “accessory dwelling unit”. But they’re also known as small homes, tiny homes, guest houses or mother-in-law flats. Essentially, they’re small fully-formed flats built on a piece of property that you already own, with self-contained bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. When it comes to understanding whether you can get council approval for building a granny flat on your property, and when and if it’s necessary, the answer isn’t simply a yes or no. Since it can take from 12 weeks to many months to get approvals (where they are required), it’s best to know where you stand and plan ahead.

What are the Restrictions on Size and Placement for Your Granny Flat?

Just as every area has their own regulations on building approvals, they also have their own rules governing the size and placement of your granny flat (and other things as well!). So, we’ve pulled together the general rules from some of Queensland’s most popular areas to help you answer the question, ‘can I build a granny flat on my property’. Of course, our expert team is always here to provide advice on your specific area and situation should you need it as well.

Brisbane Granny Flats

In Brisbane, you can build a secondary dwelling, like a granny flat, without any approvals at all as long as it’s a maximum of 80sqm, is being built for a member of your household and is less than 20 metres from your main dwelling. That’s a fantastic result, and makes it easy to add a granny flat to your property. On the other hand, you might want a slightly bigger space or want to build it further from your main home. In that case you will need to lodge a development application (DA). You will also need to lodge a DA if you plan on renting the flat to someone who is not part of your household.

You can read more about building granny flats in Brisbane on the Brisbane City Council website.

Gold Coast Granny Flats

Unlike Brisbane, all granny flats built on the Gold Coast will require building approval from the council. This can be organised through a private certifier. You might also need a DA if your property is not in a residential zone. You can read more about building granny flats in the Gold Coast on the City of Gold Coast website.

Sunshine Coast Granny Flats

When asking yourself, can I build a granny flat on my property in the Sunshine Coast, you have to consider where it will be located. As of 2019, your granny flat must be designed and constructed so that is has an “association” with the primary home or dwelling on your property. In most areas, it also can’t exceed 90sqm in a rural or rural-residential zone, or 60sqm in any other zone (though this can be different in certain local areas). As with any granny flat, it’s important to speak to an expert before beginning to build on your Sunshine Coast property. You can read more about building granny flats in the Sunshine Coast on the Sunshine Coast Council website.

Logan City Granny Flats

In Logan, you can build a secondary, self-contained dwelling, or granny flat, as long as it’s 70sqm, in a residential zone and on a lot that is less than 1000sqm. If you have a lot that is bigger than 1000sqm then you can have a granny flat is that is a generous 100sqm. There are other requirements as well, including the rule that the secondary dwelling must only be occupied by persons who are in your same household. And it must be located beside, behind, below or above an existing or new dwelling.

You can read more about building granny flats in the Logan area on the City of Logan website.

Cairns Granny Flats

Cairns is a beautiful city and the Cairns city council also welcomes granny flats. Their rules are split into rural and non-rural as well. In rural areas, your secondary dwelling must be limited to 250sqm, while it’s 70sqm in all other zones.

You can read more about building granny flats in the Cairns area on the Cairns Building Plans.

Other Queensland Areas

f you live in another area in Queensland, we’ve got information for you on our Council Rules and Regulations page.  Or, if you’re unsure on your local requirements around building a granny flat, always ask your local council or private certifier and builder. Or give our team of experts a call. We’re always happy to help!

What is Your Budget for Your Granny Flat?

Last, but definitely not least, you’ll want to consider your budget for building a granny flat on your property. While you might technically be able to do it (under the rules and regulations of your area), if it doesn’t make financial sense, and won’t be adding value to your property, it’s probably best to give it a pass. Just like with any home, the more features you add to your granny flat, the higher the cost will be to build it, but the more value you could potentially be adding. It’s best to consider what you are looking for, and what you have available to spend. Then speak to an expert about whether that’s a viable option in terms of financing and whether that will give you the outcomes you need.

Benefits of a Granny Flat

2 Bedroom 58 SQM Home

From bringing loved ones closer to getting more privacy yourself, from saving money to possibly earning an income, granny flats bring you lots of benefits. If you’re asking yourself, can I build a granny flat on my property, get in touch with our team today. We’re here to help you understand all your options.

Can I build a granny flat on my property? Get in touch with our expert team and we’ll be able to help you easily answer that question (and get you started!). Call us on 1300 121 556 or drop us a line at office@popuphomes.com.au.