Q & A

Do you have a granny flat showroom or display for us to visit?

Yes. We have a showroom and display centre where you can visit and inspect. We welcome you to come in and have a look. It will be worth your while. Our display centre is open Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm at 342 Annangrove Road, Rouse Hill NSW 2155. We will even stay back or meet you after hours or week-end by appointment.

How long will the construction of my granny flat take?

We allow a build time of 60 construction days. These do not include week-ends, public holidays, rain days etc. Normally we can complete a project within 50 – 55 days from start of construction.

Do you charge for a site inspection and quote?

No. We offer a FREE no obligation site inspection and quotation. This is part of our service to you.

Will I be up for any other additional or extra surprise charges and costs after I decide to build with your company?

No. After a site inspection, we assess what is required for your granny flat project, and prepare a Fixed-Price Tender. Your Tender will include all costs for the complete project right up to the hand-over of keys. Any additional costs which are specific to your project, will be clearly spelt out so that you will know exactly what your total investment will be and for what you will need to make allowances . No surprises!

What is included in the contract price?

In our quote to you, we include all costs from concept to hand-over of keys. This includes engineer inspections, reports, construction drawings, site plans and approvals either CDC or DA. It also includes all construction costs. If a DA is required there may be other reports and Council charges which are unknown prior to the lodgement of the DA.

Is the connections of electrical and plumbing to existing services included in the price of the building contract?

Yes. All electrical, plumbing and gas connections to services are included in your quote / tender total and clearly identified.

Is it possible to get separate electric bills for the granny flat from the main house?

Absolutely. We can arrange to have a separate electricity meter for your granny flat at the property main meter box. You will get two bills from your electricity supplier – one for the main house, the other for the granny flat. This will be listed in your Tender submission upon your request.

How do I keep track of the granny flat water or gas usage so that I can bill the tenants?

Included in our standard package, we offer private water and gas flow meters located at the granny flat. This will assist you in calculating granny flat usage of water and gas when you receive your bill.

How can we be assured that our granny flat will be built up to high building standards?

All our granny flats are inspected and approved by engineers and certifiers prior to commencement of construction as well as various inspections throughout the construction stages. We also hold a current NSW Builders License – 232971C. All our granny flats are certified that they comply with the BCA – Building Code of Australia.

What is BASIX and do granny flats need to comply?

The Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) is a standard which applies to all residential dwelling types and is part of the development application process in NSW. It governs the efficiency of water and energy usage in all dwellings built in NSW. Granny flats are a dwelling and hence must comply with all BASIX requirements. All our granny flats are designed to comply with BASIX requirements, so you need not worry.

What warranty does your company give on your granny flats?

As a reputable and licensed builder we offer a 7-year Home Owners Warranty on the construction of your granny flat. This warranty must be offered by all builders. Some builders may charge you extra for this, however we include ours in the price of the project – no additional charge for this. Other items such as appliances & inclusions carry the normal manufacturer’s warranty.

Are you able to build outside of the Sydney metropolitan area?

As our granny flats are built on site (not relocatable or modular) we currently build in the Sydney metro area. We also build in areas close to Sydney such as Gosford, Campbelltown, Penrith. If unsure, please contact us to see if we will build in your area. We also have another business as part of our Group – Affordable Portables that may be able to assist you in modular building designs that can be transported to anywhere in Australia.

Do we need to go to Council for approvals to build our granny flat?

A granny flat can be approved using either with DA consent through Council, or with a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) through a private certifier. For properties that are zoned Residential, it is easier, quicker & cheaper to seek approvals through CDC. Properties which are zoned Rural, a DA needs to be sought through your local Council. We take care of all your approvals using either method on your behalf.

What size block is required for me to be able to build a granny flat?

Any detached granny flat to be built using a CDC should be on a lot size of at least 450 square metres. The consent authority may also approve granny flats on lots smaller than 450 square metres, depending on the particular situation.

Is there a limit to the size of granny flat I can build?

The maximum floor area of the granny flat is to be no greater than 60 square metres; or the maximum floor area prescribed by the council in the local environmental plan.

How long does it take to receive approvals to build my granny flat?

Once all site plans, construction drawings and documentation are all completed, these are then submitted to a Private Certifier for approval. Normally approval is issued within 10 business days. Most of our approvals have been done in less than 7 days from the time documentation is submitted to our Certifier.

Who supplies all the construction drawings and site plans for submission?

We supply and arrange for all site plans and construction drawings required for approvals. These are all included in our price which is detailed in the fixed-price tender. You will not be charged extra for these and you will not need to do anything as we take care of it all.

Can I build a granny flat on a property that is zoned as ‘Rural’?

Yes as a general rule, however if your property is zoned as rural, the approval for granny flat must be sought through your local Council as a DA. There are some local Councils which currently will not permit a detached granny flat. Contact us, and we will be able to find out for you whether or not a granny flat will be permissible.

Do we need to do anything ourselves with regards to approvals?

We offer the best possible service to you and take care of everything. You will not need to waste your time and energy in doing anything yourself as we do it all for you – at NO extra charge.

Can I put more than one granny flat on the same property?

No. Unfortunately you can only have one granny flat. The granny flat must be on the same lot of land as the principal house and cannot be on a separate lot, in a strata plan or in a community title scheme.

Do we need to provide car access & additional car parking space if we build a granny flat?

There are no requirements to provide any additional or separate drive for the granny flat. No additional private open space or parking space is required for the Granny Flat, in addition to that already required for the original house.

What are Section 94 Contributions charged by Councils and how much are these?

Section 94 contributions are a mandatory levy imposed by local councils on most developments in NSW. This levy varies from council to council and even within councils depending on the street address or suburb. These charges are payable directly to council and are not connected with our charges in any way. The fee can vary from $0 with some councils to as high as $20,000 with other areas. Generally they fall in the range of between $600 – $3,000. A phone call to your local council will give you the Section 94 amount for your area. Alternatively, give us a call and we will get the information to you.

Does your company hold a NSW Builder’s licence?

Yes. We are fully licensed in NSW. Our builders license number is: 232971C

Does your granny flat come with a veranda or deck?

We offer a 1.8 x 1.2m deck with stairs included at no extra charge as standard on all our granny flats. For customers who want a larger outdoor entertaining area, we also offer various optional upgrades for larger covered verandas.

Does your granny flat come with electrical or gas appliances?

Included as standard on all our granny flats, we offer electric oven & range hood, gas cook top, 20 litres/minute continuous gas hot water system. We also include a gas outlet for gas heating etc. You can visit our granny flat page to get a complete detailed listing of all our standard inclusions.

Is your granny flat insulated and what type of insulation do you use?

Yes absolutely. There are certain standards of insulation required under the BASIX compliance to which all builders must adhere. We not only meet, but exceed these standards. We include R2.0 batts with an R1.3 builder’s blanket insulation in the ceiling and R2.0 batts and sarking on external walls.

Why do you use steel frame in your construction instead of timber when most are using timber?

We use galvanized steel throughout – piers, bearers, joists, wall & roof frames. Our competitors are still using timber frames as standard and will charge you extra for steel frame. This is because timber is much cheaper to use. They can save money by using timber frame. We include STEEL FRAME CONSTRUCTION as standard in our price and will not charge you extra for this. The reason we can do this, is we roll our own steel frame sections and assemble the frame sections as well. There is no middle man wanting a cut of the profits therefore the savings are passed on to you. We also supply steel frames to other building and construction companies.

What are the advantages of using steel frame construction?

There are many significant advantages with using steel frame construction, some of which are:

  • 100% Termite Protection – No toxic chemical treatments required to protect from pests
  • No Rot – Timber can suffer rot over time. This is eliminated with steel frame.
  • Quality Galvanized Steel – Offers protection from deterioration and rust
  • Superior Strength – Considerable higher strength than timber, allows for longer spans / open areas.
  • Straight and True – Steel frames will not shrink, warp or twist reducing wall & cornice cracking etc.
  • Non-combustible – Significantly reduces flammable materials in your home
  • Safe – No nasty chemical treatments used in treated pine

Do your granny flats require termite protection and maintenance?

Our granny flats do NOT require any termite protection systems or continuing maintenance. Our piers, bearers, joists, wall & roof frames are constructed from galvanised steel and offer 100% Termite Protection – No toxic chemical treatments are required to be continually used for protection from termites or any other insects. Even the floor boards which we use are 100% Termite Proof. We do not use tongue & groove boards made from particle board or ply as all other builders are using. We lead the way with this new building material and currently are the only builders to offer this superior building product.

Can your company build on a concrete slab?

Yes we can build on a slab, however it is our recommendation to use steel piers. There is far less site excavations involved with pier construction as opposed to concrete slab. Many blocks have slopes which make slab construction very expensive or even not recommended or possible. There is also better air flow using piers. It also assist in blocks that have natural easements or water run-off when raining. Using raised floors also assists in scheduling trades which can speed up construction process considerably and can be constructed on any soil type and perform very well on problematic soils, such as expansive clays, which can crack conventional concrete slabs.

Is your granny flat transportable or re-locatable?

No. We build your granny flat on site from ground up and the building is a permanent structure. There are a number of issues with a modular or re-locatable granny flat design. As we are experts in the modular industry, we can give you some insights as to why we don’t do modular granny flats. Four of the main reasons are:

  • Far more expensive. The cost of large cranes in order to lift the building over your home and semi trucks to transport modules to site add between $25,000 – $40,000 to the cost of the project.
  • Most front yards are not large enough to accommodate a crane big enough to lift modules over your home. Lifting from street create many other issues, larger crane again, interference with power lines, considerably more costly.
  • Modular or re-locatable granny flats cannot legally get approvals with a CDC. You need to go through a DA when using modular or re-locatable structures for granny flats. This adds considerable time and additional costs which comes with getting a DA through you local council.
  • Banks and financial institutions are very reluctant to offer funding and loans to a modular or relocatable project. They don’t see this as a safe asset as it can be taken away.

I have an investment property in Sydney but live elsewhere. Can you offer a complete project management service for my granny flat project?

Yes, absolutely. That is our expertise. We build granny flats for customers who don’t even live in NSW or in Australia for that matter. It does not matter where you live as long as your investment property is in Sydney, we will take care of each step of the process and keep you fully updated with information and photos as the project progresses.

I am considering building granny flats at the rear of my rental properties. What are the kind of investment returns would I expect to get?

We need to state that we are builders and not financial planners or investment advisors and as such are not able to offer financial or investment advice. You will need to consult your appropriate advisor with regards to your investment decisions. We can however convey what our past customers have been getting in weekly rent and what they have spent in building their granny flat. Rental returns have been in the vicinity of $350 – $460+ per week depending on the area where the granny flat is located. The costs involved to build a granny flat with these returns are between $115,000 – $120,000. We urge you to do your own investigations and see for yourself how a granny flat can substantially increase your return on investment.

Can I build a granny flat to rent it out to tenants other than family?

Yes you can. NSW legislation allows granny flats (which are approved) to be rented to any one you wish, just like you would rent a house out to a tenant, and receive a rental income. This the reason property investors are jumping at the chance of receiving dual income from their one property.

What are the advantages of your granny flat for investors looking for a low maintenance investment option?

Our granny flats are low maintenance due to the steel frame construction, termite proof properties, external & internal building materials used and finishes such as quality laminate floating floor coverings and industry leading vinyl cladding for the exterior.

Will I be able to get finance for my granny flat investment?

Yes. Many of our customers rely on bank loans to fund their granny flat investment. Because our granny flats are not transportable and are built on site as a permanent dwelling, banks will assess it as an asset to the property. As such they will not have any issues lending against the asset. Of course this depends on many other factors involved and your individual financial situation. If you wish, we can recommend finance brokers to you who have helped some of our other clients to discuss your options. Please contact us for this.

Will my property appreciate in value after building a granny flat or will it detract from it?

In most cases building a permanent granny flat in your property which generates an income will increase the value of your property. From the day the granny flat is completed, you not only have a potential new income stream but also increased equity in the property. In other words you have dramatically improved your cash-flow and at the same time increase the capital value of your property. A win on both counts.

Are granny flats as an investment option here to stay, or will it be just a passing fad?

It is our total belief that granny flats are here to stay and in fact becoming more and more popular. The reason for this is simple. Housing affordability in Sydney is getting worse every year. Many families young and old are struggling with being able to afford housing and still stay in Sydney close to their families. Granny flats offer a fantastic opportunity for affordable housing in an expensive market. There is also a growing trend for our population to live longer as years go by which will no doubt place even more pressure on the demand for affordable housing and granny flats. We are confident that investing in a granny flat now is a great investment strategy and also one with the highest returns for the short & long-term.

What size block is required for me to be able to build a granny flat?

Any detached granny flat to be built using a CDC should be on a lot size of at least 450 square metres. The consent authority may also approve granny flats on lots smaller than 450 square metres, depending on the particular situation.