Bellcast Granny Flats Blog

Bellcast Granny Flats Blog


Bellcast Granny Flats Blog

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What Are the Best Granny Flat Designs in Sydney? [Wealth Creation + Liveable Space Edition]
What Are the Best Granny Flat Designs in Sydney? [Wealth Creation + Liveable Space Edition]

A granny flat is not only a great way to house any friends, family members, or visitors that come to your home, but also a proven method of entering the world of property investing.

With space at a premium in Sydney, you can generate a secondary source income by renting out your new accommodation to Sydneysiders who want to live in the city, but are looking for creative ways to do so.

With all the benefits on offer, it’s easy to think you can just close your eyes and point to a granny flat design, but not all designs are created equally.

If you want to make the most of your available space and rental potential, you have to choose the best granny flat design for your budget and your home.

And we’ll show you exactly how to do it.

What is a granny flat?

Otherwise known as an in-law apartment, this type of accommodation is a small additional space that can be built on the grounds of your home (assuming you have the space).

Don’t be fooled by the name either, because you don’t have to have a grandmother to find a willing occupant or tenant of these multi-purpose abodes. It’s common for Sydneysiders to use their new granny flat to provide living space for:

  • Aging parents
  • A nanny
  • Relatives (visiting or staying)
  • Young adult family members looking for independence
  • Visiting guests

But enough about *who* will live in your new space, let’s talk about how to choose the best design.

What are the benefits of this type of accommodation?

The best design is one that suits your goals.

There are many benefits to getting a granny flat. However, the best design is one that suits your goals.

For example, if you’re looking to provide a living space for your parents, you’ll want to focus on a design that has minimal stairs, and an open floor plan, especially if mobility becomes an issue.

In contrast, this type of accommodation will need to focus on livability and privacy, to encourage high-paying tenants.

With over 15 years of building experience across Sydney, here are some of the advantages our clients look forward to most:

  • Extra storage space
  • Extra rental income
  • Improve value of their property
  • Soft entry into Sydney’s real estate market
  • Eco-friendly construction option
  • Fast construction option
  • Affordable alternative to purchasing a new home

Curious about generating a new revenue stream?Click here to discover how easy it is to create wealth with the right design

What are the building regulations I should know about?

The rules and regulations surrounding the construction vary from state to state.

That said, the rules have become more lenient in recent years, meaning it’s never been easier to construct a standalone accessory apartment on your unused land.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when planning this type of project (we’ve included Australia-wide requirements to help show how easy it is to monetise your unused space, or to create gorgeous homes for friends and family).

  • NSW: It should be built on a block that’s at least 450m² and should be at least 60m2 in size.
  • ACT: It must be at least 90m2 in size.
  • South Australia: It must be between 60m2 and 80m2 in size.
  • Queensland: It must be between 60m2 and 80m2 in size.
  • Victoria: The floor plans must measure under 60m2 and be under 5m in height.
  • Western Australia: It must be between 60m2 and 70m2 in size.

What features should I look for in the best granny flat designs?

When considering your layout, there are many features to consider as part of a great design.

In short, you’ll want to prioritise features that will be durable, attractive and improve your resale value particularly if you’re looking to sell your home or rent your new apartment out.

The best designs will include features like:

✔ Modern design:

A consistent, modern and contemporary theme will help your new space feel welcoming and homey, particularly if you’re using it for old family members.

✔ The essentials:

You’ll want all the essentials, including a bathroom, a kitchen, and adequate living room or bedroom spaces (remember you can opt for 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom granny flats for more space).

✔ Quality construction:

High quality construction materials should be a priority for the foundation, walls, doors, and fixtures. Just because your accessory apartment is smaller than your home doesn’t mean it should be any less quality.

✔ Clever storage space:

Remember, with any apartment, you’re not working with a ton of space. This makes smart storage really important for livability and clutter.

✔ Smart lighting and electricity:

Features like a skylight can really make your space feel big, while renewable energy choices can help the environment and keep your bills down over time.

What are the best granny flat designs?

There are many design options, and the best design will depend on your space, your needs, and your budget.

To help you compare available designs and find the best fit for you, here are our top recommendations to suit wealth creation and space maximisation goals.

1. The Paloma (1-Bedroom)

If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward design with a quick construction turnaround (under 4 months) you can’t go wrong with the Paloma.

This straightforward design offers everything that a single occupant might need, including:

  • Bedroom for 1-2 occupants with spacious room design, mirrored or sliding glass drawers and melamine shelves
  • Bathroom with full height wall tiling and a 600mm vanity and mirror
  • Kitchenette with high-quality fixtures, taps, handles, and finishes
  • Spacious living area

The Paloma

2. The Reagan (2-Bedroom)

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a comprehensive 2-bedroom design, you should consider something like the Reagan.

This stunning granny flat design offers all the amenities that one would look for in a standard home or tiny home, including:

  • 2 bedrooms
  • Bath and laundry room
  • Living room
  • Dining room
  • Full-sized kitchen
  • Porch


3. The Orchard (2-Bedroom)

Our most spacious 2-bedroom design, the Orchard granny flat offers everything you could want in a home, including two bedrooms, spacious living area with large closet space, a large bathroom, separate laundry room and a complete kitchen.

This is ideal for Sydneysiders who want their new apartment to feel more like a high-quality standard home.

Also, keep in mind that all Bellcast buildings come with high-quality inclusions at no additional cost, including:

  • Concrete slabs
  • Joinery
  • Termite control
  • Wall, ceiling and roof framing
  • Eaves
  • Verges
  • Windows
  • Laundry
  • Kitchen
  • Painting
  • Floor coverings
  • Entry doors
  • Hot water system
  • Downpipes
  • Wardrobe
  • Linings

Discover more about our industry-leading inclusions here.


What granny flat design is best for generating rental income?

If you’re considering a granny flat for rentals, there are specific features that will help you get renters and generate income.

This features include:

  • Private entrance that’s separate from the main home
  • Space to work (particularly if you want to rent to a work-from-home professional)
  • Air conditioning for those hot Sydney summers
  • Large windows to make the space feel large and welcoming
  • Views (this could be city views, or simply a sweeping view of the garden)
  • Easy access to laundry and any other amenities

BELLCAST TIP: It’s always nice-to-have “extras” that can help renters choose your space over someone else’s. These could be as simple as high quality design and materials, or the inclusion of Wi-Fi to make your granny flat just 1% more appealing.

With the average granny flat rent in Sydney delivering $400 per week, going the extra mile in your design can deliver significant benefits in ROI.

What granny flat design is best for maximising your living space?

These accommodations can feel small, particularly if you have multiple residents living in the space or if you have elderly parents living in the space.

To maximise your living space (and, in the latter case, prevent a fall) it’s important to meet the following design considerations:

  • Clever storage design
  • Minimalist design and furniture
  • Comfortable, high-quality furniture
  • An open floor plan to allow for safe movement

Keep in mind, you can design a granny flat for friends and family, and still rent it out to tenants down the line. So don’t feel as though you’ll be trapping yourself in the corner. Our designs are drawn up to be versatile and highly livable, no matter who’s lucky enough to hold the keys.

Looking for help designing your new granny flat?

You already know how competitive Sydney’s real estate market is, why not take advantage with a standalone loving space that can be used by anyone from renters to relatives?

While there are many design options, it’s best to draw up a checklist and stick to it.. To choose the best option for your family, it’s important to consider:

  • Your personal needs
  • The quality of construction
  • The expertise of your builders
  • The long-term use of your granny pad

If you’d like help narrowing down your options or exploring our range of one, two and three-bedroom granny flat designs, reach out and organise a FREE design consultation with one of our experts today.

Are Granny Flats Worth It? [Ultimate Pros and Cons List]
Are Granny Flats Worth It? [Ultimate Pros and Cons List]

You don’t need a granny to get value and use out of a granny flat. But are you aware of all the true benefits, and detractors, for adding one to your property?

Granny flats have served their historical purpose under a variety of names for centuries. A separate structure on a property to house family or guests, granny flats have been a convenient way to keep loved ones close. But not too close.

In more recent years, granny flats have boomed in popularity, not necessarily tied to the number of grannies in need of homes. Rather, savvy homeowners have found new ways to maximise their property value while also housing the occasional relative as needed.

Let’s be honest, Sydney’s real estate market is in a league of its own, and the demand for living space means there are plenty of profitable opportunities for granny flat owners.

Convenience and value aside, granny flats are an investment that needs ample consideration before jumping in with both feet. A highly positive option, there are some aspects to watch for as you plan a dream second home in your backyard. To help you make the right choice for you, your family, and your property, we’re breaking down if granny flats are worth it for today’s Australian homeowner.

A quick granny flat recap

Granny flats are a (usually) free-standing structure that adds livable space to an already inhabited property. You can think of them as mini homes or apartments minus the apartment building (and the pesky neighbours you share a wall with).

While some granny flats are prefabricated or modular, many are customisable or constructed onsite to specifications. This gives property owners quite a lot of room for creativity and inclusion of the features most important to how they expect to use the space. At a minimum, most include the essentials for a home: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living space, and a bit of storage.

But this makes granny flats sound much more basic than they are. These are not tiny homes. They’re spaces with full-size appliances, amenities, access to utilities, quality finishes, and space for furnishings. Addons like porches and decking can extend living space outdoors. They’re homes. Just in the backyard of another home.

Can any property have a granny flat?


This all comes down to the size of your property. You can’t add a flat to a commercial property (at least not a granny flat), so you’ll need to be zoned as a residential block. There’s also a minimum requirement in NSW that the lot be at least 450 square metres and have 12 metres of road frontage, which is probably enough for your home and a granny flat to fit comfortably.

From there, it’s up to you and a professional builder to design a flat that fits. Options come in all shapes and sizes, some up to a spacious three bedrooms (and a max size of 60m2). You won’t want anything smaller than the minimum 40m2 footprint but will likely find it more than spacious with a bedroom, kitchen, bath, and living space.

The (many) benefits of adding a granny flat to your property

Pro #1: Council approval

In nearly all cases, granny flats do not require council approvals as long as they meet the basic requirements and definition of a granny flat. This affords many property owners the flexibility to add detached living spaces at surprisingly affordable costs. A standard 45 m2 flat will cost $105,000 but can also help pay for itself in property value and/or rent.

Consider the alternative of adding on to your existing home. Creating an extension is another option for added living space. But it also requires a trove of permits and approvals, not to mention the disruption of your home and more limited use. You may be fine with granny down the hall, but you probably won’t want to rent that bedroom out to a stranger.

Pro #2: Rental ability

Speaking of rental ability, this is actually one of the top reasons people add granny flats to their property. The extra space, available on demand if the need for a family member arises, can also be let out. And the market is ripe for these spaces, especially in Sydney where downtown rentals can be near unaffordable. Students, tourists, and even visitors from other states may find it more convenient to rent a granny flat for a week than pay for a hotel or dorm (and your space is most likely nicer, too).

Pro #3: Privacy with guests

Family traveling in from the other side of Australia? Actually have a granny that wants to age in place? Granny flats can help you keep family close without being, well, too close. They afford a great deal of privacy with separate everything, including entrances. Loved ones who need extra care or attention remain accessible.

People can come and go as needed while never being too far away if they need something or want to get together. Visitors may even be able to stay longer by avoiding pricey hotel fees (assuming you aren’t charging them, of course).

Pro #4: Accessibility

For the elderly, those with disabilities, or others with accessibility needs, granny flats are an excellent option. They can be customised to be compliant with nearly any accessibility option. What’s more, most floorplans, even those with multiple bedrooms, are one-storey dwellings. Talk with your builder about any special accommodations you want included, from ramps and railings to accessible showers.

Pro #5: Speed

Whatever your reason for wanting extra living space, granny flats are among the fastest additions available. Many can be built in just 14 weeks or less. By comparison, building a new home with the space you need for extended family can take a year or more (and costs a LOT more, too). Likewise, building an extension on your home can take at least 6 months. And remember those council approvals? They’ll doubtless delay things.

Pro #6: Cost

As mentioned above, granny flats are a much more cost-effective way to add living space (with privacy!) to your property. In Sydney, you can pay between $2,000 - $4,000 per square metre for a new home build. For an average 185m2 home, that’s $370,000 - $740,000. Choose a granny flat instead, and you can pay closer to $105,000 for a one-story free-standing structure that meets your needs and gives your family members (or renters) much more privacy.

Pro #7: Customisation

Not all granny flats are cubes with four rooms dropped in a backyard. You can actually work with a dedicated builder of granny flats and choose from a variety of floorplans. Many will even let you make changes before one stud is set in place. Choose from one-, two-, and three-bedroom options as well as a variety of finishes. Granite counters? Sure! Decking surround with a partial awning? Sounds great! Your family, renters, and you are bound to love it.

Curious about your design options?Click here for the BEST granny flat designs in Sydney

A few downsides to watch for with your granny flat dream

Con #1: Rental amenities

Depending on your location and how you plan to entice renters to your secondary abode, you might have a lot of competition. For one, granny flats are popping up all over Sydney. For another, you’re competing with other facilities like hotels or inns that, while they probably charge a lot more, may have a lot more to offer like gyms, pools, and room service. All of this could make it a little harder to attract tenants to start, and you should never rely on rental income to be able to afford your granny flat.

Con #2: Permanent

Granny flats are permanent structures with foundations, utility access, and specified setbacks from your property line. Once you have a granny flat in place, it’s there to stay. That could make it trickier to add a pool or update your garden down the line. You also won’t be able to subdivide your property once you have a granny flat in place.

Con #3: Operational Costs

Maintaining another building, no matter how small on your property, will have its own costs. Utilities and access to cable or internet will probably be needed. So will regular cleaning (through yourself or the expense of a service) unless you leave that to your tenant or family member. They’ll also have their own HVAC systems, water heaters, and utilities that require regular maintenance. While you might be able to time it with the work done on your main house, these visits will add on to the price.

Bellcast Granny Flats: For granny flats that are worth it (and then some)

Granny flats are a clear investment in your property and future, provided that you properly plan for the finances of it. Just be sure to get clear on exactly what you need or expect out of the addition before you start a project. Choosing a contractor that’s savvy about granny flats and how to maximise use of space is also a must have. You’ll find that a granny flat is worth it so much that you might move in yourself and rent your main house!

At Bellcast, all we focus on are granny flats and building the right flat for every customer’s needs. This comes down to more than just floor plan designs (which we have a lot of). We work to customise interior and exterior details so you’ll have a flat that functions the way you need it to.

Bellcast Granny Flats builds every home to last and backs each structure with a 25-year guarantee from roof to foundation. We also have the fastest build times in Sydney when it comes to granny flats, so you won’t be waiting long on moving family closer or generating rental income. Call us on 04 9191 3030 to learn more!

Granny Flats vs. Tiny House: What’s Best For You?
Granny Flats vs. Tiny House: What’s Best For You?

Are you looking to make use of your extra backyard space? With Sydney’s growing demand for livable space, adding a tiny home or granny flat can unlock revenue and make your property more valuable. But which option is right for you? Actually, don’t answer that. We’ll answer it for you…

Are you tossing up between a tiny house or a granny flat?

Both structures are small and relatively affordable while expanding your living space. But there is a range of differences to take into account before choosing between these two abodes.

If you’re excited to downsize your life, create a secondary stream of rental income, or add value to your property, this article is for you. We’ll show you the major differences between Sydney granny flats and tiny homes, and help you decide which option is right for your space, budget, and lifestyle goals.

From price to council requirements and everything in between, read on to find out what sets these two independent living spaces apart.

What are the differences between a granny flat and a tiny house?

Similar in appearance, there are unique differences between granny flats and tiny houses. An accessory apartment is a self-contained house, typically built in the backyard of a family home. Coming in one, two, or three-bedroom floorplans, you’ve got flexibility over your size. This leads to a self-contained home connected to all necessary utilities.

A tiny house, in contrast, is a moveable dwelling with an average floor size of 39m2 and typically one bedroom. This makes it smaller than an apartment. Tiny houses are typically no bigger than a caravan and don’t offer the same extended living space, as a granny flat, but do present an affordable living option ideal for individuals looking to enjoy an off-grid lifestyle or avoid the permits and certifications needed for the construction.

Both living spaces represent flexibility, but freedom comes in different forms. That freedom comes from the moveability of a tiny house. And it comes from a secondary living space in the form of an accessory apartment.

Granny Flat: Pros and Cons

If you’re stuck between two options, a pros and cons list can help. When it comes to an accessory apartment, the major advantage comes from the high level of comfort. Modern granny flats are self-contained homes with all amenities from insulation, heating and cooling, WiFi, outdoor verandahs, and ample storage.

As this type of accommodation is a fixed asset, this makes it easier to get support from lenders who can finance your project. Lenders have confidence in them as they can add value to your property. With house prices in Sydney soaring, this type of accommodation creates a way to spread living costs and that’s attractive to potential buyers.

With the granny flat rental reaching up to $650 per week, one of the major advantages comes in the form of passive income.

As exciting as these benefits are, it’s important to recognise that accessory apartments aren’t as small an investment as a tiny home. Between council rules and the cost of construction, you’ll be investing time and money in a serious home improvement upgrade.

Looking to create an additional income stream from your new granny flat?

Tiny House: Pros and Cons

Don’t let the size of a tiny house fool you, there are plenty of advantages that come with this living space. For a start, a tiny home can be a flexible investment (if built with wheels) so you can move your tiny home anywhere you want.

A more affordable option, your own tiny house won’t require the financial obligation of design and construction. If you choose to downsize your life and move into your tiny house you can also save on bills with less cooling and heating required. Throw in the lack of paperwork required and a tiny house can be an appealing option.

However, a tiny house is just that - tiny. Not much bigger than a caravan, a tiny home isn’t the type of space to host friends or family. It’s also not ideal for more than one person or a couple. This means you won’t be able to generate close to the same rental income as an accessory apartment as there is less space (which means less storage, fewer amenities, etc.)

Which option is more expensive?

A tiny house is typically cheaper to build than an apartment - but price alone doesn’t tell the whole story. You can expect to build a tiny house for between $30,000 and $60,000. In contrast, the average price of a new accessory apartment falls between $120,000 and $150,000.

Both options can help create an extra stream of income through rent (and with Sydney’s crowded property market this is an exciting advantage to either option).

However, the smaller floor space of a tiny house (39m2 or less) means a less inviting space whether it’s for you or as a stream of rental income. In contrast, a granny flat (60m2 to 90m2) can pose a more enticing space for singles, working professionals, or even small families to rent.

This makes the initial higher costs worth it to many Sydney homeowners who are looking to make an investment in their unused backyard space. Keep in mind, an accessory apartment can also help add value to your home so if you decide to sell, you’ll have more options on auction day.

Granny flat vs. Tiny house comparison

Granny FlatTiny House

Fixed foundation

Council approval may be required

Located in the backyard of existing dwelling

30 to 60 m2 living space

Conventional building ethos

Typically connected to the grid

Usually transportable

No council approval typically required

Can be located almost anywhere

20 to 32 m2 living space

Sustainable building ethos

May provide off-grid living

Granny flat vs. Tiny house comparison table

What is the council planning difference?

Building an extra living space is exciting whether it’s a stylish apartment or a contemporary tiny home. However, there are differences in the planning and paperwork required.

Most noticeably, there are no council requirements when building a tiny house - as long as it is mobile. You can add a tiny house anywhere on your property regardless of property size or street frontage. This is because tiny homes are classified as caravans.

In contrast, a granny flat is a fixed building on a fixed foundation. As a result, you are subject to certain council regulations. DA planning fees and council levies may apply so you will need more of a planning process to design and construct an accessory apartment on your Sydney property.

If your Sydney property is larger than 450m2 and has a minimum of 12m of street frontage, you may be exempt from council regulations, so speak to a member of our team to find out more about your specific Sydney council rules.

P.S Check out our construction timeline to see how easy and stress-free it is

Questions to ask before making your choice…

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed comparing your choices on Google or watching YouTube videos about using excess backyard space. The easiest way to stay on track and make the choice that’s best for you is to as yourself the following questions…

  • What’s your budget?
  • What’s your site access?
  • How much space do you have?
  • How quickly do you need extra accommodation?
  • How many people are you looking to accommodate?
  • Are you looking for rental income or extra living space for yourself?

Answering these questions will help you figure out your best option. We understand the consideration that needs to come with a major choice like this. That’s why we’re proud to offer 100% FREE consultations to help you explore your options, compare prices, and picture your own apartment without committing a thing.

Click here to arrange your FREE consultation

Looking to utilise your extra backyard space?

We’re experts in taking unused backyard space and turning it into passive income or an extra living space for your friends and family.

Maybe your kids have moved out and you’re not using your yard like you used to. Or, maybe you’ve seen the sky-high rental prices in Sydney and want to take advantage of the growing desire for housing. Whatever your goals, we’re a family builder that treats your home like it was ours.

The result is a personalised design to suit your needs, a fast and stress-free build, and support through each step so you can focus less on paperwork and more on your exciting new granny flat. If you’re ready to learn more, call today on 04 9191 3030 or get in touch to organise your FREE consultation.

How to Manage and Rent Granny Flats
How to Manage and Rent Granny Flats

Granny flats are increasingly becoming a secondary source of income for property owners across Australia for those who understand how to rent and manage them properly.

If you’re searching for a way to supplement your income, it can be a good idea to rent out a granny flat. Not only can it increase your revenue from month to month, but it can also ultimately increase the value of your property. Plus, as it’s regarded as a fixed asset, you’ll have an easier time if you need to apply for financing.

From working individuals to small families to tourists, in Sydney there’s a big pool of potential tenants to whom you can rent out a granny flat. You’ll still need to do your due diligence and put in place systems to ensure that you find the right tenant for your new venture. Let’s look at what you need to keep in mind when managing and renting granny flats in Sydney.

What’s regarded as a granny flat?

These accommodations are often confused with tiny homes. While they’re similar, these are two distinct property types. In short, a granny flat is a self-contained house that offers all the important utilities and a high level of comfort. It’s usually erected in the backyard of a bigger family home.

That said, don’t be misguided by their size as they are available in one, two, or even three-bedroom floorplans. From heating to Wi-Fi to outdoor verandahs, they offer all the amenities that you could need, even though they’re only about 60 square meter.

How much is the potential rental income?

New accessory apartments can sell for anything from $120,000 to $150,000. Considering how expensive houses are in Sydney, a granny flat can be a lucrative option for potential buyers.

With regards to its rental potential, the average rental price is about $400 to 500 per week. Though, if it’s in proximity to amenities like schools and transportation and it has a separate entrance and high-quality fit-outs, you can get as much as $650 per week. To give you an idea, if you rent out a stylish granny flat that cost you $100,000 to build at $400 per week, you’ll reach a break-even point in less than five years.

Which factors should you consider when renting out granny flats?

If you’ve done the math and it would make sense for you to rent out a granny flat, there are a number of crucial points that you must give thought to before you take the plunge. These include:

  • Tenancy laws
  • Building and planning approval
  • Property condition reports
  • Security
  • Payment of public utilities
  • Notice period

It’s key that you check the local laws first. For example, in New South Wales you’ll need to ensure that a certified accreditor approves it before you can start construction. If you skip this step and the structure is non-compliant, you run the risk of getting fined (as much as $1 million), especially if a tenant was injured or inconvenienced.

And, just because there’s an existing accessory apartment on your property, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re good to go. You’ll still need to check that it complies to the current standards before you can rent it out.

How to manage and rent out your granny flat

#1: Selecting a tenant

If you’re renting out a property, it’s crucial that you put in place some screening process before you decide on a tenant. This step is even more important when you’ll be renting out a granny flat as the tenant will be living on the same property as you.

To help prevent problems down the line, you should get personal and employment references. That said, they’ll be of no use to you if you don’t actually make the time to follow up. In addition to getting photo identification, it’s also a good idea to meet the tenant beforehand, if you won’t be using a property management company.

#2: Setting the terms

As the owner, there’s also one thing that you can do from your side to ensure that the whole process and experience is smooth sailing. This is to be honest and open about your property and what it offers.

What are the perks? What are the downsides? Perhaps the neighborhood is a bit noisy? By being completely open about your property, you can minimize the chances that there’ll be a misunderstanding later on.

#3: Entering into an agreement

Once you’ve found a potential tenant, you’ll need to get the terms of the lodging agreement in writing. This is one of the most important steps and will ensure that during the time that you rent out the granny flat, both parties have a document to refer back to in case there’s a question. In short, the terms of the contract should detail all the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

Here are some of the primary matters that you should cover:

  • The amount of rent that must be paid and by when it should be paid
  • Who’ll be responsible for maintaining and cleaning it
  • Who may enter the premises and when may they enter it
  • When and how may the agreement be terminated

#4: Dealing with public utilities

If the apartment receives a separate account (in other words, the premises are separately metered) for public utilities like water, electricity, and gas, you can refer to the relevant acts about residential tenancies. Here you’ll find information regarding how to deal with rent and other payments that the tenant may be required to pay.

Though, if there’s no separate meter for any of these utilities, the landlord and tenant must enter into a written agreement about how the total consumption charges for the share of the tenant will be calculated.

#5: Ending an agreement

If you need to end an agreement before it expires, you’ll generally need to give the tenant 60 days of notice. The rules about ending this type of contract are very strict. It’s best to double check with your local authorities first.

Keep in mind that the tenant may also request an end to the agreement before the originally determined date. There are guidelines that stipulate these too. For example, if the tenant is the victim of family violence, they are allowed to give much shorter notice.

Turn extra backyard space into a rental opportunity

Our team is experienced at transforming unused backyard space into an opportunity to generate a passive income. Property prices in Sydney are soaring, and you have a big target audience to whom you can market a granny flat rental.

Alternatively, if you simply want to invest in an apartment for extended family, we can help with that, too. We’re a family builder so we’ll treat your property like our own. We’ll create a customized design that will meet your needs and guide you through all the different phases that are involved in building an accessory apartment.

When you partner with us, you can look forward to a stress-free experience so that you can focus on what matters most – your new granny flat. If you would like to find out more, call us on 04 9191 3030 or get in touch to organize a free consultation.

What Is a Granny Flat [And Why You Might Want One]
What Is a Granny Flat [And Why You Might Want One]

Despite the name, these accommodations are versatile housing options that can be used for much more than housing relatives safely. From expanding your living space to improving the value of your property and generating passive rental income, here’s everything you need to know about granny flats.

As a Sydneysider, you know finding living space is a challenge.

Between a lack of options and rising costs of living, looking for space is a challenge for homeowners and anyone looking for a chance to spread out in a place of their own. But there is hope. One exceptional way to overcome these challenges is with the construction of a granny flat.

Not only can it give you the room to expand, but they can also provide a unique avenue for wealth creation.

But what are these real estate structures and what makes them different from other apartments or home improvement options? Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from this popular building trend.

What is a granny flat?

Put simply, it is a self-contained home built on the same property as your primary residence.

For example, you might see an accessory apartment in the backyard of a larger single-family home. But don’t confuse these with the tiny home trend. They are fully-fledged independent dwellings with all the standard amenities.

Most granny flats come between 35-60m2 in size, giving ample space for one-, two-, and even three-bedroom layouts that make shrewd use of the space given to them. They can also include a garage, patio, or deck with a number of inclusions.

What are granny flats used for today?

Originally, these homes were developed to be able to keep family members nearby while giving them privacy and autonomy for as long as possible. The most common use case for this was aging parents, hence the name granny flat, where children could grow up with their grandparents close by.

However, the use of these separate dwelling structures has expanded in recent years as well as in popularity across Australia. More and more homeowners are adding these flats to their properties as an investment decision, not because they have family they would like to house. In fact, many are built for the specific purpose of renting out and creating a new line of income.

Curious about your own accessory apartment? Read our article:Are Granny Flats Worth It [Ultimate Pros and Cons List]

How are granny flats constructed?

They come in all shapes and sizes (within the set guidelines) and are fabricated in any number of ways.

Typically, these smaller homes are built on site and from scratch, just as any new home build would be approached. They start with a foundation, placed on a lot that is at least 450m2 with 12m of street frontage. From there, construction follows with framing, utilities, finishes, and everything needed to make a house a home.

Some builders also provide options for prefabricated homes. These are built off site in modular pieces that are then delivered to the property and assembled in place. While these can be quicker to build, they do not allow for customization or design changes to the actual layout.

Many homeowners opt for designed options that can be customised to fit their unique needs and intent for using the space. Special accommodations can be made for residents with disabilities or accessibility requirements, for example. Others may prefer to offer additional living space at the cost of smaller bedrooms. Some may plan to use the space with dual purpose as a studio or office with space for guests as needed. All of these can be accommodated with a custom plan from a qualified granny flat builder.

Interested in the construction process? Read our article:The Process of Building a Granny Flat

Choosing your builder

Speaking of builders, this is a great place to comment on the difference between a granny flat builder and a “regular” builder.

While accessory apartments are smaller yet fully functional homes, they have a specific set of requirements, council codes, and parameters that make them unique. With that said, it’s important to choose a builder specifically dedicated to building these flats. Another builder may do a decent job, but they will be unfamiliar with many of the nuances, which can slow down the build time or lead to problems along the way.

A dedicated granny flat builder will also know all of the exact pricing and tradies needed for the unique build requirements, including right-sizing the HVAC, power load, and sound proofing.

The pros and cons of granny flats

They can add a lot of real estate value to your property, giving you flexibility in how you use the space moving forward. It is important, however, before starting out to ensure that you do not need council approvals to build one. While most councils in Australia do not require approval, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

From there, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of extra space for your and your family. Sure, you can house your relatives and give them a nearby place to live. But you can also use the space as a home office, studio, or even a rental. In fact, rentals remain one of the biggest ways these accommodations are used in Australia - and they’re a sound investment. The average price for a standard, one-bedroom floor plan sized up to 45m2 is $105,000. On average, homeowners in NSW can generate typically $300-$650 per week in rental income. You can see how quickly the flat can not only pay for itself but begin to bring in profit.

Customisation is also a major benefit when it comes to these accommodations. Unless you go with a prefabricated design, you’ll be able to tailor the layout as well as all of the finishes to your unique needs, often getting more than one use out of the flat over its lifetime.

However, it’s important to consider that these apartments are a major investment. While you can, and likely will, rather quickly make back your investment if you go the rental route, you do have to put up substantial funds up front to make it work. And of course, operationally, the flat will continue to have costs for things like upkeep and utilities, which you’ll be responsible for regardless of the rental situation.

The good news here is that they also add value to the overall equity in your property, and you’re likely to benefit if you go on to sell your home in the future.

Discover more from Bellcast experts

This overview only skims the surface when it comes to the versatility of accessory apartments.

If you’re considering an investment in one for your property, you’ll want to start with a consultation with a dedicated granny flat builder (like us!). We’lll be able to help you determine whether your property is eligible for construction and what, if any, council regulations may affect it. From there, the fun begins as you choose your design and finishes and watch your build come to life.

You can get more information and amazing expertise from our team. We’re solely dedicated to designing, building, and customising granny flats here in Sydney and the surrounds. That means we will be able to help you conceptualise the perfect additional space for your property at a price you can afford.

Our building projects are also backed by a 25-year guarantee, so you know your new build is made to last. All of our designs are energy efficient and use Australian-made products wherever possible. We’re a family builder that takes every project seriously and includes premium finishes as standard to make sure you have all of the comforts of home in this new unit. For more information, call us on 02 9885 0089.

Best Modern Granny Flat Ideas: How to Get the Most From Your Investment
Best Modern Granny Flat Ideas: How to Get the Most From Your Investment

You know that a granny flat is affordable and versatile, but what is the right use for you? Don’t answer that question… because we’ve answered it for you. Read on for a definitive breakdown of the best modern granny flat ideas and how you can make the most of your investment.

As the demand for living space in Sydney grows, so does the popularity of granny flats.

These self-contained homes have evolved beyond simple designs and can be tailored to meet a range of wants and needs. With kids living at home for longer, parents living longer, and a volatile housing market, granny flats have become a creative and affordable solution combining architectural flair with practical advantages.

But whether you’re housing family members or using a spacious granny flat as an Airbnb, it can be tough to figure out which design is right for you.

If you’re considering building a granny flat on your Sydney property, we’ve rounded up the best modern ideas to get the most value from your investment.

What type of granny flat designs are available?

Long gone are the days when a granny flat was a simple, boxy structure with a couple of rooms to house the grandparents.

In 2022, there are a range of granny flat styles, designs, and floorplans to suit practically any taste or need. Across one, two, and three-bedroom designs, you can tailor your secondary dwelling to suit an aging relative, a stream of rental income, or an extra living space to expand your primary dwelling.

At Bellcast Granny Flats, we’ve installed over 1,000 granny flats across 15 years, so we know how important it is to deliver a custom project that’s quick, affordable, and stress-free.

Read on to learn more about the best modern granny flat ideas.

Unsure if a granny flat is right for you?Get the full Pros and Cons list here

1-bedroom granny flat ideas

If you’ve got a small to a medium-sized backyard that doesn’t get used, adding a one-bedroom granny flat can turn an underutilised space into something much, much more.

Keep in mind, you’ll need to fulfill the following prerequisites to consider a one-bedroom granny flat:

  • 450m2 property
  • 12 metres of road frontage
  • Residential zone

While pre-set designs are available (and help lower the cost of construction from start to finish), you’re able to tailor your one-bedroom granny flat so it looks exactly as you pictured it.

One-Bedroom Granny Flat Ideas:

  • Extra space for adults kids living at home
  • Home office for work-at-home parents
  • Teenage retreat for adolescents
  • Hobby room for empty nesters
  • Independent space for those living with a disability
  • Sydney families wanting a private guesthouse
  • Homeowners looking to provide a modest Airbnb experience
  • Living space for families caring for older parents or grandparents

Learn more about one-bedroom granny flat designs here

‘Paloma’ one-bedroom granny flat design

‘Paloma’ one-bedroom granny flat design

2-bedroom granny flat ideas

Bigger can be better when it comes to utilising your space and building a granny flat. From 60m2 to 100m2, it’s common to see larger granny flats with more living space be used as long-term investment vehicles for property owners looking to turn Sydney’s real estate crunch into an advantage,

Extra living space and multiple bedrooms also provide significant value for Sydney homeowners who want to expand their living space. Whether creating a modern and private space for family members or extending the home in the form of a stand-alone property, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the potential of a two-bedroom granny flat.

Two-Bedroom Granny Flat Ideas:

  • A mid-range Airbnb getaway
  • A private home for mobile and active grandparents
  • A fully independent living space for adult kids with a partner or small family
  • A separate living space for adult kids saving up for a house deposit
  • A downsizing space for retirees looking to release the equity in the primary home

Learn more about two-bedroom granny flat designs here

‘Master’ two-bedroom granny flat design

‘Master’ two-bedroom granny flat design

3-bedroom granny flat ideas

The term “granny flat” can make you think of small, rectangular structures tucked away in the far corner of a backyard… but a three-bedroom granny flat is anything but that image.

Easily large enough to fit an entire family, a three bedder offers the advantages of a standard home for a fraction of the cost. Starting at 60m2, these larger designs offer serious potential in the form of rental income, Airbnb opportunities, or secondary living space.

Three-Bedroom Granny Flat Ideas:

  • Luxury Airbnb experience
  • Student accommodation (near schools or universities)
  • Long-term rental accommodation for tenants with larger families
  • Investment property for those looking to enter the real estate market
  • The average granny flat rent lands around $300 per week but can go up significantly for larger designs
  • with more amenities, privacy, and modern features. This can turn a three-bedder design into a serious money maker delivering thousands in rental income each year.

Or, move into your three-bedroom granny flat when downsizing and use your primary residence to drive even more rental income.

Learn more about three-bedroom granny flat designs here

‘Valentino’ three-bedroom granny flat design

‘Valentino’ three-bedroom granny flat design

Is it a good idea to use a granny flat for rental income?

With 15 years working in the industry, this is still one of the most common questions we’re asked.

And the answer is a resounding YES.

In most Sydney suburbs, a two-bedroom granny flat can generate the same rental income as a two-bedroom unit. Imagine you paid $100,000 to construct a granny flat in the backyard of your Sydney home. Once it’s completed you advertise online and quickly get a tenant willing to pay $350 per week.

That is a gross rental yield of 18%. Since properties with a rental yield above 5.5% are considered to produce steady cash flow, you’ll have a viable income stream sitting in your yard where there used to be nothing but underused space.

Looking to learn more about wealth creation?Discover the secrets of a profitable design here

Trust Bellcast Granny Flats to get the most out of your investment

When it comes to the best granny flat usage, the choice can be overwhelming.

With multiple designs, add-ons, customisations, and styles it’s tough to pick a favourite. Throw in the multiple uses and you can quickly feel snowed under and stressed out.

That’s where we can help.

Offering Australian-made, energy-efficient designs across one, two, and three-bedroom designs, we understand what matters to our Sydney clients. So if you’d like to discuss your options, chat through prices, or ask us what type of rental income you can expect, reach out to a member of the Bellcast Granny Flats team today on 04 9191 3030 or get in touch online here.

The Process of Building of a Granny Flat - A Step by Step Guide
The Process of Building of a Granny Flat - A Step by Step Guide

The process of building granny flat is complicated and involves many different groups. Construction planning is a process of identifying activities and resources required to make the design a physical reality and we’ve outlined the basic workflow that guides planning, permitting, inspecting, occupation and maintenance. Building your new home is exciting, especially when you understand how the process works. The six steps to build a new home are:

1. Planning a Successful Build

The first action to take in building granny flat is contacting the local council authority to provide you with the specific regulations and compliance requirements for your area. Your first step is to find the right design. If you're planning a build, there might be other things to think about water, electricity and other services, any hills or slopes and existing features that you want to retain (for example, trees or outbuildings).

2. Getting Start

  • Determine what standard designs are best suited for your block
  • Site Details
  • Soil Test & Site Survey
  • Floor plan Layout
  • Cost Estimate of building granny flat
  • Lifestyle requirements
  • Design Essentials
  • Budget and Feasibility of Construction
  • Views

3. Tender

Once the contour survey has been completed our design team will plot the selected design on the contour survey. Tender acceptance for building granny flat:

  • Tender acceptance signed by clients and the company representative.
  • Contract plans will be prepared.
  • Contract plans to be signed by the client.
  • Building Contract will be prepared.

4. Design & Approval

All our granny flats are constructively designed to be practical, functional and affordable and to suit most properties in the Sydney and Central Coast region. We will create a preliminary design and elevation from the information we have gathered or use one of our standard designs. Once all the planning is in place you’ll be given a contract to sign and this means you are well on your way to turning your vision into a reality. Designs will be normally submitted to council at this point and you can sit back until planning permission is approved.


  • Architectural drawings for building granny flat.
  • Structural Engineers drawings.
  • Pay long service levy.
  • Followed by the Home Owners Warranty certificate is applied for and provided to the client.
  • certifier or council.

5. Colour Selections & Variations

  • Complete color selections.
  • Offer optional product upgrades.
  • Complete any relevant variations.

6. Construction

Construction time is the best part of developing the property. From the inception date, the creation of the granny flat will be completed within three months. The last step in our construction process is to have your new home professionally cleaned - so that it is beautifully presented and ready for you to move in.

  • Initial weeks involve site establishment.
  • Installation of foundations.
  • Framing, Windows, Roofing, Fascias, Eaves & External cladding.
  • Insulation to the ceiling and walls is installed, waterproofing, kitchen, tiling and plumbing installation.
  • Wardrobes and shower screens installed.
  • Flooring and final painting.
  • Final clean, practical completion & final handover.
How Much Does a Granny Flat Cost in Sydney?
How Much Does a Granny Flat Cost in Sydney?

The average price of a Sydney granny flat falls between $80,000 to $120,00, but you’re not average (and neither are we). The final price will be impacted by the size, finish quality, and custom inclusions. If you’re looking to upgrade your living or create a source of passive income, read on for the full breakdown of prices for the Sydney market.

Looking to expand your living space without spending big on construction?

Granny flats are exploding in popularity across Sydney as homeowners look to leverage their land. As a way to generate passive income through rent, a way to increase the value of your land, or a place to house friends and family during the chaos of a pandemic, the humble apartment has become a significant advantage.

Although they have their roots as structural options to offer independent living space for family members, the advantages in 2021 are significantly more varied. This arrangement allowed younger members to keep an eye out on the older generation without intrusion, but these mini-homes have expanded their use in modern times.

Today, you can add this type of accommodation to your property for a number of reasons from an expanded living space to a creative work-from-home solution. You can also move into own apartment and rent your primary residence to cut your living expenses and increase income.

But with the allure of this flexibility comes the question of price.

These accommodations come in different shapes and sizes with a variety of amenities so what you pay in granny flat costs in Sydney will ultimately vary depending on what you select. A look at average prices shows the costs to be between $80,000 to $120,00, but you’re not average (and neither are we).

To better explain this wide range, we’re taking a closer look at granny flat cost in Sydney and what can add to or reduce that price.

Is it really worth building a granny flat in Sydney?

As with any home improvement, renovation or construction project, price is meaningless if there’s no value on the other side.

So let’s start with the reasons you’re considering building an accessory apartment in the first place.

Are you looking for rental flexibility? In that case, it could be worthwhile in the long term to build an accessory apartment to live in while you rent out your home.

Or, does this accommodation seem like an ideal option for a home office or creative hobby workplace? This might take longer to recoup any of the expense, but the extra space might make your work more enjoyable.

Preference aside, they offer many benefits that make them worth considering. Here are just a few of the exciting advantages for you to consider.

Increase property value

No matter how you plan to use the space, the extra living area can be appealing to future buyers. This increases the appraised value of your property in the event that you want to sell. On average, you can get 10-20% of a return on your investment.

Curious about wealth creation?Click here to discover how to create an additional income stream

Get rental income

Rental income can work two ways.

Firstly, you can choose to rent it out to travelers, students, or others in need of temporary housing. Or, you can decide to move into the flat yourself and rent out your main home.

In either situation, you’ll add to your income and can use it to pay down the cost of the granny flat, your primary mortgage, or other expenses as needed.

Enjoy more flexibility

You don’t have to commit to a use for the space for the long term. As your needs change, your accessory apartment can help meet those needs. For example, you can start with a home office, and with a few furniture changes, convert it to a nearby yet private home from an older family member years later.

Options that impact granny flat cost in Sydney

As you might imagine, these accommodations come in all shapes and sizes just like standard homes.

The difference is that they remain micro versions that can fit into a smaller space on your property or in your backyard. And just like a primary residence, you can choose from smaller, conservative designs or larger and more luxurious finishes.

Here are the primary influences of your final granny flat cost.

Living space

First and foremost, pricing stems from the size of the building project.

This dictates the amount of materials and supplies needed to build out the entire structure. The smallest accommodations can be 30-35 square metres, just enough space to comfortably house a family member or work from home.

Larger floor plans can include two or three bedrooms. Any number of floor plan configurations are possible, but you typically won’t see apartments much larger than 80 square metres.

Finish quality

This one is important to emphasise.

Make sure the builder you choose includes the quality of finishes and appliances you expect for the price you are quoted. Ask to see samples of flooring, countertops, and fixtures and what it would cost if you wanted to upgrade so there are no surprises.

Looking for a little inspo?Click here for our stylish project gallery


Most granny flat builders approach the process in two ways: kit or design.

With a kit, most of the options are already preselected and limiting. With a design, you can choose from layouts and options that give you more flexibility. While this can be great, making changes to a set design can lead to more expenses depending on the builder.

Some features that allow for customisation include:

  • Increasing wall height
  • Changing flooring material
  • Altering roof shape
  • Adding appliances
  • Upgrading insulation
  • Altering window design
  • Including extra lighting
  • Upgrading fixtures and decor


Some granny flat builders work from preset designs and leave out items in order to reduce overall costs.

Be sure to double check these inclusions carefully. Some features you might not miss, while others you could find yourself paying for on your own down the track.

Inclusions you could end up paying extra for include:

  • Utility service connections
  • Permits and council approval
  • Access pathways or walks
  • Security systems or shutters
  • Ground/foundation preparation

How much does a granny flat cost in Sydney?

Adding an accessory apartment to your property can range in price, some of which you do have control over.

You’ll start by looking at floor plans and designs that are often categorised by size. From there, you can select any upgrades or make changes to inclusions and finishes to make it your own. Unless you go for something overly extravagant, the average granny flat cost in Sydney is between $80,000 to $120,00.

To demonstrate how the size relates to the price, we’ve put together the below table with average costs.



Average Cost per Square Metre

One Bedroom

35m2 – 45m2

$80,000 to $125,000

Two Bedroom

50m2 – 60m2

$110,000 to $150,000

Three Bedroom

60m2 – 80m2

$120,000 to $160,000

What is the building process in Sydney?

The build process will be unique for every every project, especially when there are so many options for finishes and floor plans.

However, all apartments are subject to a similar overall approach that can take anywhere from 9-15 weeks to complete. Here is a high-level overview of the process.

Step #1: Choose a size, floorplan, and design
Step #2: Confirm finishes and plan customizations
Step #3: File for approvals and permits
Step #4: Clear and prep the building site
Step #5: Build a slab or foundation for the structure
Step #6: Frame, roof, and enclose the building
Step #7: Insulate, line, and add utilities
Step #8: Install windows, cabinetry, and flooring
Step #9: Install fixtures and finishes
Step #10: Finalize décor and design
Step #11: Site inspection
Step #12: Clean up and walkthrough

Looking to learn more about your own granny flat?Click here to discover our stress-free 14-week process

Looking to add a granny flat to your Sydney home and expand your options?

Granny flats aren’t just for grandparents anymore.

These versatile spaces can be used to house family members, but they can also be created as home-away-from-home spaces to work and create in. They also give you flexibility for rental income as your needs change over time.

If your property qualifies for an accessory apartment and meets the minimum requirements for SEPP, it can be worth exploring the granny flat cost in Sydney. Of course, this will vary depending on how big of a structure you want to build and how lavish you want your finishes to be. On average, you can expect to spend between $80,000 to $120,000. Just be sure to get a clear estimate of all inclusions from a builder, since the extras and unknowns can add up.

If you’re considering an accessory apartment for your Sydney property, look no further than Bellcast team. You can call us on 04 9191 3030 with any questions or send us a message online. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible and look forward to speaking with you!


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