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Building a Granny Flat: Lesson 2 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 February 2007

What you should have in your granny flat.

Lesson 2

What you should have in your granny flat.

  1. Bathroom
  2. You'll need a toilet, basin and shower.  Don't waste money putting in a bath.  Forget about those yellow showerhead water heaters.  They don't give enough hot water for a good shower in the winter and this will lead to smelly tenants or high turnover.  Install a 50 or 100l pressure geyser instead if you have sufficient electric power available (At least 40A electric supply to the granny flat distribution board to run a geyser without tripping the overload every time you boil the kettle)

  3. Kitchen
  4. You should allow space for a sink, a counter-top stove, a microwave oven and a fridge.  

    Kitchens cost plenty but there are creative ways to reduce these costs.  I've done a few budget kitchens by having the bricklayer build supporting walls for the countertop and putting the shelves on brackets rather than having fitted cupboards. You can add doors later if needed.

  5. Bedroom
  6. My experience has been that a separate bedroom rents for about 40% more than a bachelor flat (lounge bedroom combined - the reason they call it a bachelor flat is that typically the most comfortable place for young women visiting the bachelor in question to sit happens to be the bed, giving said bachelor a much better chance in his romantic efforts).

    Adding a second bedroom seems to only increase the rental by about 20-30% over a one-bedroom granny flat.  My calculations show that generally the cost of the extra construction is not justified by the increased rental.

  7. Lounge
  8. Granny flats generally do not run to separate lounges and dining rooms.  From a rental perspective these do not add much value.

  9. Outside

Have a private place to hang washing if possible. Your tenant’s underwear flapping in the breeze is off-putting.

Don't be tempted to build a nice outdoor braai area for the granny flat with the leftover bricks.  The last thing you want is your tenant entertaining his friends and family late into the night at your home.

In the next lesson we'll look when and how to go about getting municipal approval for the construction of a granny flat.

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