All you need to know about granny flats!

This page answers some of the most common questions we receive about building a granny flat. Got another question for us? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What is the minimum size my block needs to be to meet CDC rules?

The NSW SEPP states the block must be 450m2. We recommend for you to read our ‘No Council Approval’ page for further details on other minimum criteria.

If my block is smaller than 450m² can I build a granny flat?

Yes, this may be possible via a local council Development Application, however different local council areas have varying guidelines.

Can I put more than one granny flat on my block?

No, current regulations state that regardless of the size of your block, you may only build one granny flat on your property.

What is the maximum size of a granny flat?

The maximum size that a granny flat can be built is 60m2.

Can I add a garage or deck/patio to my granny flat?

Yes, these items do not form part of the 60m2 granny flat.

Can I build a granny flat on a battle axed block?

Yes, but only if the access handle to your property is wider than 3m, and the block measures at least 12m x 12m (excluding the access handle).

Can a granny flat be built attached to the existing house or is it required to be detached?

We can build it either attached or detached from the main dwelling.

How long does the design/approval process take?

Approximately 10 weeks.

How long does it take to build?

On average it takes 12-14 weeks to complete construction of your granny flat for a standard design.

Do you custom build the granny flats, or are they kit homes?

All our granny flats are custom built on each property. We are not a kit home company.

Do I have to choose one of your standard designs to put on my block?

No. Our innovative design team can modify one of our standard granny flat designs to suit your backyard and personal requirements or alternatively create a unique design to meet your exact requirements.

Can I select the colours and finishes of my granny flat?

Yes. We have a showroom in Newcastle which stocks samples of all our materials such as; cladding, brick, doors, flooring, bathroom accessories, tiles and kitchen products. We also have a wide range of interior and exterior colours.

Do you offer any warranties or guarantees?

Yes, we have a 6 year structural warranty, 2 year non-structural warranty and a defect period of up to 13 weeks.

Are service connections included?

Yes. Our detailed quote will include all relevant service connections including water, sewer and electricity.

What are the standard inclusions?

We have a comprehensive list of our standard inclusions and we recommend you go to our general inclusions page to see these details.

Do you have a granny flat display home?

Yes, we have a display home to view. Click here to view the location and opening hours.

Do you provide financing options, so I can build my granny flat?

Yes. We have mortgage brokers who we regularly work with that can provide advice or help you apply for a full loan application. Please call us on 4947 2800.

Do you have a showroom?

Yes. Our Selections Showroom is at 2/2 Statham Street, Bennetts Green. Our showroom stocks samples of all our materials such as; cladding, brick, doors, flooring, bathroom accessories, tiles and kitchen products. We also have a wide range of interior and exterior colours.

What is a Complying Development Certificate?

A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) is issued by a private certifier, rather than your local council and is assessed against the state government legislation. In 2009, the NSW Government released the Affordable Housing State Environment Planning Policy (SEPP) which permits all residential home-owners to build a granny flat on their property. Your property must be larger than 450m2, have a minimum of 12m street frontage and also meet a number of set criteria. For more information about a CDC, please click here.

What is a DA?

A DA is a Development Application which is lodged through your local council to get your granny flat approved. A DA specifies the design, structural elements, location and timeframe in which the development should occur.

If my block is bigger than 900m² can I still build a granny flat?

Yes, if your property is between 900-1500m2 you can still build a granny flat via a complying development. However, the setbacks will change to 1.5m for side setback and 5m for the rear setback. Under a DA and depending on your local council, these setbacks can possibly be relaxed upon application.

Is a granny flat possible on a rear sloping block?

Yes, you can build a granny flat on a rear sloping block, however, we will need to find a suitable stormwater solution. Depending on the extent of the slope, the method or design used to create a solution will change. Additionally, each local council may have a different solution required.

What is a BAL?

A BAL refers to the Bushfire Attack Level. This is used for establishing the requirements for construction to improve the protection of the building elements from a bushfire attack. For a granny flat to be built, the requirement is to be BAL 29 or lower.

When should I apply for finances?

Everyone’s situation is different, and we recommend you talk with our sales team or in-house mortgage broker for advice on when to apply for a loan.

How long does the design/approval process take?

To process a CDC Application, it takes as little as 10 weeks including design, documentation, submission and approval. To process DA, this process takes on average 4-6 months from design, documentation and submission, however each council have their own timeframes.

Is my granny flat insured during the construction phase?

Yes. Your granny flat will have Home Owners Warranty insurance for the duration of construction. Backyard Grannys also has a workers compensation insurance policy and a public liability insurance policy all ensuring you are protected.

What is Home Owners Warranty Insurance?

Home Owners Warranty Insurance protects the homeowner if the builder suddenly is unable to complete the project.

Is there a waiting list to build my granny flat?

No. We have all the resources to start the process of your granny flat once your initial acceptance is signed.

Who is going to be working on my granny flat?

We employ our own tradesmen and apprentices and also use local businesses whom we have a long term relationship with. This gives you the benefit of quicker response times and confidence in Backyard Grannys providing you with a quality finished product.

Are there going to be any hidden costs?

We provide you with a transparent quote with all known costs included. If there are any possible extra costs, we will display this in the quote as a preliminary estimate (based on our previous experience).

Where do you source your materials?

We use local suppliers whom we have built long term relationships with.

Why are granny flats a good investment?

There are multiple reasons why a granny flat is a good investment, please visit our investors page to find out more. We also have a blog which explains 5 reasons why a granny flat is a good investment, click here to read it.

How many granny flats have you built?

We have built over 900 granny flats since we began in 2011.

Who owns the business?

Alex Mitchell (builder license no. 295988C) owns Backyard Grannys and is a local Novocastrian. He has more than 16 years of construction industry experience. You can read more about him here.

How many years has the business been running?

We started building granny flats under our commercial sister business, Nulex Construction. The Backyard Grannys business has been established since 2011. If you would like to read more about our company history click here.

Have you won any awards?

Yes! We are a multi award winning granny flat company. These awards include:

  • Master Builders Granny Flat of the Year 2018
  • Master Builder Granny Flat of the Year 2017
  • Housing Industry Association Affordable Housing 2017

Receiving these awards and being recognised by our industry peers for our workmanship and professionalism is an honour and something we take pride in receiving. You can read about our most recent award win here.

Do you have any testimonials?

Yes! We have a long list of happy clients who have provided us with testimonials over the years. There is a small booklet enclosed in this pack. Refer to the back page where we have a few of our recent testimonials listed. Click here to read our reviews on our Google profile. We also have past clients who are willing to provide a recommendation.

How does this all benefit me?

At Backyard Grannys we have refined our processes and have created long term relationships with our trades and suppliers. This ensures we have control over the quality and cost of your granny flat and the time it takes to build it!