Caves Beach granny flat makes for an exciting investment opportunity for young go-getters

 In Granny Flats Lake Macquarie

The perfect location for a Granny Flat, Caves Beach, 41 minutes’ drive south of Newcastle, a suburb of 4,054 people.

2 locals are renowned international award-winning photographer and videographer, Beau Pilgrim and fiancé Lucy Miller, an Orthopedic Medical device consultant.

Beau and Lucy enjoying their brand new Granny Flat at Caves Beach

Their granny flat site, 4 Caldwell Street Caves Beach, is conveniently situated within ten minutes walking distance to Hams Beach.  

Beau and Lucy’s love for the outdoors, coupled with an extreme sense of adventure and lifestyle, drove them to create a Caves Beach granny flat getaway right in the convenience of their backyard.  


Beau and Lucy’s insatiable love of the outdoors

Like many young couples, Beau and Lucy wanted to expand their involvement in the property market, working towards financial freedom to spend more time adventuring and doing things they love most. 

But finding the right property at the right price, in a desirable location such as Caves Beach is quite challenging. Beau and Lucy decided to build a granny flat, right in their own backyard.

Escape to the sea with a stylish granny flat in Caves Beach

Beau and Lucy chose the ever-so popular two bedroom Elenora granny flat design.

The flexible, modern granny flat design allowed Beau and Lucy to customise the granny flat to match their existing house and create an inviting space for future tenants.  

The Caves Beach granny flat is set on brick piers, featuring a skillion roof that extends over the entire length of the building.

Inside, two separate bedrooms and one generously sized bathroom, that extends out into the eave line to create better use of space.

The bedrooms and bathroom open onto an expansive high ceiling kitchen and living area, which cascades through to the 26m2 merbau veranda, allowing for open planned living.


Photos of the completed granny flat at 4 Caldwell Street Caves Beach 

The standout features and products used for this granny flat at Caves Beach include:

  • James Hardie Linea cladding with 90mm External Architraves to create beach / holiday home theme
  • Merbau timber deck with full width stairs to yard area
  • High-grade stainless-steel wire balustrade with Merbau top rail.
  • LED downlights to the timber deck
  • Oversized eaves 600mm deep on the Northern side of the building – aesthetics, function of it in summer (blocks out sun) /winter (sun is lower and allows more sun in)
  • Raked ceilings – intentional, to give a sense of space through height and light
  • Bradnams Windows including a 3 door stacking unit leading to the timber deck
  • Custom kitchen including wood grain cabinetry, stone bench tops and glass splashbacks
  • EssaStone benchtop
  • Undermount kitchen sink
  • Feature matte black goose neck kitchen sink mixer
  • Floating timber flooring
  • Feature Internal laundry sink and feature mixer
  • Custom bathroom vanity
  • Built in wardrobes
  • Internal LED downlights throughout
  • Colorbond Ultra Roof, fascia and gutters

“Lucy and I love our new granny flat at Caves Beach and couldn’t be happier with our decision to build with Backyard Grannys. The teamat BYG delivered above and beyond our highest expectations. Very understanding and more than helpful through the design while we modified floor plans.” – Beau Pilgrim.

Take the Virtual 3D tour of 4 Caldwell Street Caves Beach

Virtual tour of 4 Caldwell street Caves Beach

Building and construction challenges building a Granny flat in Caves Beach

The Caves Beach Granny Flat didn’t come without its challenges. Prior and during construction, we encountered several significant issues due to difficult site conditions.

Prior to the granny flat build, Beau had an old shed in the backyard that was full of asbestos.

To safely demolish the shed, Beau organised a licensed asbestos contractor to remove all asbestos and dispose of at a certified tip site. Once he received a clearance certificate from his asbestos professional, Beau dismantled the old hardwood frame to keep for firewood.

Beau wanted to keep as much of the concrete slab underneath the old shed to build the granny flat on.

However, during our inspection process, we discovered that the slab was not suitable to structurally support a building.

Therefore, we required the slab to be removed from under the granny flat footprint.

Old asbestos shed that required removal at 4A Caldwell Street Caves Beach

Building on sandy soil, the foundations need to be secured. The trouble is, soft sand will always keep shifting.

First of all, this made it very difficult onsite to drill for our pad footings. We had to use steel liners to drive into the hole as we drilled to support the soft sand. Furthermore, we had to take our piers deeper than standard to increase the rigidity of the building.

Removing the Norfolk Pine Tree

In addition to these issues, before we started work on the site, Beau removed a massive Norfolk Pine Tree to make room for the granny flat.

When we started drilling for the concrete piers, the large tree stump was found to be right under our corner pier location for the deck/stairs area. Furthermore, due to its size we could not take the stump out of the ground, nor could we drill straight through the middle of it with an auger.

We also had no options in terms of relocating the position of the pier as it was corner pier supporting the roof and deck load.

As a result, we developed with the help of our engineers a methodology to pier either side of the tree stump down to a depth well below any disturbance the stump had caused.

This created two stable piers which we could then join with a beam in the ground with steel reinforcing to take the weight of the brick pier in the exact location required.

In less technical terms, we built straight over the top of it. The sandy worksite also meant that regular cleaning and sweeping of the site was needed.

Norfolk Pine Tree removal 

Granny Flat Access

Access to the Caves Beach granny flat building site was extremely difficult.

As the granny flat was located at the top of a very steep block. Scaffolding was used around the entire perimeter of the property for roofing, cladding and painting. 

Furthermore, ocean spray and the natural elements also play a huge factor in the materials used.

We upgraded many features with rust and weather-proof materials. 

Benefits of building in your own backyard 

Building a granny flat in your backyard is a cost-effective investment. Backyard Grannys helped Beau and Lucy build their Caves Beach granny flat in just 15 weeks!  

The granny flat provided Beau and Lucy with the perfect opportunity to earn another income and claim tax benefits, resulting in a high return on their investment

Beau and Lucy live in the main residence on the property, which is completely separate from the granny flat. They’re able to enjoy the home and lifestyle they love, while earning a bit of extra cash on the side.

If you’re a homeowner looking to become more involved in the property market, building a granny flat in your backyard as an investment property is a great option. With a low-cost build and fast turn-around times, granny flats offer a high return on investment.

If you’re thinking about building a granny flat in the Central Coast or Lake Macquarie, talk to the experts at Backyard Grannys!

Caves Beach granny flat makes for an exciting investment opportunity for young go-getters
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