Granny Flats For Your Parents: The Pros and Cons

Updated on August 23, 2020

Do you have a hard time finding the right place for your parents to live out their golden years? Understandably, you wouldn’t want to send your elders to a full-service nursing home since you want to have your parents by your side while they still have their independence and privacy. But what if your lifestyle or home size won’t allow you this arrangement?

Fortunately, there’s a prefab granny flat that can be a solution to your pressing concerns. It’s a modular-type home that’s manufactured in advance off-site. These houses are also called accessory dwelling units (ADUs), which you can simply attach to your home. If you’re interested to know more about the pros and cons of this home structure, keep on reading this article.

Granny Flats: Advantages

Here are several pros of granny flats that will surely benefit you in the end. 

Faster Turnaround

Going with a prefab home option has a faster turnaround time because these houses come pre-made, they only need to be installed. There’ll be a group of people who’ll work at the factory, and the other will work at the site of the future prefab home.

Minimal On-site Construction

Ninety percent of the granny flat will be completed at the factory. This is a good thing because everything that needs to be done will be done before the home is moved. Plus, the materials won’t be exposed to other elements.

Once the whole unit is ready, it’ll be shipped from the factory to the site and the remaining ten percent of construction will be done on-site. You’ll only have to wait 3-4 more days to completely set up the walls, floors, ceiling, and electrical and plumbing.

Inspections Happen at the Factory

This might depend on where you live, but most states have the call for approvals and inspections of modular construction right in the factory. You’ll only have to pay minimal fees for the review and approval of the work, which is convenient on your part.

Granny Flats are Eco-friendly

Prefab homes are usually made of recycled material so you can be sure that your granny flats are eco-friendly and produce a lesser carbon footprint. Most granny flats are made out of flat pack shipping containers so you don’t have to worry about additional factory emissions.

Safe to Live in

Prefab granny flats are safer to live in as the lightweight construction means there are no heavy walls or ceilings. You can add layers of insulation to make sure the home is safe and secure.

Keeps Your Family Closer

The prefab granny flat is a great way to keep you and your loved ones connected. This kind of lifestyle can strengthen your family bond while maintaining independence and privacy.

Cheaper Alternative to Full-service Nursing Home

A full-service nursing home can be really costly, and most often than not, it doesn’t make financial sense. Besides, wouldn’t it be great to have your parents around so your kids can spend quality time with their grandparents? Remember, no money can break even the time and bond you spend with your parents.

Increases the Resale Value of Your Home

A custom granny flat does not come cheap. Still, if you’re able to execute it well, it could quickly help improve the capital value of your property over the years. 

So if you’re planning to build a granny flat, make sure to construct it well. This is because a bad job can create an opposite effect on your home value. Be sure to consider the existing design of your property when planning for your prefab home build.

Granny Flats: Disadvantages

Apart from the gains, there are also downsides to building granny flats.

Unforeseen Costs

Yes, prefab granny flat is typically cheaper than building a conventional stick and build structure. However, you have to factor in other costs as well. You need to have a budget for:

  • freight costs
  • escort vehicles for transportation if your section is too wide
  • crane costs
  • sales tax in some areas

The Approval Process

Like any other renovation, you’ll need to go through an approval process first before you can build your prefab home. Although laws differ from state to state, if your property is classified as ‘complying development,’ then the procedure will be easy-peasy. You’ll just have to go through a certifier.

Nevertheless, if your property doesn’t fall under that umbrella, then you’ll need to ready yourself for a more extensive process. This involves submitting a full development application that will take a more significant amount of your time.


Once you weigh out the advantages and disadvantages of granny flats, you will see that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. You can use the granny flats to host your parents for as long as they like and if they want to move out, you can easily convert that extra space into an office, a gym, or rent it out as a guest-house. 


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