How can you plan a granny annex build?

Deciding to move an elderly parent or parents into your property can seem stressful but the benefits of creating a ‘granny annexe’ can be substantial. Not only can you care better for the health and wellbeing of your closest family, but you can also add useful additional space, and value, to your home. So how do you start planning a granny annexe build that suits everybody?

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Financial implications

The Government introduced reductions in Council Tax and the infrastructure levy for independent annexes in 2014. That means a purpose built granny annexe can not only save you money on your Council Tax bills but will also add resale value to your property without a financial penalty.

Assess your current property

First, you need to decide whether you’ll be converting existing space, like a garage, or investing in a purpose built structure in the garden.

A garage conversion creates an independent living area within the property, which may be sensible to create a feeling of separation yet connectedness for relatives with higher dependency.

However, if you have the space, a separate granny annex in the garden gives a feeling of independent living and could be an option if you don’t have sufficient interior space. Though there are issues around connecting utilities and planning permission if the build will have a footprint larger than 30 square metres, a company like will be advise you on the feasibility of such a build.

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Consider the needs of your relatives

The design you choose will depend on the needs of your family members, so involve them in the planning and design stage as much as possible. If they use a wheelchair then you may need to install wider doors with access ramps, lower countertops and specially adapted bathroom suites. For conditions like dementia, you may need to consider the security of your annexe.

You’ll also need to consider independent living and ‘age in place’ facilities like grab rails in bathrooms and easy to grip handles for doors. Consider using WiFi technology for better communication between the main house and the annexe and heating technologies that are efficient and energy saving.

By working together with your elderly relatives, you’ll create a living space that suits their needs, is comfortable and practical, and offers safety and security for everyone’s peace of mind.