Know the difference between a Home, Granny Flat and a Teenage Retreat

Don’t get the wrong building permits!

Before you commit to creating that extra living or leisure space in your backyard, it’s important to know the differences between the classifications of granny flats, teenage retreats, and new homes.

With so many choices out there these days, it can be confusing as to which you need, and what the differences are. Slight variations in size, amenities and functionality can change how your unit will be classified by the governing bodies.

A granny flat is an investment, and it is vital that you obtain the correct permits. Finding out further down the track that you have the wrong permit for your unit can cause a lot of worry. Particularly if you are looking to sell your property, only to find out that your granny flat or teenage retreat will need to be removed.

What a waste of an investment that would turn out to be.

It’s better the be safe than sorry, so read on to find out what some of the differences are, or get in touch with expert granny flat builders like Garden Studios to make the decision simpler.

So let’s have a quick look at some of the differences.

A New Home

A home is classified as the single dwelling on the property block (the only living space on the property). If you were to decide to build a new home on your block, you would be required to sub divide the property. Some of the factors that will need to be considered in subdivision are town planning permits, and dealing with the building departments of the council.

They will need to ensure that both dwellings on the subdivided property have separate driveways, separate power supplies and water supplies (both with their own meters).

It can be a lengthy process to finalise the subdivision of your property, generally over a year. However it is a very popular way to invest in your property financially these days.

A Granny Flat

A granny flat is classified as a DPU or “Dependant Person’s Unit”. A DPU is a structure that is built on your property that is not classified as the main dwelling, which houses a person dependent upon the main dwelling and its occupants.

A granny flat may consist of a full kitchen, bathroom and laundry, along with a living room area and up to 2 bedrooms.

Granny flats are essentially new homes, however are classified as a DPU on building permits.

One issue that is needed to be considered is that once the dependant person evacuates the unit, it may need to be removed. This however could be avoided with the removal of the kitchen and laundry areas, however, these factors will need to be discussed with your local council.

A Teenage Retreat

Sometimes referred to as sleep outs or bungalows, a teenage retreat is classified as an extension to the main dwelling and will require a building permit.

The same permits will need to be obtained as with a granny flat. Teenage retreats generally require a 6 star energy rating, and may need to go through town planning depending on the layout and design of the unit, and more specifically, the overlays on your property.

Teenage retreats may include a living room, bedroom, bathroom and wash areas, but not a kitchen or laundry area. The inhabitant of the teenage retreat must still rely on the main dwelling for food and laundry.

Different from a granny flat, the teenage retreat will usually not need to be removed once the teenager stops using the structure, or if you were to sell the property.

Still a little confused?

Get in touch with our friendly, knowledgeable team at Garden Studios. We have been creating custom Melbourne granny flats for many years, and would love for you to be another one of our many happy customers. We offer competitive pricing, and renowned customer service.