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Granny Annexe – Designed for independant living

At Granny Annexe, we design Annexes that are for the needs of people who enjoy the benefits of having their own accommodation while also being closely connected to family and relatives. The Annexes we design are built around the particular requirements of each and every customer. Our first step in building an annexe for a customer is to chat with them and learn about their situation. If the annexe is for an elderly relative, or for themselves or for someone with mobility problems then we want to know in order to help provide a building that will work brilliantly for these circumstances.

Our key aim is to provide a building that not only performs perfectly but also looks fantastic as well. All of our stunning annexe designs, share the philosophy of elegantly simple design, with a modern architectural appeal, adding value and accommodation to your garden space.

 

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What are Common reasons for building an annexe?

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Everyone has their own reasons for building an annexe. It might be to provide independent living with the added advantage of being close to relatives. It could be to add extra space and accommodation to your home and to create a versatile building in the future, or it could be to provide temporary accommodation for younger relatives, such as those wishing to get a foot on the property market.

 

Independent living for elderly relatives

A Garden Annexe is a perfect solution for those wanting to downsize and move into smaller accommodation that is self-contained, yet retains the benefit of still being connected to family and relatives. In essence, a garden annexe is simply a small, single-storey building that is built in the garden of a property and contains all of the things we normally associate with a compact one or two-bedroom home.

All of the annexes we build come complete with a luxury shower room as standard and include a walk-in shower (or optional wet-room), an electric shower and a W/C and washbasin with a stylish vanity unit.

A deluxe kitchen supplied by Howdens is also included in the price of all of our Garden Annexes. Our standard fitted kitchens come with a selection of different finishes, with a variety of worktops, sinks and cabinets in a variety of styles and colours. Also included is a choice of appliances from leading brands such as AEG, we will supply and fit appliances as based on your requirements, or if you are happy with your existing appliances it is no problem to move in with these instead.

What is paramount to us is to create a home that is comfortable, practical and stylish and is going to be meet all the requirements of our customers, adapting to their needs if and when those change.

We have been building garden annexes for elderly relatives for over 10 years and know the importance of getting everything right. It is often the little things, such as how the building flows, how easy it is to access the shower, or whether the kitchen will be manageable that can make all the difference.

 

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How we get it right

We provide a unique personalised service for all our customers. After chatting to one of our advisors we will recommend for you to have a free site survey conducted at your home. A site survey is a fantastic way for you to get to know us more and get a feel for how we work as a company. It will also be the first opportunity we have to view your property and garden and advise you on the size and annexe style that would best suit your property and needs. If you are building an annexe for an elderly relative it is also a great time for us to meet them and chat with them so we can start designing a building for their unique requirements.

 

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Granny annexe, a practical and versatile building

Not all the annexes we build are for elderly relatives. Our annexes are versatile, cleverly designed buildings that can be adapted for many uses. Our annexes are often used for a multitude of functions, including providing a garden office with additional accommodation, a spare room to be used by guests, or a temporary garden flat for guests staying for a longer time. With the huge increase in property prices in some areas, buying a home is just not feasible for a lot of people, so it makes a lot of sense to build an annexe that can provide a more afordable way to get on the property ladder or provide a temporary solution while saving for a deposit.

 

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Planning the layout and interior design of your annexe space

Layouts that work for you

Once you have made the decision to start building your annexe, there are a host of exciting options that need to be made. One of the most important things to consider is the layout of the annexe and how this will be designed in order to provide the best possible solution to your housing needs. The layout is something that needs to be correct from the get-go, as it is difficult to make alterations later in the build.

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What factors are important when choosing your layout?

The starting point for deciding on the layout of any home is to look carefully at the way that you use the building and how that use might change or adapt in the future. This is especially true for elderly customers, who’s mobility might not be as good as it was, or could require improved access for a wheelchair or walking support. A self-contained annexe is often a perfect solution for elderly people, for who a level of independence if still desired, but with the added security of being close to family and relatives.

The smaller size of an annexe means that rooms tend to be conveniently close to each other, all on one level, with great access between shower rooms, bedrooms and living spaces.

 

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Garden space and layout

Another key factor when choosing the layout of your garden annexe is the building’s orientation and how it sits within the garden space. This has an obvious bearing on where windows will be placed and where you want different views from.

You might want a living room with French doors overlooking the garden, or maybe a great view from the sink for you to do your washing up, or maybe you prefer a bedroom with a more secluded outlook. How your windows and views are configured on the property will help determine how the layout will be organised.

The size of the garden can also have an impact on the size and layout. Current regulations for annexes state that they should not take up more than 50% of the total garden plot area, so this could limit some people into the size of the property or whether it has one or two bedrooms. Annexes with a floor space of less than 25m2 might need to have a studio configuration in order to maximise the space available.

 

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Can planning rules effect layout?

One or two bedrooms is an important consideration, which can also have an influence on your planning application. As an annexe is a self-contained accommodation that will be lived in, it will need planning permission.

Part of the planning process will require you to write a statement outlining your needs to build an annexe, whether it’s for personal, health or family requirements. If a two-bedroom annexe is going to be built then planning authorities will need to know the reasons for the extra bedroom and might take this into consideration when processing the application.

In order to make the planning as stress-free as possible, we offer a planning service for a small extra charge. Knowing the annexe industry inside-out means that our success rate is very high and we have a good understanding of what is required by local authorities in order to get an annexe successfully approved.

 

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Facilities and services

Another factor that is necessary for an annexe to pass planning is that it be classed as an ancillary building. An important part of this is that it shares some of the services and facilities with the main house, such as sewage, electric, water etc. To be able to connect services the annexe will need to be positioned in a particular way, perhaps with a shower room and kitchen orientated towards these services. All of these factors can have an impact on the layout and alter how the building is designed.

 

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Best annexes for small spaces

For a narrower garden or a smaller garden space, there are a number of options that can be used to make the most of the size. If you do not want to compromise much on internal floor space then we would recommend either an L-Shaped floor plan or to reposition the annexe so that it faces the garden on the narrow end. An L-Shaped annexe is a great way to get the maximum floor area from a narrow site, offering the possibility of a 1 or 2 bedroom layout.

 

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Why now could be a great time to apply for your planning permission.

Planning permission might seem like a daunting prospect for many people, and it can certainly be a complex process, full of twists and turns.

However, with Granny Annexe’s bespoke planning service, we take care of it all for you, dealing with everything from the drawings to liaising with your case officer and making any adjustments needed in order to make sure your annexe gets approval; so that you can start your new life in your fantastic new home.

 

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Often we are asked if planning permission is required for an annexe. The short answer is definitely YES! An annexe is a permanent home that is to be lived in.

Some of our competitors suggest that an annexe might not need planning permission, or could be built under the ‘Caravan Act’, but we would strongly disagree with this as an annexe is a permanent structure, ancillary to the main home. It is important to go down the proper legal channels and have the proper documentation in place, otherwise, you might well experience legal issues down the line, especially if you were to eventually sell the home.

Hiring a professional company who specialise in annexe buildings is definitely advised. At Granny Annexe we have over 12 years experience in designing, planning, and building annexes. With this breadth of experience, we will be able to assess your property and environment in order to design an annexe that will sit perfectly in its surroundings. This then allows us to make an application with a design that has the best chance of being passed by your local planning authority.  As all the annexes we build are bespoke, this means we can take extra consideration of particular characteristics of your area, such as the type of tiling, the choice of cladding, and shape of the roof, to name a few.

 

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How is my annexe planning application decided?

The results of your application can change according to your local planning authority, and of course on your particular planning officer. With this in mind, no local authorities are the same, which can make the process more complex and confusing. Granny Annexe has built projects all over the country, we have built up an expertise in these planning matters, and understand the differences in particular areas. This gives us a head-start when it comes to designing your building and can help make the process as straight forward and stress-free as possible.

 

How to get professional help to build your annexe?

Getting started on building an annexe could not be easier. First, we would suggest that you book a free virtual site survey with our surveyors. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your project in detail and for us to give you our advice on the type of building that we think would be most suitable for your surroundings and needs.

We would then ask you to send us as many photos as possible of the garden and area on which the annexe will be built to give us a good idea of your building plot. We would then at a later stage be able to make a zero-contact visit of the site in order to measure and survey the area

After your free virtual site survey, the fun part starts. We will design your annexe building and create a CAD drawing using our architect software, create a plan of your garden with the annexe in situ, and demonstrate where all utilities will be joined, we will then send you an itemised quotation with your drawings. This is a totally no-obligation service, all free of charge.

 

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Why now could be great time to start your project and gain planning permission?

 

If you are thinking that an annexe could be an ideal investment for your family, then now might be the perfect time to get started. Regarding the planning process, you might be surprised to hear that the current lockdown offers a great opportunity to submit applications. Like many of us, councils are now fully set up to work efficiently from home. Due to this, more decision-making powers have been handed to case-officers in order to help make the process as smooth as possible, which means we have seen an improved success rate in general.

It also seems apparent that annexe type structures have an increased likely hood of acceptance, especially when considered as an alternative to care homes.

All of this means that your annexe application has a good chance of approval, meaning you can get the ball rolling on your annexe project.

One thing is also for certain, once restrictions are lifted there is going to be a surge in people wanting to make applications and to begin building projects. Getting started now in the lockdown means you will be at an advantage and can have everything in place to be able to start building as soon as possible.

 

Please contact us on 0800 334 5774 (Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00) in order to book a time and date for your free virtual site survey. Or please complete our virtual site survey website form :

While it’s fresh in your mind why not download a free brochure

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Some key things to consider when building a Granny Annexe.

With winter finally drawing to a close and spring just around the corner, there has never been a better time to start the process of building an Annexe in the garden.

Building an annexe in the garden can be a life-changing experience for all concerned. We specialise in buildings that bring the family closer and connects generations together. An annexe is a true home in the garden that allows for the security of having family close by, while still affording a sense of independence. This set up can be a great benefit as we get older and can also bring additional benefits, such as spending more time with the grandchildren, sharing cooking, reducing the cost of bills and adding to a sense of security.

If an annexe is something you have considered for yourself or a family member then you might be inclined to start your building project early in the year and there are a number of reasons why this can be a great idea.

 

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1.Timing and planning

As mentioned above, choosing the best time to build can certainly be a great help in the construction process. Spring is generally seen as one of the best times to build, as the weather is usually starting to get better, less rain means the builders can make faster progress. Also, the ground is suitable for digging and laying groundworks. Another advantage is that builders tend to get very busy as summer approaches, so getting in early can be a wise move. Spring can also have some advantages for families as it is between longer school holidays if you have children to consider.

 

2. Size and dimensions

The size and dimensions of your annexe are obviously an essential consideration when designing the type of building that will work for you. When we design your annexe we will need to take into consideration a number of important factors, such as the size of your garden, the distance the annexe is from your main property and the proximity of other properties neighbouring your property. We have a good success rate when it comes to gaining planning permission, but this will be affected by the type of building that you submit in your designs. For example, you will need to demonstrate that it takes up no more than 50% of your total garden space and that the size is in proportion with the rest of your property. If more than 2 bedrooms are required then your local planning authority will need to be informed why, this might be due to medical or family reasons.

 

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3. Design

We offer our annexes in 7 core designs that are intended to demonstrate the type of buildings that we are able to build for customers, over the last 10 years we have build hundreds of annexes for customers all over the country, similar in style and design to our core designs. We also offer our customers a totally bespoke design service, unlike a lot of our competitors, we are able to design your annexe to your exact specifications, this means you can have any size or style as long as it is approved by your planning authority. After having a free site survey, we will be able to advise you on the best design to suit your property, taking into consideration the requirements of planning authorities. You might want a L-shaped building, such as our Islay, or a rectangular building such as our Arran that can maximise space in your garden. You can also choose from a range of external finishes such as red cedar cladding, concrete cedral cladding, painted render, or painted render with brick quoins.

 

4. Interior layout, and options

Of course, by far the biggest consideration should be how the interior works for you, as this is where you are going to live, relax and enjoy the space the most. All of the annexes we design are built with space in mind, and how to maximise this space in order to create a light and roomy building, even for annexes in smaller gardens. In order to achieve this, we use simple techniques such as an open plan living room, that allows you to incorporate the kitchen space into the living space, combining the two into a much larger area. We then combine this with large french or sliding floor to ceiling doors that maximise the amount of light that floods into the room. Depending on the size of the annexe it is possible to have a separate double bedroom, with en suite shower room. Also a popular optional extra is a wetroom, which allows for improved access, especially for those with a disability and is very easy to clean, while also looking stylish and contemporary.

 

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5. Interior design

How you design the interior of your annexe can also have an impact on the feeling of light and space. Painting your annexe light neutral colours will help to create a feeling of spaciousness. It can also be a good idea to think about your furniture and which items you would like to keep from your old property and which you would like to buy new. Often people are moving from a much larger house to downsize into an annexe, although you might like a lot of your furniture it is not a great idea to overfill your annexe. Be brave and take it as an opportunity to declutter, you will enjoy the space even more and it might even inspire you to try a whole new look and feel to your new home. Bright coloured accent furniture, art or soft furnishings can also help to add an element of drama against a neutral background and really liven up the interior space with a fresh modern feel.

 

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Not sure if a granny annexe is for you? Our ambassador scheme allows you to visit an annexe and see for yourself.

Many of our new customers are curious to see an example of one of our buildings before they take the big step of starting the process. This gives them the opportunity to have a chat with the owners to get a better feeling for what living in an annexe is like and to see the quality and craftsmanship of our buildings.

We feel that this is the best way to truly appreciate our annexes, rather than just seeing a ‘show-home’ that has not been lived in.

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How does our viewing scheme work?

After a site survey has been conducted by one of our experienced site managers we will be able to advise you on the design and size of annexe that would best suit your requirements and the building plot you have available. During the site survey, we are able to show you examples of the annexes we have built and discuss different design ideas you might have. After the site survey, we can then give you the opportunity to visit one of our previously built annexes and to talk to the new owners.

We will endeavour to find an ambassador that is as close to your home as possible and is similar in design to the building you are interested in. Upon visiting the ambassador you will be able to see how annexe living works, chat with the owners and generally get a feel for the building.

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What are some common questions people ask our ambassadors?

If you are about to move into an annexe, or are thinking of doing so, then you probably have a host of questions you would like to ask.

 

Why did you choose to live in an annexe?

One common question asked is ‘why did you choose to live in an annexe’? Obviously, the answer changes from person to person, but one of the main replies is to bring the family closer together. Having an annexe building means that the whole family can care and support for each other, increasing valuable family time and allowing grandparents, sons and daughters and grandchildren to see each other much more. An annexe allows for this while still giving everybody their own independence and personal space. You will see when you visit one of our annexes how much space and room they allow for an independent style of living. All of our buildings have their own entrance and are classed as a separate dwelling, within the grounds of the main building.

Why did you choose Granny Annexe as the builder?

Another question people often ask us is ‘why did you choose Granny Annexe as the builder’? We have a proud tradition of building annexe buildings, we have been involved in the construction of these types of building for over 10 years. We appreciate that moving into an annexe is a big decision and can be very stressful for family members, the combination of moving house and taking on a building project can be a big undertaking for many people. In order to make this as stress-free as possible, we offer a turnkey service where we can take care of most elements of the process. We can submit planning applications on our client’s behalf at an additional cost of £1672.00 inc VAT.  This includes creating the scaled drawings, planning statement and liaising with the case officer until the decision. We have a very good success rate with planning applications and are able to use our breadth of experience to navigate the planning process as smoothly as possible.

What is it like to live in an annexe?

Another typical question can be ‘what is it like to live in an annexe’? Our buildings are very comfortable to live in. Being constructed from SIP panels they have excellent thermal performance meaning they are cool in summer and cheap to heat in winter, most people find our buildings cosier than the house they moved out of and much less expensive to heat. Another key feature is the amount of light that is evident in all our buildings. We try to maximise the amount of light coming in through the use of bi-fold doors, Velux skylights and generous windows and glazed areas. This maximises the feeling of light and spaciousness and gives a great view to the garden. Our granny annexes come completed with all modern appliances, fittings and fixtures and internal decoration options so that you can furnish and design your annexe as you want. Our aim is for you to be able to create the home of your dreams and feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

Obviously, you are likely to have your own questions if you are to visit one of our ambassadors and this is why we encourage our customers to use this opportunity to get a good understanding of our annexes and the experience they provide.

 

While it’s fresh in your mind why not download a free brochure

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Things to consider before building a granny annexe.

Thanks to the increasing cost of buying a property and soaring care home prices, more and more families are thinking to build an annexe as a solution for their families housing needs.

A recent report from the Valuation Office Agency, suggests that there was a 16% increase in the construction of Granny flats in recent years, with over 39,000 being built in England and Wales.

In order to encourage the building of annexes and intergenerational living, a few incentives have been introduced by the government, such as scrapping proposed plans for stamp duty increases.

 

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Building an annexe in the garden can be a huge decision for all parties involved and careful thought must be taken in order to get it right. So what are the key things to consider?

Family relations

Obviously part of the reason to build a granny flat is to move family closer together and to provide support in old age. This new proximity sometimes needs management in order to keep things running smoothly. One key to success is to make sure everybody maintains a level of independence. This is something which is often cited as an important factor for many of our customers. Our buildings always have there own access and facilities such as kitchen and bathrooms, allowing for an independent lifestyle, with the advantages of having family close-by if necessary.

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Council Tax

In 2014 the government made the decision to scrap the unpopular and unjust decision to charge council tax twice on both the main building and annexe. Now with the ruling made, there are a number of considerations when it comes to council tax. Firstly, it is likely that no council tax will need to be paid. If the occupier is a dependant (over the age of 65, permanently disabled, or mentally impaired) and is using the building as their main home then council tax is exempt. If these stipulations are not met then it is the case that council tax is paid at 50% of the main house’s banding, if the building is used by a family member.

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Who pays the bills?

It is possible for bills to be shared between the two properties, with electrics and water possible to have on the same bill. It is also possible to have these separated, with a different meter for each building. This is something to consider when building and can be discussed with your local supplier. Having things separate might be the simplest solution for many people in order to keep track of costs on the two households.

When to start the process?

Although it is never a good idea to rush these decisions, once a need has been established it is always best to get things moving as quickly as possible. Moving house can be a stressful process so its always going to be a better idea to do this when you or your relatives are as mobile as possible and are not in desperate need of accommodation change in order to reduce the stress of the move.

Choosing your builders

Choosing the correct builder for your project is critical to the success of your build. At granny annexe, we are especially proud of our team of professional builders and craftsmen who have been constructing annexes for over 10 years. Having an experienced company who are specialised in this sort of building is something we would always recommend.

 

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Planning for the future

It’s always wise to plan for the future when building an annexe. Even if mobility is not an issue, in the beginning, this is something that can become important later on. Having ramp access is something we often recommend and can be incorporated into the design of the decking. We can also provide handrails and wider door access where necessary. It’s better to get these things sorted out in the beginning before you need to make costly alterations later.

Good communication

Any building work is a complex process and requires good communication between all parties. In order to promote this from the beginning, we offer a free site survey to give our customers the chance to sit down and discuss the reasons for building and which style and size would be the best fit.

 

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