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Why a granny annexe is the perfect solution to multi-generational living.

Granny Annexe, Basildon

Why a granny annexe is the perfect solution to multi-generational living.

Over the last few months, households containing more than two generations have started to increase. Previously fueled by the 2009 recession, we are now also seeing the effects on families due to COVID 19 and a reassessment of how to care for the elderly. Increasingly people are starting to search for alternatives to care homes and to foster a more family-centric approach that keeps the whole family together and able to support each other more easily through multi-generational living.




How can an annexe facilitate multigenerational living

A granny annexe is a fantastic way to create a perfect balance between multigenerational living and independent living. Often one of the key concerns people have when moving in with each other is that they might get under each other’s feet, or not get the privacy that they are used to when living separately. An annexe in the garden can mitigate these concerns as an annexe is its own separate home, ancillary to the main building. Having your own front door, kitchen and bathroom mean that you have your independence, while still being connected to the family home, just across the garden.


What are the advantages of multigenerational living?

Different generations living in close proximity has some great advantages, which extend far beyond just saving money on rent. Creating a support system, where grandparents can provide some extra childcare has far-reaching benefits for all those concerned. Suddenly parents have some much-needed support, with an extra pair of hands for dinner time, bath time and bedtime, and a friendly ear for advice. On the other hand, as grandparents get older, they, in turn, can benefit from extra support, with close family nearby if required. A granny annexe allows for this close support, while at the same time giving both generations the independence and space that they need.

Of course, there are also big advantages when it comes to saving money. The average cost of a house in the UK is now a staggering £306,810. Many first time buyers simply can not afford to save up a deposit for a home, while also paying rent, especially in very expensive areas like London and the South of England. Because of this, there has been a surge of families moving in with each other, Increasingly we have found that annexes are being built, not for elderly parents, but for younger members. Dubbed the ‘graddy annexe’ these great value buildings provide a versatile home that acts as a stepping stone for younger members that can be adapted in use once those family members have saved up and bought their own property.


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What other ways can a granny annexe save you money?

Apart from saving money on rent, an annexe offers a host of other ways in which to save money. Being much smaller buildings, annexes are much cheaper to heat and maintain. Often those relocating to a garden annexe are downsizing from a larger family home which will save a lot of money on general bills.

As annexes are new buildings, built to the latest building regulations, they have excellent UV values and insulation. All the garden annexes we build come with double glazing and utilize SIP (structurally insulated panels) in their construction which makes them cost-effective to heat in winter as they retain their heat very effectively.


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Top tips for a successful move

Moving house can be a stressful process for all of those involved. Especially when you also factor in moving in with your parents or children, people who have potentially not lived together for a long time! The key to helping make this process smooth is via good communication. Sitting down and discussing the move is essential so everybody knows where they stand. There might be questions about who cooks dinner, what sort of care is required, or even wanted, what are the ground rules regarding visiting, can the grandchildren come in whenever they want? Discussing a few of these situations will put minds at ease and give you a good foundation for a successful move.

Money is another subject that can cause tension later down the line. It is a good idea to have a chat about bills and costs before the move happens. You might feel more comfortable to have a separate electricity metre for each household, or you might prefer to share the costs. It’s a good idea to get an idea of these costs and responsibilities early on to put everyone’s minds at ease.


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