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Newport Granny Annexe

What are our annexes built from?

This is no April Fool

Our annexes are not built of brick . . .

Newport Granny Annexe

Newport Granny Annexe exterior – Read the case study here. – SIP panel structure with decorative brick slips & neutral coloured render



Nuneaton Granny Annexe exterior – Read the case study here. – SIP panel structure with decorative brick slips & white render


Granny Annexe Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire Granny Annexe exterior – Read the case study here. – SIP panel structure with decorative white render


So what are our annexes built from?: Structurally Insulated Panels

A Structurally Insulated Panel (SIPs) System, is one of the highest calibre of construction methods available, and certainly the best choice for garden rooms. The build method has distinct advantages over timber frame building systems, and all other log cabin/garden shed construction methods.

Sip Panels annotated - mailchimp

What are the key benefits of SIPs?

  • The building is manufactured off-site and “flat-pack” garden room is delivered ready for quick and efficient construction.
  • Minimal requirement for heating as high insulating properties provide incredibly low U values, down to 0.11w/m2K.

What are SIPs?

SIPs are formed using two sheets of Orientated Strand Board (OSB), sandwiching a rigid core of expanded polystyrene or injected polyurethane. The SIP panel is shown below in a diagram which demonstrates a full cross section of our building, both wall and flooring.


Do SIPs Cost More?

We manufacture all the Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for our Garden Lodges, Garden Offices and Garden Studios in-house at our factory in Bedfordshire, where they are distributed all over the UK. This allows us to reduce costs and offer premium buildings at unbeatable prices.

Where are SIP panels used?

SIPs are used widely within the construction industry for many types of buildings, and are becoming more popular as people become aware of their distinct advantages.

Building with SIPs offer many environmentally friendly advantages, below are just some of the benefits of SIPS Garden Buildings:

  • According to online reports, structurally insulated panels are 15 times more insulated than concrete.
  • Both OSB and polyurethane materials could be recycled.
  • The materials SIPs are made from are usually free from CFC’s and HCFC’s.
  • SIPs have a o-zone depletion rating of zero.
  • Minimal cold bridging and high insulation rating – keeping you warm in the winter and cooler in the summer months.

See how we build Granny Annexes

Discover our complete turnkey service.

Read more →

9 Benefits of Care at Home: Living in a Granny Annexe

Whether you’re looking for an alternative to care home costs for a relative, or whether you are just planning for the future, we’ve put together this list of benefits of care at home to help your research.

Social and childcare support

In the 65-74 age group 13% of men and 35% of women live alone[1]. This is a sad fact when there is an option to bring family closer by moving your loved ones into a Granny Annexe in your back garden. This means they can benefit from seeing their family more often as well as spending time with their grandchildren. The whole family gains, as grandparents can provide childcare support when needed.


Your relatives may feel more secure living in a Granny Annexe in the back garden with relatives in the family home, while the annexe allows them to maintain some form of independent living. Simply knowing that their family is nearby, just in case, is of great comfort to our clients. Our clients also feel more secure be being in a familiar environment for a longer period of time, giving them greater stability and peace of mind.


Care home costs are something that need to be considered very carefully by families. Care home costs in 2018 can be a staggering £1000 per week!

All care costs money, however care at your own home is on average more than 5 times cheaper than care in a residential home. Care at home costs £5,200 a year on average, which equates to £100 per week, but can vary depending on individual care needs[2].

£557 is the average weekly cost of a place in a residential care home in England. Over a year, this equates to circa £29,000. The South East of England is the most expensive region for residential care, costing on average for the region £641 per week, which is over £33,000 a year[3].

Your relative could spend 2.3 years in a residential care home on average[4], costing you £66,700 for their stay (based on the average cost of a place in a residential home in England). In the South East of England, this cost rises to over £76,600. For this price, your family can purchase a Granny Annexe complete with full installation starting from £55,162.85, giving your relative their own place to live, as well as an asset for the family estate[5].

44% of people who live in residential care homes in the UK are fully self-funded, with a further 13% who are partly self-funded[6].

Some people may also be considering buying their relatives a small property instead however property prices are set to rise on average by 6% in 2016, according to RICS. East Anglia however is set to rise by a whopping 8%[7], with the highest priced regions also incorporating London and the South East. Buying houses is becoming far less affordable. The average property price in England and Wales is £191,812[8] compared with building a Granny Annexe in your back garden starting from just £55,162.85[9].

Local authority support

You may also be able to access local authority care and support if your relative continues to live independently i.e. they don’t have to live in a care home to qualify. If your relative has savings and assets worth up to £23,250 in England and up to £23,750 in Wales or a weekly income which is not enough to pay for care home fees, they could be eligible for local authority funding[10].

Beloved pets

Another great benefit of care at home is keeping your pets. Your relative’s beloved pets may not always be welcome in care homes, and they may not get on with any resident cat or dog[11]. So if your elderly relative is very attached to their pets, then living in a Granny Annexe means they’ll be able to keep them close. After all, most pets are members of the family . . .

Independent living aids

If your relative finds some everyday activities difficult, there are a number of products which support several areas including:

  • Communication
  • Moving around the home
  • Leisure
  • Mobility and walking
  • Personal care
  • Telecare and alarms

The Living Made Easy website[12] gives you a good indication of what products your relative will need when you complete their short questionnaire associated with a particular area. Once complete, you’ll receive an online report and a list of suppliers, so you can source the products easily.

At Granny Annexe, we are happy to install larger items with your build such as a wet room with products to support the user such as a shower chair and high level WC. We can also install grip rails where required.

Granny Annexe built in Nuneaton in 2015 - Benefits of care at home

Picture: Spacious Granny Annexe built in Nuneaton, 2015.

Increased property value

Building a Granny Annexe will almost certainly increase the value of your property[13]. Although it is difficult to put an exact figure on the increase, your local estate agent can best advise you.

Council tax exemptions

According to national Council Tax Legislation, Granny Annexes in England and Wales are eligible for 2 types of council tax exemption:

  1. Class W Council Tax Exemption applies to the occupants of the Granny Annexe who must be related to the residents of the main family house. If your relative is over the age of 65 or meets the criteria for a severe disability, then the Granny Annexe is exempt from council tax.If you have an annexe which is lived in by a family member or used by the resident of the main dwelling, and who do not meet the above criteria, you can receive a 50% discount on the council tax for that annexe from 1 April 2014.
  1. Class T Council Tax Exemption applies when the Granny Annexe is completely unoccupied.When your local Council is made aware of your Granny Annexe building by your local Planning Department, your local Council will notify the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The VOA will see if your Granny Annexe meets any of the above criteria and will communicate with yourself via your local Council if there is a need to adjust council tax[14].

Built to your needs

Our Granny Annexes provide the perfect solution for independent living in the heart of the family. With your relative secure in their Granny Annexe, just a stone’s throw from the house, you can rest assured that they’re living in a cosy and safe building. All our Granny Annexes are built to the latest Building Regulations in England and Wales; have a 10 year structural warranty and a manufacturer’s warranty on all fixtures and fittings. We also manufacture our own Structurally Insulated Panel Systems (SIPS) for each build, so you’ll benefit from the high quality insulating properties in all seasons.

Our Granny Annexes are designed to your needs. You choose the design and finish, and let us know if there’s any extras such as access ramps, wider thresholds or even decking with balustrades.

We provide a full turnkey service from start to finish. Our professional staff will support and guide you, handling everything throughout the process from the initial site survey to when you receive your keys. At Granny Annexe, we also create and submit your planning application, provide complete project management throughout the build and ensure your liveable Granny Annexe is fully connected to utilities and drainage.

Granny Annexe built in St. Albans, 2015 - Benefits of care at home

Picture: Granny Annexe built in St. Albans, 2015.



[1] BUPA, ‘Planning Your Needs in Later Life: A Guide to Making Choices for the Years Ahead’, BUPA, 2016, p. 4.

[2] Cebr, ‘The Cost of Care in Later Life’, Killik & Co., 2014,, (accessed 4 March 2016).

[3] LiangBuisson, Care of Older People 26th edition, 2013-14 cited in Which?, Care Home Fees, [website], 2016,, (accessed 4 March 2016).

[4] Cebr, ‘The Cost of Care in Later Life’.

[5] Granny Annexe, ‘What Does a Granny Annexe Cost?’, Granny Annexe, [website], 2016,, (accessed 4 March 2016).

[6] LiangBuisson, Care of Older People 26th edition, 2013-14 cited in Which?, Care Home Fees, [website], 2016,, (accessed 4 March 2016).

[7] S. Rubinsohn, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, [website], 2015, (accessed 4 March 2016).

[8] Land Registry, ‘House Price Index’, Land Registry, 2016,, (accessed 4 March 2016).

[9] Granny Annexe, ‘What Does a Granny Annexe Cost?’, Granny Annexe, [website], 2016,, (accessed 4 March 2016).

[10] J. Allen, ‘Helping Loved Ones in Later Life’, Which?, 2015, p. 10.

[11] Which?, ‘ benefits and drawbacks of home care services’, Which?, 2016,, (accessed 4 March 2016).

[12] Disabled Living Foundation, Living Made Easy, [website], 2016,, (accessed 4 March 2016).

[13] A. Youens, ‘Annexes add value to high end property’, Country Life, [website], 2016,, (accessed 4 March 2016).

[14] Central Bedfordshire Council, [website], 2016,, (accessed 4 March 2016).

Mother and daughter hugging

Did you know, today is ‘Respect of the Aged Day’ in Japan?

This Japanese national holiday is celebrated on the Third Monday in September.

Respect of the Aged Day, or Keiro no Hi, was established as a national holiday in 1966 to express respect for the elders in the community, and to recognise and thank them for their contributions to society and last but not least, celebrate their long lives.

Until 2003, the holiday was be held on 15 September. Since then, Respect for the Aged Day has instead been observed on the third Monday of September.

To honour their elders, many communities throw parties and offer special gifts to bring even more longevity to their lives.

Click here to read more.

7 of the best kitchen aids for Seniors.



It’s a well known fact that as we get older seemingly simple tasks like opening jars, peeling potatoes or even chopping veg become much more of an effort. Below are 7 of the most helpful gadgets for the kitchen that will make preparing food a doddle.


opener6 in 1 Multi Jar/Bottle Opener –

This Multi Opener has a durable and comfortable grip and opens six different types of seals and lids with ease.The unique tool removes hard-to-grasp safety seals, opens metal bottle caps, can ring pulls, and stubborn jar lids or bottle tops. The unique enclosed blade feature cleanly slices open tightly sealed bags.It weighs just 99g





 Spreadboard –


Thoughtfully designed for one handed use this Spreadboard allows you to spread condiments easier. It features an easy-to-clean plastic holder,non-slip feet and a downward curved lip which keeps the Spreadboard securely in place.


The kitchen workstation

This Kitchen Workstation is an easy to use multi functional food preparation unit, providing assistance with everyday kitchen tasks. Including a removable grater and slicer, clamp, bread holder for one handed spreading and a removable stainless steel spike for holding fruit or vegetables.



Kettlle TipperKettle Tipper

This new and innovative kettle tipper is designed to be compatible with most kettle types including standard, jug and cordless kettles. The kettle tipper has a lever at either side that can be used to tip the kettle while it is held in place, without the user having to actually lift the water. This reduces the effort required and potential strain on the wrist that can occur when holding the kettle handle.






 Ergonomic Kitchen Knives



These knives are designed for people with impaired mobility or strength in their hands and arms. The angle of the handle allows the user to keep their wrist straight; this makes efficient use of the strength in their arms and hands. These ergonomic handle of these smaller knives allows users to easily cut food while sitting down



 Peeling vegetables


This Scraper & Spike is a useful device that has a grating unit with a plate metal mesh blade for peeling or grating, also has a stainless steel spike for holding vegetables when peeling manually




 Universal Tap and Knob turner


The universal tap and knob turner makes everyday tasks such as turning taps, switching on a washing machine or operating a microwave easier for those with limited strength in their arms or hands.  The turner features a comfortable handle that enables the user to grip and turn with both hands






iPad Gadgets for the elderly

Technology has become a part of everyday life for all ages, especially the iPad, with its user friendly interface and touch screen keypad keeping tech savvy has never been so simple.

With the elderly in mind, below are some simple to use timesaving apps to assist with day to day life.


Help with medication, reading and hearing:


  • Enter in the name of your pill, dosage, frequency, and what time(s) of day, and Pill Reminder sends a message via PUSH alert. Reviews on the Apple app store are mixed, but one user writes they “can’t do without this”


  • This app, developed by a team from the University of Rochester, is targeted at partially-sighted users. It allows users to take a picture with their phone, speak a question and receive multiple spoken answers. Find out more about the app on the

READ2GO, £13.99,

  • This Daisy (digital talking books) book e-reader allows users to browse, search, download and read books directly from Bookshare, as well as read Daisy books and publications from other sources. The app allows users to control visual choices for font size and colour, background and highlighting colour, and text-to-speech preferences and was a recent app of the month recommendation by the RNIB


  • This voice-recognition application allows users to dictate text, or email messages and see them instantly. Users can also dictate status updates for Facebook, tweets, or send themselves notes and reminders. A user on the Enabled by Design site says: “I’ve been using Dragon Naturally Speaking for about a year now for all emails, letters etc, as my hand mobility makes typing difficult. I have no complaints at all. Dragon constantly surprises me as it ‘learns’ so quickly”

Help with shopping


  • The mobile guide to consumer rights, from dealing with faulty goods to returning unwanted Christmas gifts. It offers sample letters to send to retailers and two lengthy sections on the Consumer Credit Act and the Sale of Goods Act


  • This app from one of the original money-saving coupon websites offers on-the-go discount vouchers, allowing cash-strapped consumers to search for nearby shops, restaurants, cinemas, leisure outlets, garden centres and other high street outlets offering discounts. They then download a voucher to obtain the discount and show it to the vendor without having to print anything out. Just watch out for the terms and conditions – few restaurant deals, for example, are available at the weekend


  • An app that allows cost-conscious shoppers to scan the barcode on a product and search for the cheapest place to buy it. The app will find price information on three million products online



  • Jamie Oliver’s recipes app is at its best on iPad, with a full-screen mode ideal for propping a safe distance away from cooking mess. Ten recipes and videos are included, with additional themed packs costing £1.69 in-app


  • Better Homes and Gardens magazine has produced over 50 vegetarian recipes, with step by step guides and a shopping list feature

Social media


  • Twitter on iPad is quick and easy to use, and maybe even the best device for tweeting. Great for keeping in touch and venting forth with ideas


  • Skype on iPad retains the features that have made the internet-calling service so popular on computers, including voice calls and instant messaging. It’s the full-screen video calls that make the iPad version an essential, though

General knowledge


  • Google’s planet-mapping service is perfect for the iPad, allowing people to zoom your way around the world.


  • This rich iPad book-app blends text, 3D planets and moons, videos, images and diagrams across more than 150 digital pages, to impressive effect.


  • This identifies stars, constellations and satellites.



  • Faber pulled out all the stops for this iPad app of TS Eliot’s famous poem, with audio and video readings, copious notes and original manuscript scans


  • There are plenty of book-apps for the iPad, but this one is about making your own e-book. It’s simple to combine your own photos and text



  • iPlayer catch-up TV service really comes into its own on the iPad, with a slick tablet interface for browsing and searching for shows, plus full-screen viewing


  • This is one of the most creative digital artist apps for iPad, with more than 60 virtual brushes to work with. Its key feature is the ability to import your own photos and then paint with their pixels


  • The app lets you save online articles and blog posts to read them later, making them available offline too


  • This is a digital sculpting app: you pinch and rub the screen to mould virtual clay, buying in-app theme packs for 69p each including “Medieval” and “Transportation”. A tactile and creative delight


  • In keeping with the magazine’s brand, the Economist‘s iPad app is a model of elegant understatement, offering digitised issues for £3.99 each or as part of a subscription. The option to have articles read aloud is welcome too for older people


  • A large collection of ebooks, including regular discounts and offers. It also syncs your reading position across different devices


  • Zinio is a magazine store and reader app with a wide catalogue of publications available, from sport and politics through to music and lifestyle. You can choose to buy single issues or full subscriptions

Help with the community


  • An app to help people report problems in their local area, directly to the council, from their phone.

The key to a successful Granny Annexe

In coming years, the proportion of the population over 80 is going to increase significantly. The advantages granny annexes are set to increase too.

The number of people aged over 85 will increase by 184% over the next 30 years, this will have a massive impact on the housing market, which will have to match their needs. Houses will soon need to be suitable for the elderly, and in a generation’s time, it may be a case of having the grandparents in the main house, and the great-grandparents in the annexe.

The key to a successful Granny Annexe is to plan ahead. The intended occupant may be highly mobile now, but will this always be the case? Generally, elderly relatives like large rooms, as much-loved pieces of furniture can be accommodated. Usually it’s the number of rooms they want to reduce not the dimensions they’re downsizing to.

Sockets at floor level should normally be avoided, as well as high shelves and low cupboards. Under-counter appliances can be difficult to access and control switches and knobs should be in easily reachable locations. However, arthritic hands find lever handles easier to manoeuvre than knobs, which require twisting.

Make sure that the flat is carpeted, especially the bedroom. Carpets give far better grip, and if you’re going to have a fall, better it’s on this than on a hard floor. Rugs on wooden floors are a particular menace.

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