If you live on the East Coast of Australia, and are thinking about building a granny flat, you may be thinking – are there granny flat companies that cover the whole East Coast?
A granny flat company will not travel the entire East Coast of Australia to build a granny flat – they generally tend to stick to their specific region.
This is because every local Council has different regulations for granny flats, so they learn those their area. Today, I have saved you the trouble, and gathered the best granny flat builders for each individual East Coast region. That is the 10 best builders for Sydney, the 10 best in Brisbane, the 10 best in Melbourne, and those that travel to rural areas.
Lastly, I will talk about whether this is a job that you can do yourself as an owner-builder – And what that all means.
Choosing the right trades people or builders makes all the difference
Let’s get started, so you can get your building underway.
DON'T PAY A FORTUNE FOR YOUR GRANNY FLAT. Find out how to deal with council and build a granny flat for the lowest cost possible. Learn More.
Major Granny Flat Companies That Will Build For You
Here I will discuss the best granny flat builders in your part of the East Coast.
Let’s start with my fellow Sydney-siders. Your granny flat builders that made it to the Top 10, from both professional judgements by local designers and architects, and reviews on Google are summarised below:
Feel free to read “10 Sydney Granny Flat Builders – “The Best of the Best””, where I go into detail about just what makes these granny flat builders so talented, and why they made it to the top 10.
Let’s move next door, to Brisbane.
Again, these granny flat builders have both the back-up of the professional, as well as by third party reviews on Google, which has led to their rank of the Top 10 below:
This has given you the option to choose from those listed below:
There’ s a highly detailed report on every one of these builders, and all of their benefits, in the post “Top 10 Granny Flat Builders in Brisbane – The Results Are In”.
Let’s move over in the other direction, to Melbourne.
These granny flat builders found their way into the Top 10 from getting a review from professionals we have worked with personally, or reviews from past clients of theirs.
You have your choice from:
Some of these companies have over 100 years combined experience, and all have multiple advantages. So, I suggest reading, “10 Best Melbourne Granny Flat Builders – The ‘Go-To’ List” for some insight into them.
Who Will Help with Rural Areas?
A builder will travel to a rural area to build. So yes, you can find a builder who will will help you build a granny flat if you live in a rural area. The easiest way to find the best builders in your area is to do a simple Google search.
Just go to Google, and type in the suburb that you live in or are planning to build, and also the words, “granny flat builder”. The ones that come up first in the list are the ones that have been rated the highest. You can also check their reviews – these are a great way of seeing what they are like as a building company.
If you live in or around the area of Newcastle, I have some great news for you – I have already done this search.
Your 10 best granny flat builders are:
A lot of these are award-winning builders, so to see the benefits of them, you can read “10 Best Newcastle Granny Flat Builders – The “Trusted” Builders List”.
Can You Build as An Owner Builder and What Does That Mean?
You absolutely can build as an “owner-builder”. Basically, this is a certification you can get, so you can build the granny flat yourself, instead of hiring a builder. That’s right – not only are you the builder, you are taking on the entire role. This means it’s up to you to manage the project, so you are essentially becoming a tradesperson. One day on the job site you might be the foreman, the next day the carpenter, another day a roofer, or even a handyman.
You don’t even have to physically pick up a hammer or tools to save a fortune building a granny flat.
If you have looked into any of our Top 10 building companies, you may have noticed one of their prime advantages is that it’s their job to handle all Council approval and organise every trade to come out to the building site for you. They are also are responsible for the build, so all of the liability and insurances are on them.
If you decide you are going to be the owner-builder, you are the one that is going to have to do all of this. So, you will have to do some of these trades, and arrange some other trades to come in. Either way, the responsibility for all of these trades is on your shoulders.
Why? Well, even though you are the owner-builder, you won’t be able to do all the work. You haven’t become a fully qualified tradie, so you will have to hire some trades still, such as a licensed plumber to fit your pipes, and a licensed electrician to install your wiring.
So, as well as doing some of the building, you will be in charge of organising these other trades to visit.
Something you could do though, to get help, is hire a foreman, or even a carpenter, just someone with more experience than you. This person can be your project manager. You can just pay them a contract rate to do this role.
So, it’s entirely up to you if you to hire a project manager, or arrange for all the trades to come yourself. Personally, I’d base the decision on how much knowledge you have, and how confident you feel being the project manager and taking on all that responsibility.
A project manager is a good way to ensure your entire project works together as a whole, as all of the trades you need are different bodies. Meaning, the one that does your windows, for example, isn’t worried about your stairs, concrete slab, or the picture that you envision in your head as your finished granny flat. Every trade is only worried about their bit of the job.
A project manager is that link in the middle to fasten the whole thing together. They can do this for you if you don’t feel that you have enough experience to do the whole thing. But if you feel confident that you have enough knowledge, give it a go.
So, what is involved with being an owner-builder? I did this when I built my granny flat, so I know every step very well. I will run through everything you need to do now.
Get Your White Card
The first thing you need to get is a “White Card”. To get this, you will have to pass an online quiz that is all about safety.
This goes through the dangers there are of building on a building site, and gives you the self-assurance that you know exactly what needs to be done if a safety problem were to happen while you are in charge of building.
You can see why you need your “White Card” first.
Rest assured, it isn’t too challenging – you can do it online, with your book open by your side. I did mine through this Owner Builder Courses, and passed it easily. They then sent me out my White Card in just a few weeks.
When you have gained your White Card, the next step is to do your course that gives you your owner-builder certificate.
Several companies offer this course. There are many out there which are very cheap, when I got my owner-builder permit it took less than one week. And the process was very simple. If you Google ‘owner builder’ permits online, there will be a huge range of companies to choose from.
If you choose to do your test through most online platforms, you can download an easy PDF document that has all the answers to the test. It’s an open book test, so it’s really simple – you can use this when completing the test.
When I finished the test, I presented my answers, and it only took a few days for them to send me my certificate.
If you do the same, in just days, you will be an approved “owner-builder”!
Complete Certification to Make Sure You Can Build a Granny Flat on Your Property
Sorry, but you can’t start building straight after you have become an owner-builder. You have to get more permits.
There is a chance that these could vary in different states – I’m sharing what I got in NSW.
The most important was the Certificate 10.7 from the Council. This tells you if you need a full DA (Development Application) or can get away with CDC (Complying Development). You really want to try and do whatever you can to get a CDC instead of a DA, there’s so much less hassle.
You can have a thorough look into all the certificates that are needed to build a granny flat here.
Hire a Surveyor, an Engineer, and a Designer
You now need to get your granny flat designed. You can choose an architect or draftsperson. You need their construction ready drawings to get approval by Council.
It’s also important to note the permits aren’t paid for until you have your design plan.
You’ll also need a:
Hire a Certifier and Present Your Application to Council
Now you have all your certificates and drawings, a certifier has to visit, so they can authorise building to go ahead.
You can choose between a private certifier or a local Council certifier.
You also need approval from Council – as mentioned, this will either need to be done through Complying Development (CDC) or a Development Application (DA).
Without a doubt, a CDC is the easiest way, so if you’re allowed this, I 100% suggest you do.
Building Can Begin
Now you can start building, and even if you have never been involved in building, you will discover there are many things you can do.
For these, and the exact order all the building should be done in, you can look at “How to Build a Granny Flat Step-by-Step – The Ultimate Guide”. This post tells you everything you need to do, when you should do it, and how long it will take.
I hope you find this a useful guide as to who you want to build your granny flat if you live on the East Coast of Australia.
You may have even decided you would like to build your own granny flat, even if you have never built anything before. I hadn’t when I built mine, but now I wake up to something wonderful that I made with my very own hands, and get to look at in my own backyard every day. This could be you soon.
You can also save a lot of money by building your own granny flat. See precisely what it cost me when I built mine.