Now you have found a place for your granny flat, you need to design its’ layout. Refer to the below articles for the best layout and design ideas for the different types, areas, and sizes of a granny flat:
Essentially, an architecturally designed granny flat will give you an expensive looking granny flat, as all options for your site are explored, and you will get the best use of your land.
You will have lots of natural light, and get a thermally efficient, creatively designed, sustainable granny flat.
You will get the ‘style’ you want, with the best possible features, such as multi-use rooms, plenty of storage, the best materials – resulting in a stylish, spacious, comfortable, expensive looking granny flat, but all within your budget.
Cement fibre can ensure a contemporary look with relative ease
Its’ negatives include that:
It doesn’t have acoustic qualities to the same standard as brick.
It can be thought of as substandard in comparison to brick.
Small, hard, items can dent it with force.
Pollutants can wash-out its’ colour and radiance if it’s not washed as recommended above. (if you use cheap paints, which I highly discourage using)
Another popular option is cladding with a metal, such as Colorbond.
The advantages and disadvantages of building with this material can be seen at another article I wrote called: Colorbond Granny Flats – Where you can find out what you need to know before using Colorbond.
Then, you have horizontal cladding – or, even a timber clad.
Its’ advantages include that it:
Is uniquely appealing.
Meets, in some regions, the requirements for heritage (i.e. Chatswood, NSW).
Its’ disadvantages include that:
It must be painted during construction, then re-painted every 4-5 years.
It’s quite costly compared to vinyl and cement fibre.
Sharp items can cause it damage.
It’s not as insulated, so won’t keep the area as noiseless as brick.
It can expand and contract unlike cement fibre, which means it is prone to leaking/water damage and will require more painting in the long run.
In short, cladding with either prefabricated prefabricated concrete panels, or concrete poured on-site has become more popular and is the best option in my opinion
The advantages and disadvantages of concrete can be seen here.
Fibre Cement Sheeting (FCS) can be used to create what is called Fibre Cement Cladding.
These choices can be a tough choice to make, but your Engineer will advise you on what material works best for your design, property, and foundation, eliminating a few options immediately. And they can also add their professional opinion about exterior cladding options.
Should Exterior Trim Match the Window Frame
As well as choosing your material, you’ll have to choose your colours. To make things easier, let’s first just clarify the difference between your exterior trim and window frame. The exterior trim, also called the casing, is an ornamental piece – the bit that frames the entire window.
The window frame is also called a sash. It is essentially the frame that encloses all the glass, moving together with the glass, making it the functional part of the window.
Now, back to the question at hand – should the colour of your exterior trim match the colour of the window frame? This is a common, and good question, however it has a bit of a complex answer.
Contrasting windows frames against lighter walls
But, if you ask a professional designer, they tend to suggest that you use colours that contrast one another – particularly if you’re building a tall granny flat (i.e. one with a loft, above a garage, or a two-storey).
Doing so will add a splash of interesting colour, helping to split-up the frontage and producing a balanced appearance. Though, there are some cases where this rule can be excused – I will discuss these shortly.
A great colour choice is:
A dark trim and a white/lighter coloured frame – The dark trim will really highlight the windows, whilst contrasting well with the light frame.
Now, the exceptions to the rule. Many newer models of windows have been designed with additional, in-built trims. Because of this extra frame, if you use a darker colour for the trim, it can look embellished.
Or, your trim may be wafer-thin. If so, it will not work as a contrasting piece. Instead, the frame will work best when it stays the fine, delicate, piece,
If you have either of these types of window, professionals tend to recommend that you use the same colour for your exterior trim as you do for your window frame.
Making the choices for your exterior can be overwhelming.
So, to make your vision come to life, select a designer and be sure that you show them examples what you want.
They will make sure that your new granny flat matches your existing homes facade, whilst letting you choose from a range of colours, materials and finishes.
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