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Can You Build a Granny Flat on the Front Yard? I Found Out

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When planning to build a granny flat, you have a lot of things to consider, including where it is going to be located. So, can you build a granny flat on your front yard?

 

Yes – you just need to take into consideration your Councils’ regulations, such as whether you have enough room for setbacks.

 

Today I will give examples of where this may work.

 

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.


I will provide ideas to improve the street appeal for a granny flat in the front yard.

 

Lastly, I will cover how a simple “battleaxe design” could increase the value of your property.

 

This stunning home has a granny flat in the front. Source: Realestate.com.au

 

The great news from the example above on realestate.com.au is not only is this possible, but it can really look great. Having an architect design a contemporary granny flat means you can do a lot with the land you have.

 

An Example of Where This May Work

 

This works especially well on larger residential lots. Basically, if your two neighbouring houses are set towards the front boundary whilst your house is set further back, it can work.

 

As, in order for it to work, the setbacks need to be as below:

 

  • Your property must have a long front setback – roughly 10m or more.
  • Your two adjoining dwellings must have fairly short setbacks – roughly 3m to 4m.

 

This is as the SEPP authorises the minimum front setback of a granny flat must be:

 

  • “The average distance of the setbacks of the nearest 2 dwellings houses having the same primary road and located within 40 metres of the lot on which the principal dwelling is erected”.

 

Meaning, when building your granny flat on the front of your block, the setback from your front boundary must be:

 

  • The average of the setbacks of the nearest two houses.

 

So, if your property is set way back, and the neighbouring properties are set back, there is room for a granny flat out the front.

 

Remember, there also needs to be room for a setback of 1.8m between your primary home and the granny flat itself

 

*Note – There is some leniency to this rule if your granny flat is made of brick, masonry or has a special fire-rated-wall fitted.

 

Hence why this development works best on large residential blocks.

 

It is also worth mentioning that a two-storey granny flat or addition over a garage is possible, but larger setbacks may be required, due to height restrictions.

 

Ways to Improve Street Appeal for a Front Yard Granny Flat

 

Councils tend to have regulations regarding granny flats out the front – they want to keep the street looking a certain way.

 

So, your granny flat must blend in with the existing dwelling and the natural surroundings.

 

Some ideas to improve the street appeal for your granny flat while highlighting the style of your main home include:

 

  • Location – To look the part, the secondary dwelling must face the main street.
  • Patio – Fresh furniture, such as chairs or armchairs, are essential when you have a patio that is visible from the street.
  • Lighting – Make a statement with a Hamptons-style pendant light or add recessed lighting beneath the eaves.
  • Driveway – If there is already an existing driveway, preserve this. If not, get quotes for a design – consider safe pedestrian access.
  • Doors & Windows – Make use of doors and windows to maximise breeze. Make sure to paint them so they look their best.
  • Add a shiny doorknob or knocker – Gorgeous hardware can spruce up the front door, making it look classy.
  • Landscaping – Concrete planters are a great way to add structure to your front yard.
  • Plants – Ensure you choose plants and pots to match the style of your house, so it all flows through.
  • Paths – Another way to highlight the style of your home is through paths.
  • Fence –  A picket fence is an affordable way to dress up your front, and regardless of the finish of your home is a gorgeous touch.

 

You can give your front yard granny flat a “little cottage” appeal

 

A home that has beautiful street appeal will delight you as you arrive home every day, making you feel the granny flat was worth the work.

 

How a Battleaxe Design May Help the Value of Your Property

 

A Battle-axe block is a block that only has 3-4m street frontage. These blocks are often made from:

 

  • Subdividing a long block

 

The rear block then becomes the “Battleaxe block”.

 

If you do not have the right setbacks on your property, it is unlikely you can build a granny flat, especially in your front yard. Instead, it may be possible to subdivide into a battleaxe type of design, depending on your Councils’ rules for the zone.

 

Subdividing your land means dividing your land into different blocks. Each block ends up being registered with a different title and different owners, so they are easier to sell.

 

Subdivision is considered one of the fastest ways to potentially make a profit through a property, as it allows for flexibility. However, it can be timely and costly, and you cannot build a granny flat on subdivided property.

 

So, both granny flats and subdividing have their advantages and disadvantages.

 

However note that it will be terribly difficult to subdivide a property in a traditional way, if not in a battle axe fashion. this is because council will frown at the notion that there is not enough room for a car to the rear of the existing property.

 

Conclusion

 

If you want to build a granny flat in your front yard, you just need to consider your setbacks. However the good news is that it is certainly a possibility.

 

Basically, the allowable front setback can be calculated by taking the two nearest neighbouring dwelling’s front setbacks and dividing that measurement by two.

 

So, it works best on larger residential lots, where your adjoining houses are set towards the front whilst your house is set further back. There are also generally regulations regarding granny flats out the front – Councils want to keep the street looking a certain way.

 

Meaning, your granny flat must blend in with the existing dwelling and the natural surroundings. So, you need to do some work on its’ aesthetic appeal to improve the street appeal while highlighting the style of your main home.

 

A porch is a blank canvas for incredible street appeal

 

These include:

 

  • Furniture on the patio
  • Statement lighting
  • A driveway
  • Paint
  • Doors and windows
  • Shiny doorknobs or knockers
  • Landscaping, plants, paths, and fences.

 

If you do not have the correct setbacks, it is unlikely you can build a granny flat in your front yard.

 

Instead, it may be possible to subdivide your yard into a battleaxe type of design, depending on your local Councils’ rules. However it is certainly worth seeing what your options with council are.

 

As the cost to subdivide comes with a lot of headaches and isn’t as simple as getting a CDC to build a secondary dwelling. You will need a lengthy DA application and much deeper pocks if you want to subdivide.

 

Plus you won’t have the options you would with a secondary dwelling and if you plan on renting the granny flat, the return on investment of subdivided land won’t be as appealing.