Urban vs Rural Granny Flats

The advantages of building a granny flat may differ between rural and urban locations. Your location may have an affect on the maximum size of your granny flat, and the overall cost of your project. To make the most of your granny flat building experience, it’s best to trust the professionals with your project. A team like Granny Flats WA has been in the industry for 20 years, helping turn homeowner dreams into reality. From design to construction, we’ve got you covered. 

What are the benefits of building a granny flat in a rural area?

Building a granny flat in a rural area comes with a range of benefits. Granny flats add value to any property by increasing the available space and adding potential for rental income. They can function as guest houses for visitors, homes for elderly relatives, or personal offices and studio spaces. If you’re interested in an additional income stream, you may also want to rent out your granny flat or use it as an Airbnb. Depending on where you live, an Airbnb may attract tourists visiting your town. However, if your property is secluded or away from public transport, shops, it may prove difficult to secure tenants for long-term rental. On the bright side, building a granny flat in a less densely populated rural area may provide a more peaceful experience for guests than metropolitan areas.

Can you build bigger granny flats on rural properties?

You may be able to build a bigger granny flat on a rural property if your local council approves it. In WA, the maximum floor area of your granny flat cannot exceed 70 sqm. However, allowances of up to 100 sqm could be granted in rural areas, depending on where you live. Building a slightly bigger granny flat may give you more options in terms of space, allowing you to add extra rooms or facilities. But it’s essential that you confirm this with your local council before making building plans that exceed WA size restrictions.

What are the advantages of urban granny flats?

The primary advantages of urban granny flats is gaining extra space, and building accommodation which is close to city facilities. A smaller city property may benefit from the extra room a granny flat provides if you’re not utilising your backyard. You can use the space as an office, guest home, or rental. Renting an urban granny flat could prove easier than in rural areas, since your property is more likely to be closer to city attractions such as restaurants, stadiums, as well as being more accessible for people who need public transport. The building process could be easier, too, as you’ll have access to a wider range of builders and suppliers in a populated, metropolitan area than you potentially would in the country. Similar to rural properties, building a granny flat could prove an excellent way to add value to your home.

Modern interior of a granny flat.

Do granny flats need council approval on rural properties?

Granny flats on rural properties will no longer need council approvals from April 2024. Up until this point, they have been subject to additional requirements. After the changes takes effect, rural granny flats only need to abide by the primary requirements for a granny flat and acquire the appropriate building approvals. Part of the primary requirements involve size limits and setback requirements for the granny flat, which change based on your location.

In rural areas of WA, granny flats will not require development approval from the council if they adhere to certain size restrictions and are ancillary to a primary property. Size limitations vary by area, but they cannot exceed a maximum floor area of 100 sqm, excluding verandahs and garages. Additionally, they must be positioned behind the main dwelling and comply with setback requirements from property boundaries.

Rural granny flats need to ensure that they get building permits, just like urban granny flats. This involves sending a design plan to the council, which will be approved or rejected within 10 business days of its submission. The purpose of this is to make sure the granny flat is built to the appropriate quality and safety standards of Australia. This is fairly common and required for most building projects, even outside of granny flats.

It is advisable to seek professional guidance from a planning consultant or builder familiar with the process of constructing granny flats on rural properties in WA. A reliable granny flat builder such as Granny Flats WA can assist in navigating the design, getting building approval and ensuring compliance will all applicable requirements.

Is it cheaper to build a granny flat in rural or urban areas?

Determining whether a rural granny flat is cheaper than an urban one relies on a combination of factors, including land costs, construction expenses, and council fees. The cost differences could change significantly depending on the location and project specifics. 

Land costs tend to be lower in rural areas compared to urban regions. This may lead to lower overall costs for granny flat projects in rural areas, especially considering the larger lot sizes that typically accommodate granny flats. However, there are not as many builders available in rural areas. This means construction costs may be slightly higher due to factors such as transportation expenses for materials and labor.

Additionally, the size and complexity of the granny flat design significantly impacts the total cost. Larger granny flats with more features and finishes will generally be more expensive to construct, regardless of the location. Make sure to include all of these factors when budgeting for your granny flat build.

Ultimately, the most accurate way to determine the cost of building a granny flat in a rural or urban area is to consult with an experienced building company like Granny Flats WA and obtain quotes based on the specific project requirements. By considering all relevant factors, including land costs, and construction expenses, homeowners can make informed decisions about the most cost-effective location for their granny flat project. Chat with the friendly Granny Flats team to discuss your project, or check out our amazing photo gallery.