You’ve realised a granny flat is your only option to solve the problems you have space for, but also want to attract a carer, parent or grandma who would love to be able to stay with you while keeping their independence. Great news! The next step should be finding a reputable builder that can get it done cost-effectively and quickly.
However, this isn’t the time when you should be lenient – there are things people tend to completely ignore in all other projects, yet during this one, they pull through without thinking twice. If you want your project not only to succeed but also look nice and operate smoothly, make sure you avoid these mistakes:
1) Not having an open conversation about the layout (and thus the price) of the project.
Having a design and layout clear from the start is important for many reasons. First of all, you don’t have to waste time going over it again and again – something that can be very frustrating with a limited amount of time before work starts. Second, it’s money down the drain if you change your mind or find out there’s a better solution for this or that problem after construction has already begun.
Thirdly, most scammers will try to come up with cheap solutions they know won’t last long but still meet your needs at first sight – imagine buying a handful of nails just to discover they’re too short/thick/long etcetera! In conclusion: always have an idea about what you need and be open-minded to suggestions and changes.
2) Not taking into consideration the safety measures necessary to protect everyone around (and in your home).
There’s a lot of responsibility you will have to undertake once your carer, parent or grandparent moves into your house – which is exactly why it’s important not only to make sure they’ll feel good but also safe. One of the most obvious things one could forget is checking out whether there are any gas/electricity/water meters near their future bedroom and what would happen if anything went wrong with them during the night.
It might seem like something unimportant, yet it isn’t when that happens: just imagine waking up surrounded by flames because your walker didn’t know that after midnight you aren’t able to use the stove/hairdryer/tea kettle/etcetera!
Also, think about how will they open and close the windows – there’s nothing more embarrassing than an old person falling out of a window or trying to push it up with all their might (and most likely failing). Finally, always remember that accidents happen even when we don’t realise it: make sure your parent, grandparent or carer has enough lighting and is well-informed on fire escape routes!
3) Not checking whether their room meets building & safety codes.
Believe it or not, but most building and safety codes were created for good reasons – no matter if those are preventing fires from happening, water leakage in the house or just making sure that carer, parents or grandparents are well-protected against being thrown down the stairs.
As the customer, you have every right to make sure it will be done according to safety codes and if at first, they say it’s impossible because ‘they don’t do this’ – feel free to find another contractor!
4) Forgetting about pricing altogether.
You know things can get tricky when you start thinking about budget. And believe me, there are always ways to cut corners even though you’re trying your best not to – not mentioning how easy it is to end up with a ‘budget renovation’ which equals nightmare time afterwards.
Remember, your building & safety code doesn’t change whether you want a granny flat or a million-dollar mansion – and the similar rule applies to other aspects such as materials, finishes, etcetera.
5) Not having a payment agreement.
One of the most common problems when it comes to building a granny flat is how much money should be paid at which times and for which services etcetera. It’s best if you make a written agreement with your contractor to avoid confusion and misunderstandings later on – plus, no one wants to end up paying twice or getting ripped off!
In conclusion: always have a clear understanding from day one about what price includes/excludes, when will you pay etcetera!