Mar 16 2022

Building a granny flat on your section

Building a granny flat on your section

Thinking of Adding a Small House to Your Property?


Granny flats, also known as second dwellings or minor dwellings, are self-contained units built on the same property as a main house. They're becoming popular in New Zealand for several reasons.

Why Build a Granny Flat?

  • Family living: Granny flats are a great way for adults to care for their aging parents. They provide independence with a separate space, but keep loved ones close by for company and help. This can even free up cash by selling the parents' main house. It's cheaper than a rest home too!
  • Boomerang kids: Can't afford a house yet? A granny flat lets your kids live independently while saving money. It adds value to your property too! Once they move out, you can rent it for extra income or use it for guests or aging relatives.
  • Rental income: Granny flats are a good investment, growing your property value and providing rental income. You can rent them out short-term or long-term, or use Airbnb for tourists. Airbnb offers self-contained spaces, perfect for travelers who want to cook and do laundry. It's also flexible – you control when the granny flat is available.
  • Guest accommodation: Need extra space for guests or want to free up a room in your house? A granny flat gives guests their own space while keeping them close. This is great if they have kids!

Before You Build

  • Check the rules: Local councils have guidelines for building granny flats. You can find them on their website or by talking to the planning office.
  • Subdivision not required: You don't need to split your property to build a granny flat, unless you plan to sell it later.
  • Costs: The price depends on size and features. Talk to a granny flat builder for a quote.

Building Permits

  • Building consent exemptions: Small (up to 30m2), single-story buildings without kitchens or bathrooms may not need building consent. Electrical work still needs a qualified electrician.
  • Future changes: Rules may become easier in 2024, allowing more and larger granny flats to be built without consent requirements. Keep an eye out for further news on this.
  • Resource consent: You may not need resource consent if your granny flat meets the Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS). In many cases, these new standards would enable additional dwellings to be built in front/backyards without permission from the local council helping to save time and money.

Choosing the Right Granny Flat.


There are many designs and options available. Prefabricated granny flats are built in a factory and delivered to your property. This saves time, cost and disruption.


Is a granny flat right for you?


If you feel you have a need and theres some spare space on your property, then talk to a builder to find the perfect fit for your property.


How much does a granny flat cost?


The price of a granny flat depends on a few things. It can be affected by its size and features. Talk to a builder in your area to get an idea of the cost. Prices can vary depending on where you live because of different site, material and labor costs.This article helpfully breaks down all the costs that you need to consider with a transportable home project. 



How do I find the right second dwelling for me?


There are many different second dwelling, granny flat, or small home design and options available. At Manor Build, we build prefabricated transportable homes in our dedicated facility and deliver them to the final location. Below are a couple of examples of second dwellings which you can find in our range which are up to 70sqm.


Granny flat designs

Alabama | 2 bedroom house design | 60sqm

Granny flat options

The Alabama has 2 double sized bedrooms with built-in wardrobes so storage is no issue. It has 1 bathroom and sits at 60sqm in size. It is a compact yet surprisingly spacious design with open plan living. When you want a small house with all the features this design fits the bill.


Villa | 2 bedroom house design | 58.8sqm

Granny flat nz

The Villa house design offers traditional country charm. It measures 9.8m in length and 6m wide, coming in at just under 60sqm while featuring 2 double sized bedrooms. The open plan kitchen, living and dining area offers smart spacious living, perfect for small families or for a relaxing and comfortable experience. 

Even though we have only shown a couple of options, we also have larger prefab homes available in our range which can be ideal as a second dwelling, depending on your needs and requirements. We also offer customisable options, such as floorplan layout adjustments, size changes, and different roof options. Download our brochure to view our full range of prefab homes including second dwellings and small homes.

Download our brochure


Tags: Transportable/Prefab home Investment/Rental homes Housing Market Trends