What is a Granny Flat?
No, it’s not a shoe. Granny Flats could be the next big trend in residential architecture. A Granny Flat, also called Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), is a secondary home that shares the same property as a primary residence. Think backyard cottage, guesthouse, or carriage house. I’ve rounded up 12 Fabulous Granny Flat Designs to share today.
Many parts of the country are facing severe housing shortages, and Granny Flats are an excellent solution. Homeowners are able to build small homes in their backyard that they can then rent. They can also provide multigenerational housing, which is a fancy way of saying your parents (the Granny part) live in their own home in your backyard. Close enough to provide free babysitting, but not living with you.
What is a granny flat?
A Granny Flat falls somewhere between a tiny house (about 500 s.f.) and a small house (about 1,400 s.f.), and unlike tiny houses, everything is normal sized. No miniature bathrooms or kitchens. They usually have one or two bedrooms and one bath. Granny Flats are also stationary; they are not designed to be movable like a tiny house.
These small houses offer an opportunity for some really great designs. For the most part, they fall into two broad style categories: traditional and contemporary.
Traditional Exterior Granny Flat Designs
The traditional designs have loads of details and can also reflect the style of their location (Southwest, South, or Northeast for example). The following seven Granny Flats have been designed with an eye to detail.
Source: Oregon Live
Source: Our Town Plans
Source: Southern Living
Source: House in a Box
Source: Awesome Jelly
Source: Tiny House Town
Contemporary Granny Flat Designs
Usually, I’m drawn to houses with a more traditional style like those above. But, I’m loving the contemporary Granny Flats shown below. I love the mix of materials, the simple forms, and all that glass. If you’re going to live in a small space, you need to blur the line between inside and outside to make the space feel larger. These designs also incorporate a large outdoor patio space, which again, makes the house seem bigger.
Source: Tiny House Blog
Source: Tiny House Town
Source: Casual Opulence
Source: Lunchbox Architect
That’s just a small selection of Granny Flat designs that are out there.
Which style do you prefer? Traditional or Contemporary? Do you have a favorite granny flat design?
If you’re thinking about building a Granny Flat, be sure to check out our Granny Flats Preliminary Planning Checklist with the questions you need to ask before you even start planning. Don’t miss our other posts on Granny Flats: