Granny flats are on the rise this 2022. Residential structural engineers are seeing more secondary dwellings being built as real estate becomes more expensive in Sydney.  They’re small and convenient homes that have the essential rooms and facilities. Originally intended for elderly relatives (thus the name “granny flat”), it has evolved to become an extra space in every house where guests can stay or have it rented out. 

One of its major appeals is that it’s affordable to build. A granny flat costs only around A$150,000 to construct while the average cost of building a house cost around A$400,000 to A$500,000. Granny flat approvals are also not that difficult to get. Sydney, the so-called “granny flat capital”, has a total of 6,065 granny flats as of 2019 according to Yahoo Finance.

(South Australia comes at a far second with 910.)

Another reason is that it’s not difficult to get an approval for the construction of a granny flat.

A residential structural engineer will be very familiar with the five-step approval process of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. These steps are listed as follows in their website: file and obtain approval of Development Application or Complying Development Certificate, construct the granny flat, obtain an Occupation Certificate (OC), construct main house, and obtain final Occupation Certificate.

Employing the services of structural engineering consultants can help you complete this process with confidence. At the same time, they can provide other essential services like inspecting and surveying your property prior to construction. Part of the requirements of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment ensuring that the granny flat being constructed is “permitted through the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP) in residential zones (R1, R2, R3, R4, and R5). They may also be permitted in other zones under council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP).” They also check for compliance when building on bushfire prone land.

A residential structural engineer will also ensure that the granny flat being built follows Australian building codes and standards. They will also have to check the type of soil, materials to be used, and the design of the house among many other things. They can also conduct flood analysis which is required in some Development Applications especially in residential areas that are prone to flooding. And while granny flats are more affordable than building a house, it still follows certain requirements that can only be best supported by structural engineers.

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