When are Backyard Homes Subject to Local Limits?
A granny flat is typically a separate space. You’re expanding the footprint of your home either in your backyard, above the garage, or replacing the garage. Even if it’s built new and attached to an existing home, the space is still considered separate with its own kitchen and living space.
An in-law suite is considered an interior conversion. You’re building within the existing footprint of the home, and it usually shares amenities with the house.
There are innumerable reasons why you might want one or the other, and it all depends on a few factors.
We have a clear winner here: The granny flat. Being a separate space on your property, it still gives you your entire home to yourself. This is great if you plan on renting your granny flat out to renters or using it as a vacation rental.
In-law suites mean less privacy — this could be a good or bad thing depending on your sensibilities and relationship with the tenants of your home — but that’s another issue for another blog on another site. With an in-law suite, you’re sharing the kitchen, laundry room, and possibly other living spaces in your home. These types of interior conversions are great for actual in-laws, a kid coming back from college, or other family and friends with whom you don’t mind sharing space.
Both are valuable in their own ways. An in-law suite could be very useful to a lot of potential homeowners. However, even though a granny flat is more work and requires more permits, you’re adding livable square footage to your property. This is the same for a granny flat built on top of or in place of a garage.
While granny flats and in-law suites are useful additions or changes to your property, it helps to know what your needs are, who will occupy the space, and how much you’re willing to spend will help you make the right decision.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GRANNY FLATS, READ ALL ABOUT THEM HERE!