The Pros & Cons of Building a Backyard Granny Flat

The Pros & Cons of Building a Backyard Granny Flat


With space at a premium and the cost of housing continually rising, homeowners are turning to building backyard granny flats. A granny flat can allow you the opportunity to increase your living space as well as add value to your property. Due to its popularity, rules and legislation has become more relaxed for building a backyard dwelling. Does building a backyard granny flat make sense for you and your family? Here are some pros and cons to help you make a more informed decision.



More Living Space

backyard granny flat modern design texas build on your lot remodelTypically, granny flats are used for older family members to live instead of paying for an expensive independent care facility or having an older larger home to take care of. Whether grandma is coming to visit or moving in, your granny flat will be ready.

But your granny flat isn’t just limited to an independent living option for aging parents. You can also use your granny flat as an option for adult children. You can use your granny flat as an independent living option for your adult children as they save to buy a home of their own. They can also be used as a spacious home office or base for a home-based business.


Income Source

brick granny flat in backyard grandma cottage attached to home custom builder texasYour granny flat can be a source of income for you and your family. The extra income can be used to help cover your main house mortgage, other household bills, college tuition, or the loan used to build the granny flat. If your granny flat is only used when family comes to visit, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to create extra rental income by renting the space through or or any of the other dozen companies that are devoted to short term rentals.

If you do plan to rent out your granny flat for extra rental income, think about your family’s privacy while you’re building. To create more privacy, think about window placement and creating a separate pathway that leads to the street. Extra privacy and easy access can also be a selling point for your rental property.


Increase Your Property Value

matching granny flat residence build custom on your lot in texasAdding any square footage to your property adds value and adding a separate dwelling space can add even more value. Future buyers will see a granny flat as an asset. Additionally, depending on your local ordinances, you may be able to subdivide your land and sell the portion of your lot containing the granny flat. A granny flat can be a worthwhile investment for you and your family, but if you’re not careful it can have the opposite effect. An unsightly or poorly built granny cottage can decrease your property value. That is why it’s important to speak to an experienced builder that can build a quality dwelling while keeping in mind the existing style of your property and the level of privacy and access that works best for your needs.





mother in law cottage backyard custom builder texasIf you want to build a quality granny flat that matches your main house style, you’ll need a quality builder that can design and build custom homes. These quality builders don’t come cheap, and it’s not something that you want to skimp on either. Once built, your granny flat will also involve regular maintenance costs, just like your main house. However, if you plan to rent you granny flat, these expenses don’t have to come from your pocket.




Even though building a backyard granny flat has become easier, there is still an approval process, and potential regulations about how you can use your granny flat. The approval process varies by county and district. Most approval processes in Texas are relatively straightforward but it’s wise to keep in mind the time it may take to get final approvals. Additionally, your county, district, and even your HOA may limit how you use your property. On rare occasions HOAs will discourage short term rentals. So be sure to check with your builder to ensure you’ll be able to use your backyard granny flat how you intend.


Think building a backyard granny flat might be right for you and your family? We have over 50 years of experience building custom homes and granny flats in Texas and we would love the opportunity to talk to you about your backyard granny flat ideas.


Contact Us


Putnam Builders has been building custom homes on the Gulf Coast of Texas and surrounding areas since 1963. We would love the opportunity to discuss your custom home ideas in our design studio in Bacliff, TX or in the comfort of your own home. Please contact us at 281-339-0838 or request a free consultation.



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