Relics of 80s suburbia helping to keep families closer

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Granny flats are an innovative way to maximise living space.
Camera IconGranny flats are an innovative way to maximise living space. Credit: Summit Homes.

The concept of sharing – whether it’s food and drink, activities or simply time with one another – is engrained in the family-centric lifestyle of many Western Australians.

It’s a fundamental part of who we are, and how we like to spend our time, and one that reflects in the property choices of many who decide to buy or build close to their loved ones in the areas they know and love.

It’s also a significant factor in the recent re-emergence the humble granny flat in WA. No longer an antiquated relic of 80s suburbia, more people are seeing the value in the granny flat a way to keep loved ones safe, secure, self-contained and close by.

The Stevenson family (not real name) recently took the granny flat plunge, building a standalone set-up for their parents at the back of their North Perth home.

Extended family staying close by was a trend in their own upbringings – one they look fondly back on and have aimed to replicate in their own living circumstances over the years.

Having always kept the family close, a granny flat was a natural progression for the family and allows the tight-knit unit to remain just that.

“We have developed before such that we could reside next door to our parents on a couple of other occasions over the years,” they said.

“As they have gotten older, building a granny flat just made the most sense to keep them close.

“Other than to watch out for them, we also thought it was important for our kids to have their grandparents nearby and involved in their lives.

“The biggest lifestyle positive to come of building a granny flat is having the grandparents nearby for the kids as they grow up.”

With property prices on the rise and land in Perth’s suburbs becoming harder to come by, it is little wonder more people are considering a granny flat lifestyle.

Sage advice on offer

The Stevensons said it was important to make sure a granny flat was the right decision for both parties, and that done right it could provide both piece of mind and independence for the family unit and minimal disruption to day-to-day life in the building process.

“We had a very good experience throughout the construction process,” they said.

While only recently built, the Stevensons’ advice to those considering building a granny flat was to consider carefully which amenities could be shared between the two dwellings, and which were better served as standalone options.

“It does make sense to share some amenities communally, such as the clothesline, garden spaces, decking areas and barbecues,” they said.

“This shared use provides a more sustainable way of using resources, rather than just replicating features or items purely for the same of ownership.”

While a great example of how the space can be used, granny flats have a range of purposes including as independent spaces for older kids, as office or studio spaces, and even as short or long-term rentals.

Summit Granny Flats offers a diverse, versatile and innovative range of living spaces to suit the needs of individuals considering their granny flat options, with experience to draw on from many years in the WA market and a range of construction methods to choose from. Find out more here.

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