Canberra Granny Flat Builders is a business that is committed to designing and building secondary residences in the Australian Capital Territory. A secondary residence or a ‘Granny Flat’ is a detached residential structure built in a backyard.
We spend most of our time building and working with clients, so we can't always get to our mobile phones. If you call us on 1300 979 658, from Monday to Friday between 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, we will be able to take your contact details and the relevant team member will aim to get back to you within 24 hours. Our email, firstname.lastname@example.org, is checked daily during business hours but not on weekends.
The price written is the price that you pay. Unlike many builders whose business model is built around providing an opening price with the intent of dramatically increasing it with variations and initial project omissions, we aim to be transparent and provide a total, turnkey price up front.
The only time the project price will change from the original HIA agreement is if the customer requests a substantial project change.
Canberra Granny Flat Builders will complete your project on time, every time.
Once we receive government approvals, we guarantee to finish your project within the timeline outlined in our signed HIA agreement. If we don't meet our time commitment we will pay you $250 per day or pay for a 5-star room until the project is complete.
Our time guarantee is subject to:
Changes to the project – if you alter the project in a way that impacts the timeline.
Acts of God or unforeseen events – if the weather or an unforeseen event affects the project. If any of these events occur, we will notify you of the expected time delay.
Access to the site – for example, if a tenant restricts our access to building your investment property.
This is to be read in conjunction with your HIA Agreement.
At Canberra Granny Flat Builders, it is our mission to create a world class product that increases the value of your property above the investment in that project. To do that we must use the very best materials, inclusions and tradespeople.
We have developed our detailed inclusion list and style guide to provide our customers with choice and range from among the highest quality options. Our detailed written proposals outline exactly what is included in your project.
To ensure that you are totally satisfied with what we create and build for you, you will not be required to pay the final instalment until you have walked through the project with the builder and are entirely satisfied with the end result.
We know that the cornerstone of a successful project is clear and transparent communication at every stage. When the building starts, you will never be left in the dark about its progress.
Any time we don’t meet this commitment, we will take $500 off the price of the project.
Any changes made to your project will be in writing.
Before the first sod is turned and your project begins, you will know exactly what the timeframes are for the completion of each stage. There will be times when things move fast, and there will be the inevitable delays, but you will always know what is going on and why.
You can ask to meet with us at any stage of the project. As we spend most of our time building and working with clients, we can't always get to our mobile phones. If you call us on 1300 979 658 Monday to Friday between 9am - 5pm, we will take your contact details and the relevant team member will get back to you within 48 hours. Our email email@example.com is checked daily during business hours.
We have created a range of designs you can choose from or we can provide a custom design service to suit your needs. We modify an existing design to better suit your needs for an investment of $750. You are also able to work with our designer to create a custom design for your property for an investment of $1750.
We also provide an inclusions and style guide for the benefit of our customers to provide choice, range and inspiration for the designs of your projects, as well as a concierge service where one of our team can meet you at a retail supplier and work with you to select your inclusions. That doesn’t limit the items that can be included in your project: if what you want is compliant with legislation, available and can be installed by our team, we will be happy to accomodate it.
Canberra Granny Flat Builders are proud to build all of our projects on site. Our tradespeople are locally based, licensed, and build to the highest quality and ensure all our designs are compliant with ACT regulations.
All of our work requires a structural engineer to design the foundations and structural floor systems for your project. In order to ensure that the project is structurally sound and safe, we cannot use existing slabs.
A secondary residence done with Canberra Granny Flat Builders can range in price from $87 000-$290 000. Our customer guarantees ensure that we stick to or under budget with every project. Prices can vary further depending on the inclusions you choose for your design. Our designs can be viewed under our Design Gallery, along with indicative prices.
If your property has gas services connected to it, we are typically able to use the existing connection for your new project. We may require additional investment to accomodate gas connections. Gas connections are not offered as a standard inclusion as some properties do not have existing gas connections.
Commonly known as a granny flat, a secondary residency in the ACT is a self-contained residential structure built on a block of land which is in addition to an existing residence. The legislation provides that a secondary residence can be rented separately to an existing residence. This means that separate electrical, water and gas metering can be achieved for the majority of secondary residences.
A secondary residence can have a minimum gross floor area (GFA) of 40m^2, up to a maximum of 90m^2. In addition to the secondary residence itself it is possible to build additional structures, such as garages, carports, alfresco areas and carports which do not count towards the gross floor area of the secondary residence.
Canberra Granny Flats generally build secondary residences which have one to four bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, one or more living spaces, a kitchen, and a laundry. There are no statutory minimum or maximum numbers of rooms or types of rooms.
Subdivision is a complex area of law, and can occur through multiple mechanisms including lease variations and unit titling. Depending on the size of the block and the requirements of the lease, zone and precinct, subdivision may be possible. We are able to provide limited advice in this area. If your lease conditions permit dual occupancy housing, subdivision is possible in most cases.
Leases in the ACT can be either single or dual occupancy. Dual occupancy leases allow two dwellings to be built on a single block. The block can then be subdivided into two separately titled blocks, which may have a common driveway. When you see two blocks that have the same address, but separate lettering (e.g. 21A and 21B Smith Street), this is an example of dual occupancy housing.
An easement is typically an area of land that is reserved for the provision of utilities. This can include areas where powerlines encroach onto the block, or where water pipelines extend under the block. Right of way easements are not for utilities, but are to allow residents that are on blocks that may not have direct access to the road to access it through other land. These are particularly rare in the ACT.
You can see if your block has any easements on it by using ACTmapi, the ACT Government’s mapping tool, available at actmapi.act.gov.au. Select “Basic Map”, then “Search Blocks” (at the top of the map). After finding your block, check the layers and select “Easements”. This should show whether any easements encroach on your block and what type of easements they are. In some rare cases, easements may not be shown on ACTmapi. Further investigation is possible and a site survey may be necessary.
The owners of utility easements have the power to determine their own requirements for projects that they will and will not permit in the vicinity of their easements. Their decisions are non-reviewable.
Setbacks are areas around the borders of your block where building is restricted or, in some circumstances, prohibited. There are setbacks on every border of your block, and they will be identified in the planning report for your block.
Private open space is space that is directly accessible from a habitable room other than a bedroom, such as a living room or kitchen. Principle open space is screened from public streets and pedestrian paths. Generally, these are found in backyards, or courtyards in the front yards.
Principle open spaces are shown as 6m diameter circles on plans, and so long as one principle open space can be shown to exist, this satisfies the requirement to demonstrate that there is also sufficient private open space.
Trees that are registered or regulated are considered to be protected, as are trees in tree management precincts.
Registered trees are trees that are registered or provisionally registered. They can be located using ACTmapi.
Regulated trees are living trees other than registered trees or palm trees that are on leased land within a tree management precinct and;
Are 12m or more high; or
Have a trunk with a circumference of 1.5m or more, 1m above natural ground level; or
Have 2 or more trunks and the total circumference of all the trunks, 1m above natural ground level, are 1.5m ore more; or
Have a canopy 12m or more wide
Trees that are pest plants under the Pest Plants and Animals Act (2005) are not regulated trees
Tree management precincts are areas declared under part 5 Tree Protection Act 2005 to be tree management precincts
Protection zones for protected trees are:
The area under the canopy of the tree; and
The 2m wide area surrounding the vertical projection of the canopy; and
The 4m wide area surrounding the trunk as measured at 1m above natural ground level
If your block has any regulated or registered trees on it, approval will need to be sought from the conservator, who may require documentation or further information before deciding on the application.
If your project increases the number of dwellings on your block, as is the case with a secondary residence, you will almost certainly need to add an additional carport unless you already have three or more carports on your block. If your project is an attachment or extension, an additional carport is unlikely to be necessary.
Parking space for secondary residences cannot be located in the front zone unless it can achieve all the following:
Reasonable amenity of neighbouring residential blocks
Consistency with the value of the streetscape
Public safety, especially in relation to pedestrians and cyclists
Reasonable surveillance of parking spaces
Information pertaining to the statutory requirements of secondary residence parking can be found in element 4.3 of the Residential Development Code
The indicative price for a new carport is broken down as follows, based on the cost of an 18m^2 timber carport with a colourbond roof.
The structure: approximately $5800
The concrete slab: approximately $2000
The planning and building approvals fees charged by the ACT Planning and Land Authority: $700
There must be appropriate distance between buildings in order to comply with the fire risk reduction provisions the Building Code of Australia. This may include the requirement of fire rated designs and materials when building within 900mm of a boundary or 1.8m of another dwelling on the same or adjoining block.
The plot ratio is the gross floor area (GFA) of a building divided by the area of the block, represented as a percentage. The plot ratio means the percentage of the block’s area that a structure takes up. Most blocks have a prescribed maximum ratio of the block that can be taken up with structures, which can limit the size of any additional development on the block.
Gross floor area is the sum of the area of all floors of a structure measured from the external faces of the exterior walls, or from the centre lines of walls separating the building from any other building, excluding any area used solely for rooftop fixed mechanical plants or basement car parking.
All structures on a block count towards gross floor area.
Development approval is always required for secondary residences.
There are three possible tracks for assessing development proposals: code, impact and merit. Secondary residences fall under the merit track, which is as follows:
Lodgement of the development application occurs
Completeness check to confirm that the minimum requirements for lodgement have been met (3-5 business days)
Minimum requirements are met and fee advice is sent (if minimum requirements are not met, further information will be requested)
Fees are paid, the application has now formally been lodged.
The Planning and Land Authority (PLA) can request further information
Depending on whether further information is requested and whether any representations (feedback) on the proposal are submitted during the public notification process, this entire process can take anywhere from 30 to 65 working days, after lodgement has been successful.
Development approval is governed primarily by the Planning and Development Act (2007).
If your project is an extension, if it means all the rules in the applicable zone and precinct codes and is under a certain size, it may be exempt from requiring development approval. This will be need to be assessed and is dependent on the type of block and size of the project you plan to undertake.
If the development is located within an established area (e.g. residential area) it is strongly recommended by the Environment and Planning Directorate that public consultation with the surrounding neighbours take place during the design stage of the DA to ensure the development proposal takes into all account all issues that may arise. Public notification, however, is a mandatory requirement for all merit track development applications.
There are two types of public notifications: minor notification and major notification.
A minor notification is when the neighbours adjoined to the property receive letters advising them of the application.
A major application is when the neighbours adjoined to the property receive a letter and a sign is placed on the site advising the public on the proposed development.
Once the completeness check has been completed, the proposal will be publicly registered with the Planning Departments Public Notification register.
Additions and extensions will never be affected, because the charge associated with the WSCC code is calculated by multiplying the increase in effective population caused by a project by a base charge. As extensions and additions do not increase the effective population of a block, this results in a situation where the base charge would be multiplied by 0, and as such no charge can ever be applied.
Secondary residences will also not be affected by this charge unless they are so large or built in such a way as to require the construction fo class 2 infrastructure, as the charge is exclusively tied to the construction of class 2 infrastructure. This is quite a high level of infrastructure, and not required to support typical secondary residences.
In most cases, building a secondary driveway is possible. We will manage this process for you, including seeking approvals from Transport Canberra and City Services, and any affected utility companies.
If you have read our guide to successfully managing secondary residences, then you would be aware of our recommendation to erect a compliant site fence if you are contemplating building a secondary where an existing tenancy exists.
The general costs to erect a site fence separating the backyard are approximately $450-$550. This is a one-off cost, and the site fence can remain in place for up to 12 months.
Please arrange directly with Angelo Turcin from ACT Fence Hire on 0411 433 499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mention that you are working with Canberra Granny Flats so he can apply our pricing.