Building a granny flat in your backyard is a great idea in order to run and operate a rental unit and maximize your property’s value! We did it in our own backyard and now in many other’s. Speaking from personal and professional, experience can’t recommend this as an addition highly enough. 

Learn How to Build Your Own Granny Flat at the Maxable 101 Expo in Downtown LA

Interested in learning more and getting 101 advice on how to maximize your property with a granny flat? Come out to the Maxable 101 Expo in Downtown Los Angeles this weekend where you can learn from panels of experts. Find tickets, parking information, and RSVP here on Eventbrite.


How Much Does it Cost to Build a Granny Flat? And Is It Worth It?

Depending on how large and what materials you want to use, how much is preassembled, etc your budget for building a granny flat can vary greatly. There are start-ups specializing in pre-fab homes that claim to take just four hours and cost under $10k to build and install a granny flat (compared to the normal 4-8 weeks), but if you want a fully functional rental unit with all the bells and whistles needed to really be competitive in the rental market, expect to spend upwards of $100k. But the return is well worth it! The important thing is to plan to own the property for a long time.

Granny flats cost a little more per square foot than a regular home because they are essentially mini homes with all the same inclusions like plumbing, energy, AC, etc. So they may be tiny homes, but they include all the ‘expensive’ square footage in a normal-size home. The video from Maxable, posted above, details further.

Things to Keep in Mind When Building a Granny Flat on Your Property

  • Design requirements: Your city ordinance may require height, size, and other specifications. Be sure you’re in compliance before you start on a costly project!
  • There may be city fees and parking requirements for your unit.
  • You need to get permitted, but it’s generally not difficult to do so long as you’re up-to-code when it comes to health and safety
  • Title 24 requirements in California state that all new construction needs to meet energy-neutral guidelines. That means it’s time to install those solar panels!
  • The time it takes to build your granny flat can range from a few weeks to a few months depending upon how many pieces are prefabricated or being built from scratch.
  • When it comes to designing the space, having lots of windows and ample light is crucial so it doesn’t feel like a stuffy box. Also, since it’s small and space is at a premium, verticality is imperative — anyone who’s dwelled in small urban environments can tell you that – install window treatments from where the wall meets the ceiling above windows, think tall, narrow bookshelves, small-scale furniture that serves multiple functions (pull out couches, etc)