In recent years the government has become a little more lenient with the construction of granny flats, quite a far cry from the old days when there weren’t many areas that allowed its construction due to zone restrictions. Even if they are not meant to house your elderly relatives, these flats have also become a great solution to housing site shortages and allowed property owners to have an extra source of income because they could be rented out.
So if you’re planning to construct a granny flat on your property, there are many things you need to think about before you can be able to do so like reviewing your local building codes, permit application procedures and zoning laws and occupancy regulations. In addition, you will also need to think about how you will build and design your structures so that your elderly relatives will be able to move about easily, without fearing or worrying that they will hurt themselves.
To start, you can make inquiries in places developed especially for elderly living. You can ask senior citizens about what they like and don’t like as far as living arrangements are concerned, what they liked about their current home and what type of amenities sealed the deal for them (i.e., recreational facilities, proximity to grocery stores, hospitals, etc.) You also need to learn about the different types of elderly housing options available. Most, if not all senior citizens loathe the idea of having to stay in aged care facilities or hospices so an apartment-style setting is something that appeals greatly to them because it offers them as much privacy, freedom and independence as their age allows.
If you are going to avail of granny flat kits, make sure you hire contractors or builders who’ve had experience with constructing homes for the elderly and who have updated knowledge about government legislations concerning the building of residences for seniors. Don’t forget as well to inquire about insurance to cover the construction of your homes when the financing for it comes through and as much as possible, try to work closely with the builders so that you stay within the timeframe and most especially within the budget range.
As far as designing the interior of your granny flats are concerned, you need to make sure first and foremost that the doorways and hallways are wide enough for wheelchair access if necessary. Replace low-watt bulbs with brighter halogen ones in all overhead fixtures and lamps, most especially in closet areas and make sure you replace standard light switches with ones that have larger buttons that are easier to turn on.
You should also think of installing adjustable shelves and rods in the closets and place reflective, non-slip tape on the edges of stairs and steps. You can also stick double-sided tapes underneath rugs to further prevent incidences of slipping. And lastly, if your elderly relatives suffer from arthritis, it may be best to install lever handles on doors and get them automatic can-openers or jar openers that you can fasten underneath the kitchen counters.