Tag: annexe

Architecture & Building, Uncategorised

Enhancing Multi-Generational Living with Granny Annexes

In an era where families are redefining the concept of home and seeking innovative ways to accommodate multi-generational living, the resurgence of the granny annexe has captured the imagination of homeowners worldwide. Also known as a backyard cottage, in-law suite, or secondary dwelling unit, a granny annexe is a self-contained living space located on the same property as the main residence. This trend not only reflects changing family dynamics but also presents a practical and flexible solution to address various housing needs within a single property.

The Evolution of Granny Annexes

The concept of the granny annexe is not entirely new; it harkens back to traditional extended family living arrangements where generations shared a single property. However, modern granny annexes have undergone a significant transformation, combining functional design and modern amenities to provide an independent living space for elderly family members, young adults, or guests. These annexes can range from detached cottages to converted garages or basements, each designed to offer privacy and comfort.

Benefits of Granny Annexes

  1. Multi-Generational Living: Granny annexes provide a unique opportunity for multi-generational families to live together while maintaining individual space and privacy. Elderly parents can be close to their adult children and grandchildren, fostering stronger bonds and easing the challenges of caregiving.
  2. Independent Living: Seniors can retain their autonomy while enjoying proximity to their family’s support system. This arrangement allows them to age in place comfortably, avoiding the need for relocating to unfamiliar environments like retirement homes.
  3. Cost-Effective Solution: Building a granny annexe can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a separate property or moving to a retirement community. It can also serve as an income-generating asset if rented out when not in use by family members.
  4. Increased Property Value: Well-designed granny annexes can enhance the overall value of a property. The additional living space and flexibility it offers can make the property more appealing to potential buyers.

Design Considerations

Creating a functional and comfortable granny annexe requires careful planning and consideration of various factors:

  1. Accessibility: Design the annexe with universal design principles in mind, ensuring easy access for seniors or individuals with mobility challenges. Features like ramped entrances, wider doorways, and grab bars can enhance safety and convenience.
  2. Privacy and Autonomy: The annexe should strike a balance between independence and connection. Separate entrances, kitchen facilities, and private bathrooms contribute to a self-contained living space.
  3. Amenities: While granny annexes offer independent living, they should still be equipped with modern amenities such as a kitchenette, bathroom, and living area. Adequate insulation, heating, and cooling systems are essential for year-round comfort.
  4. Natural Light and Ventilation: Incorporating ample windows and proper ventilation not only enhances the visual appeal but also contributes to a healthier and more pleasant living environment.
  5. Landscaping and Outdoor Space: Integrating outdoor spaces, like a small garden or patio, can extend the living area and create a sense of connection to the main residence.


The resurgence of granny annexes reflects a growing trend towards flexible and adaptable living arrangements that cater to evolving family dynamics. As more households recognize the benefits of multi-generational living, the concept of the granny annexe offers a solution that promotes independence, support, and close-knit family relationships. By combining modern design principles with the time-tested concept of shared family spaces, granny annexes are redefining the traditional notion of home, fostering a sense of togetherness within the boundaries of a single property.

Architecture & Building

The Role and Significance of Annexes in Modern Architecture 

Annexes refer to an additional or supplementary building or structure that is attached or adjacent to a main building. It can serve various purposes, such as providing extra space for specific functions or accommodating overflow from the main building. 

Annexes are commonly found in different contexts: 

  • Educational Institutions: Schools and universities may have annexes to accommodate additional classrooms, laboratories, or administrative offices. 
  • Government Buildings: Government offices often have annexes to house specific departments or agencies. Especially when the main building is already at full capacity. 
  • Hospitals: Medical facilities may have annex buildings to provide specialized care or house specific departments. 
  • Hotels: In the hospitality industry, hotels may have annex buildings to provide extra rooms or facilities. 
  • Residential Properties: Sometimes, homeowners may construct an annexe to their house for various purposes, such as a home office, guest room, or a separate living space for family members. 
  • Corporate Offices: Large corporations may have annex buildings to accommodate expansion or to house specific departments. 

Annexes are designed to complement the main building and are usually located nearby or connected through a covered pathway. The term can also be used more broadly to refer to supplementary sections or additions to documents, treaties, or agreements. 

Types of Annexe: 

  • Horizontal Annex: This type of annexe is built on the same level as the main building and is usually connected by a corridor or walkway. Horizontal annexes are commonly used in educational institutions and government buildings. 
  • Vertical Annex: Vertical annexes are constructed as additional floors above or below the main building. This type of annexe is prevalent in urban areas where land availability is limited. 
  • Adjacent Annex: An adjacent annexe is a separate building located next to the main structure, with a clear demarcation between the two. It may be connected through a pathway, but the buildings remain distinct. 
  • Integrated Annex: An integrated annexe is designed to seamlessly blend with the main building, often incorporating similar architectural elements and design features. 

In summary, an annexe is an auxiliary structure that expands the capabilities or capacity of a primary building or serves a specific function that complements the main facility. 

Image: https://www.executivegardenrooms.co.uk/services/garden-annexe/
Architecture & Building

How much does it cost to build Annexe?

Firstly, a garden annexe can transform a family’s life. By giving the person living in the building closeness to their loved ones. Whilst maintaining the privacy of having their own space. It provides the best of both worlds, especially if the main property doesn’t have the space or privacy required to accommodate a family member.   

What is an annexe?  

An annexe is a building joined to or associated with the main building, providing additional space or accommodation. It’s a self-contained living space featuring a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. In addition, the outbuilding can be attached to the main property or housed in a converted outbuilding.  

Will you need an architect? 

While an architect isn’t essential when it comes to building an annexe because it is a project that you can DIY. However, you may want to hire an architect to help you with the planning and positioning process to make sure your project is legal and safe.  

Planning rules –  

An annexe is usually considered to be an outbuilding, which is defined as being incidental to the use of the property. This is important as it will dictate whether you need planning permission.  

The local authority is likely to have concerns over things such as:  

  • The overall size of the annexe in relation to the main house and size of your garden. 
  • The specification of the living accommodation needs to be considered ancillary to the main house to be an annexe.  
  • They will want to know the reason you want to build an annexe. And what long term plans you have for it.  

How much does it cost to build?  

On average it is estimated to cost between £68,000 to £140,000 to build an average-sized one. An annexe is known to add as much as 20-30% value to the property, so it is a great investment. People have also been known to rent out their annexes, which can be a good thing because the property owner is getting some more income.  

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Architecture & Building

Adding A Second Dwelling To Your Property

Whether you are looking for a granny annex, rental accommodation, or just more room for visitors, adding a second dwelling would be a perfect option.  

What is a dwelling?  

A dwelling is a self-contained unit of accommodation used by one or more households as a home. For example, a house, flat, or another place of residence. People usually opt for these because they are smaller and a more affordable way of adding extra living space to a property.  

Reasons to add another dwelling –  

  • Add extra living space – this is one of the main reasons that people add an extra dwelling. This is a great option for people that want their families close to them, or if you want to move out and have a bit of independence.  
  • Extra income – a way to get a bit of extra income is by renting out the dwelling. You can use the money in any way you like. Such as, to help pay your mortgage or the utility bill or you could invest it back into the dwelling.   
  • Increase the property value – adding a dwelling will no doubt increase the value of the property.  

Will you need planning permission for a dwelling?  

The new building will require planning permission. However, if you stay within permitted development then you may not need to get planning permission. You will not need planning permission if you follow these conditions:  

  • No outbuildings on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.  
  • Outbuildings to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 meters and maximum overall height of four meters with a dual pitched roof.  
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.  
  • Mo more than half the area of land around the original house, would be covered by additions. 
  • Maximum height of 2.5 meters in case of a building or enclosure within two meters of a boundry of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.  

How much does it cost to add a second dwelling?  

When it comes to building your new dwelling, you should expect contractor fees and materials to eat up your budget. For example:  

Basic build – new build areas – £1500 m2, Refurbished areas – £800 m2 

Standard, high-quality build – new build areas – £1650 m2, Refurbished areas – £875m2 

Premium quality build – new build areas – £1800 m2, Refurbished area £950 m2 

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Design and insperation, Extensions

The complete guide to annexes and a granny annexe

What is an annexe?   

A self-contained unit is more commonly called an annexe or a granny flat. It is generally a building or a part of a building that is used as separate living accommodation. And they may share common services and an entrance with the main house.  

A garden annexe can transform a family’s life. Because by giving the person living in the building closeness to their loved ones. Whilst still maintaining the privacy of having their own space. With a granny annexe, you can avoid costly care homes or the guilt and worry experienced when an unwell or elderly relative lives alone. 

A garden annexe isn’t a permanent residence and doesn’t usually require planning permission. A granny flat is intended to be someone’s home. If the building is being used for habitation with all of the main services. Such as a kitchen or kitchenette, bathroom and bedroom, this would need either householder applications or the caravan act. Therefore, requires permission from the local authority, though this can be via a normal planning application.  

How much does it cost to build an annexe?  

Typically, the average cost to build an annexe is around £20,000. However, the price can vary depending on the size and the quality of the project. Most annexes have between 48 – 75 square meters of living space. Many people like the idea of an annexe because some estimates reckon that they can add as much as 20-30% to the value of the property.  

How long do they take to build?  

Annexes you build on-site typically take 7-14 weeks depending on the size and the specification, but you also need to allow extra time for manufacturing. And build off-site annexes usually take 10 weeks to manufacture, then 4 days or less to deliver on-site.   

Many people also like to have annexes because they are allowed to rent them out. When you rent your property, it would fall under the category of a lodger rather than an assured shorthold tenancy. And also, because annexes will be exempt from paying council tax. Only if it is separately banded for council tax but forms part of another property and a dependant relative is living in it as their main or only home.  

large Granny Annexe is a luxurious self contained home | Architecture, House,  House design
An annexe/ granny annexe.

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