Keeping our loved ones close as they age is one of the most endearing and beautiful things a family can do. Not to mention all the help they can provide with the kids! However, the truth is they still need a private space of their own where they can retreat at the end of the day to spend some quiet time. And so do you! Enter the famous granny annex!
This amazing idea means installing a summerhouse in your backyard or converting your already existing one into a personalized space. Here your elderly parents can have privacy as well as independence. While staying as close to you and the young ones as possible! Here is all you need to know about the granny annex! Plus a few amazing ideas on how to make this backyard project work!
Where did the granny annex idea come from?
In the beginning, a granny annex or a granny pod as it is sometimes called was a space with a very specific purpose. Individuals all over were erecting tiny houses on their properties to shelter an elderly relative that was disabled. And who had to be at home all the time where he or she could get the care and attention they needed from their own family members as opposed to a retiring home or a senior center.
Soon enough, however, a lot of families discovered all the wonderful benefits of having your elders around all the time. And not just when they are in need or for medical purposes. Therefore, the small houses became the now famous granny annexes built especially for one senior member of the family or both.
They can live on the same property as the rest of the family all the while enjoying their freedom, peace, and independence if they need it. Apart from that, a granny annex comes at a much lower cost than an actual house. This is something that most elders enjoy, seeing as they live on a fixed income or need to cut back expenses every month.
Cool Ideas for Your Own Granny Annex
If this seems like something you and your family would enjoy having, here are some cool ideas that will make the transition from simple summerhouse to granny annex a lot easier!
1. Go for a shared patio
This is the perfect solution for families who want some privacy but who still wish to be in super close proximity. You get an independent entry and door to each person’s house plus a shared patio. Which means your elderly beloved is but a few feet away!
It also means that if he or she has mobility issues they won’t have to struggle to walk a long way to reach you or the main house. One more thing. If you have a shared patio you can also split two ways the chore of keeping it clean. Win-win!
2. Add a vegetable garden to the granny annex
Planting a vegetable garden next to or even surrounding the granny annex is a marvelous idea. Remember that your senior relative has a lot more free time on his or her hands than you do! Therefore, taking care of some delicious vegetables could be a fun activity for them!
Apart from that a vegetable garden is a wonderful excuse to be out in the sun as much as possible. Being in the garden also allows them to exercise in a pleasant way. Edible gardens will help you save money on decorations too because you won’t need any! The garden will be beautiful enough on its own.
3. No stairs allowed here!
Most granny annexes don’t have stairs and there’s a good reasons for that. The persons living there are senior citizens that might have problems going up and down the stairs all the time. Therefore, this might be a good addition to your own granny annex as well. Or should we say subtraction?
Instead, you can introduce a ramp in case the little house is elevated. It might be easier for them to walk up a slope then on some stairs. You will also be thankful for the ramp in the future when your seniors might need it for further wheel mobility.
4. Add a little patio
Even if the granny annex is already located in your backyard or garden, there’s no reason your seniors shouldn’t have their own patio. It will give them a feeling of independence and propriety over the place.
The patio can be furnished with iron wrought furniture were they can sit and relax or play with the grandchildren. It might also give them the chance to further decorate the granny annex and call it their own!
5. Set up a kitchen
Seeing as a granny annex is essentially a summerhouse which received a glow up, most of them are not actually connected to the main gas line. However, you can go the extra mile and connect your granny annex to the electricity grid or the gas line. Add a stove and an oven and let grandma do some of her famous home cooking. We bet you’ll be the star of the neighborhood in no time!
Getting permission for the granny annex
A final word on the granny annex needs to be said about permissions. It’s very important that you check with the local council in your area first before installing or erecting a granny annex.
Some areas do not allow this type of extra constructions while others, even if they do, have regulations in place. They include the height of the building, the size or the colors in which it can be painted. Please make sure you get all the permits necessary before moving in your senior relatives.
What about you?
How do you feel about the granny annex? Do you think it’s a good idea to get more families reconnecting with their seniors while still providing intimacy and independence? Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comment section below!