Granny Annexes

Granny annexeInsideOut’s Granny Annexe Guide

Is a granny annexe the solution for you and your relatives?

Granny annexes can be a practical and fulfilling way to care for a vulnerable or elderly relative. They are not a cheap or quick fix solution but with the right building design company or architect and all the right permissions  you can build a beautiful small home witfor your relative.

How big can an annexe be?

GrannyYou don’t need a huge amount of space to build an annexe, but if your garden is small the annexe will need to be small as well – possibly just a bedroom and shower room. So discussions with your relative about downsizing are important. Do they feel able to live in a smaller space than they are used to?

Being realistic. A two bedroomed building with separate living room, bathroom and kitchen is a bungalow not an annexe. Your local planning department is very unlikely to give you permission for a bungalow in your back garden unless you have a particularly large house with extensive grounds. Even then it could be contentious.

However a smaller, snug and comfortable annexe is a real possibility. Companies such as The Real Wood Company specialise in bespoke annexes and build to your order.

Design considerations – making granny comfortable

Granny annexe kitchenGranny annexes by Insideout are architect-designed miniature homes with all the right fixtures and fitting in the right place for older people. Your local planning department and building control department will want you to build a well designed annexe that is appropriate for your house, garden and the local surroundings.

We provide a full architectural service and work with you to ensure your building is comfortable and well designed, suitable for its long term purpose and built to current building regulations standards.


Planning permission and a Building Regulations application are always needed for a granny annexe or any other garden building that you intend to sleep in. Do not be misled by anybody who tells you that your don’t need either of these for a granny annexe and read more about granny annexe planning permission.

How difficult is the planning permission process?

It all depends on where you live. Attitudes to granny annexes and outbuildings with bedrooms vary significantly from local authority to local authority In some areas planning permission may be impossible and in other areas the local authority will be positive about your application. It is important to check with your planning department at an early stage.

In July 2012 the government announced that over the next year or so they would review the difficulties around granny annexes and planning permission. So far, in September 2013 there is no news about the review.

Books to help you and your relatives through retirement:


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