Granny Flats: A Good Idea in Theory, But Do They Work in Practice?

Moving your parents or in-laws into a dedicated flat at your home could have many benefits. But you need to carefully consider what it will mean for family life. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

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The Pros of a Granny Annexe

If you are considering creating a granny flat at your home, the chances are you are doing so for many positive reasons.

Having an older generation on hand at home means finding a babysitter shouldn’t be a problem. Mum and Dad living next door means you can keep an eye on them, especially if they have any health concerns. If there are health worries, then living at your place will mean significant savings on nursing home bills and won’t take away your parents’ independence. Installing them in a granny flat also means there will be a solid relationship between your kids and their grandparents.

Installing an annexe separate from your property, like those seen at, provides a great option for a granny flat. It maintains privacy for all the adults and could add value to your home.

All good news so far, but we need to take a balanced view.

The Cons

Let’s face it, any family get-together provides the possibility for tensions to arise. So depending on your relationship with your relatives, it is worth considering how you’ll get on living at such close quarters. You probably spent a good chunk of your life trying to move out of your parents’ home. So if you are considering building them a granny annexe, think about the possible issues of living together again.

Your parents or in-laws may be on hand to help with the kids, but will they interfere? They may find it a bit too easy to pop in unannounced for a cup of tea. The potential for an older generation to develop health issues could leave you with more responsibility and taking on the role of a carer.

If these are concerns for you, then consumer group Which? have some advice on living with your family.

As you can see, there is a lot to weigh up when considering moving your parents in to a granny flat. There are undoubtedly benefits for the whole family, but there will likely need to be ground rules.