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Indepenent annex to main house, useful?

(22 Posts)
LittleFrieda Tue 25-Sep-12 11:15:34

We've had plans drawn up to build a two storey annex (large sitting room, tiny kitchen, hall and loo downstairs, two double bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, with its own staircase, and its own front door) on to our detached house. It will be a very useful addition for us as a family (elderly old folk, teenagers who may need help with housing after university if they work in London) but are we being blinkered? Would others find it useful to have a large family house with an independent annex attached?

Thanks for your help.

LittleFrieda Tue 25-Sep-12 11:16:26


MisForMumNotMaid Tue 25-Sep-12 11:28:53

Extra space is always going to be an asset so long as you don't loose too much garden.

If you're thinking about elderly would you be able to incorporate washing facilities ( a shower) downstairs in your plans? My very limited experience of elderly relatives is that its when stairs become an issue that moving happens.

LittleFrieda Tue 25-Sep-12 11:32:23

MisForMum NotMaid - Good point. I'll look at whether we can incorporate a downstairs shower. We wouldn't be using any garden at all. It's just hard-standing at the side of the house, and we would keep our double garage and offstreet parking at the front of the house.

ArbitraryUsername Tue 25-Sep-12 11:34:19

It'll probably attract its own council tax, and need its own tv license too, as it'd be effectively a separate house on your grounds.

HairyMaclary Tue 25-Sep-12 11:35:47

Definately agree with the downstairs bit, it you can make sure that all living, cooking, washing, sleeping etc can be done on one floor. That is what becomes a problem in elderly and or disabled living. Kitchen needs to be big enough for a Zimmer frame to turn for eg. Otherwise sounds great!

dinkystinky Tue 25-Sep-12 11:39:46

Yes - would be useful - you could always rent out if need extra income

LittleFrieda Tue 25-Sep-12 11:41:46

HairyMaclary - Zimmer? Argh. I don't intend for them to turn my annex into a day room with grab handles. shock

Arbitrary - Agree it will attract separate council tax and bills etc.

steppemum Tue 25-Sep-12 11:42:38

useful for nanny, granny or returning teens. But would talk to estate agent about how it affects value, positive or negative. That may depend on the size situation of the original house.
If you are thinking or granny though, definitely need it all on one level.

TwelveLeggedWalk Tue 25-Sep-12 11:43:31

Things to think about that occur to me are:
-access for elderly with mobility problems
-potential for renting out / holiday let (privacy, security etc), versus potential for 'wasted' space sitting there unusued
-is your house likely to attract buyers who would want an au pair/nanny/other live-in staff?
- how much will you end up spending on it for your teenagers versus saving the money and using it to help get them on the property ladder?

CMOTDibbler Tue 25-Sep-12 11:45:04

If it was designed so that it was totally accessible, and the downstairs could be self contained, it would be great. From experiences of friends, getting a house with an annex is hard and much sought after

LittleFrieda Tue 25-Sep-12 11:55:00

I've spoken to one local agent who thinks it's an excellent idea and will add value, over and above what we might spend (though I may have underestimated the cost), we are not certain of costs yet, we'll know soon. He thought people would use it for live-in nanny, elderly parents, offspring returning from uni, or as a guest annex. It would not detract from the main house. Main house is v large and guest annex would not be seen from the main house.

My slight concern is if it makes our house a bit niche. But most people I've talked to, seem to think it's quite a useful idea.

And we would get a very good rental income should we ever want to rent it out.

AMumInScotland Tue 25-Sep-12 12:00:27

I think the increase in interest from people wanting an annex would far outweigh the people who might have otherwise been interested in buying your house but would be put off by it. Even people without elderly relatives or plans for a nanny might be interested in the teenager/guests uses, or just as extra space for other interests (giant trainset, exercise equipment, etc), if it's the "right sort of house/area" to attract people who can afford more space than they really "need".

But a single level and more accessibility would make it better still, as elderly relative tend to get older and frailer over time and people who are planning for that may be put off by stairs and lack of downstairs bath/shower.

bran Tue 25-Sep-12 12:04:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notcitrus Tue 25-Sep-12 12:24:43

Do consider internal access and ability to make it single-storey, for accessibility and to avoid council tax on it. You mat need to go to specialist insurers to get buildings cover, but for me it wasn't any more expensive.
If you rent it out you need to provide 'independent' controllable heating, so while my granny flat is heated by our central heating, we had to put fan heaters in a cupboard for tenants to ignore.

LittleFrieda Tue 25-Sep-12 14:22:42

Thanks for comments, lots of really interesting points to think about.

It will have its own boiler and independent electric and gas meters. I don't really mind if it's assessed separately for council tax.

We don't intend to rent it out, but I suppose it's useful to know it could be rented out.

wendybird77 Tue 25-Sep-12 14:52:11

We've just agreed to buy a house (literally this morning) with a separate annex. TBH I don't know what we'll use it for apart from visiting friends. We didn't consider it much more than a garage when making our offer (as in we didn't offer more for it because of the annex). However, this one is really just a converted double garage - not large enough to rent out or holiday let. If there was potential to earn from it we would have considered that very good indeed!

LittleFrieda Wed 26-Sep-12 17:30:05

wendybird - Good luck with your new house.

EdgarAllanPond Thu 27-Sep-12 19:40:53

i think there are circumstances under which it would be CT exempt - you'd need to read up.

i think it's a great idea, though personally would prefer entirely separate to main house if possible.

if my parents ever did end up living semi-detached to us, the volume of telly watched by my dear old dad would be an issue. also, i have lots of noisy children - better any annex was separate - if planning would allow.

Rhubarbgarden Thu 27-Sep-12 19:54:47

I think they are great. I'd love to have one to store my old Dad in on occasion. He'd visit a lot more if he had somewhere separate to stay - obsessed with not 'imposing' or possibly just dislikes our company

LittleFrieda Thu 27-Sep-12 19:56:33

Edgar - thank you, yes, I agree re separateness. I would find the noisy chilren much more tolerable than a high-volume telly. grin

EdgarAllanPond Thu 27-Sep-12 20:08:05

i think i could fit one bedroom, with miniscule bathroom, and lounge with sink/tea space in corner onto the footprint of a larger double garage...

also, depending on the house, i think it can interfere with the look of the property if too much extending goes on, so again, a reason to prefer separate....

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