As we enter 2023, how does a new year, fresh start sound? Helen and Kevin Lewis sought our help constructing an annexe for Helen’s ageing parents Austin and Theresa McCoy- and they’ve found it works perfectly for them since. Read on for all the reasons you should take the granny annexe plunge this year, according to the whole family.
In case you’re not aware, broadcaster, King of the Jungle – and official iHus Ambassador, Tony Blackburn, has been making his presence known visiting some of our past annexe projects in recent weeks. Together, they’ve been sharing their own, personal experiences of annexe living and the many benefits it brings. With Tony originally coming to iHus for his own annexe solution, there was certainly a lot to discuss when meeting the McCoy’s, this time…
1) It helps with the cost of living…
With record-breaking rises in energy bills, global economic crisis and plenty of political uncertainty, 2022 has been a year full of challenges – and who knows what 2023 will bring? In the current cost of living climate, investing in an annexe might seem like a bold decision, but it’s one that will benefit you, financially, for years to come.
Those worrying if an accessory dwelling unit would lead to a rise in energy costs will be pleased to hear this increase is minimal. Not only are bills shared with the main house, but our bespoke annexes also come without gas lines. This benefits residents both in terms of safety – as it removes the need for open flames, as well as eliminating costly gas usage.
Annexes also require less energy to heat than builds with larger footprints. It’s something our brand ambassador has noticed with his Open Hus ventures too. “That’s the lovely thing about these” reflects Tony. “It’s surprising you don’t need a lot of space when there’s two of you. I mean my house is far too big and I go into my mother-in-law’s annexe to get warm.”
What’s more, with high-quality building materials – and incredible insulation, once our annexes get heated, they stay that way. “That’s my main impression with all these annexes” admits Tony. “I’ve visited about three and the one I’ve got at home for my mother-in-law is so warm. With electricity bills now as well, the radiators they put in are quite reasonable to run.”
2) It’s a strong financial investment…
With so much financial uncertainty in recent years, establishing solid plans in 2023 can give you peace of mind that – come what may, your family will be close by and supported for years to come. What’s more, not only do our high-quality builds help increase property value, they also benefit from competitive pricing.
It’s something Austin found particularly noticeable. “My son-in-law had a party in the main house and there were a lot of builders there wanting to go have a look” he begins. “They came in and were completely gobsmacked at how well it was built. One guy said to me ‘I’m going to tell you this, I couldn’t have built this for what you paid for it’ – the quality is superb.”
Even in the current climate, an annexe is a worthy asset to invest in – and a viable option for those who have enough space and need for it. Whether you’re downsizing as part of your retirement preparation, seeking a first-step on the property ladder or looking for a cheaper alternative to costly care homes, a bespoke and spacious annexe is the perfect solution.
What’s more, annexes are a strong financial investment as they can be reused for a variety of purposes down the line. Helen and Kevin plan on eventually moving into their build, in order to free up space in the main house for their children. However, garden homes could also be reworked into additional living space or used to generate income through a lodger.
3) It takes time to complete…
If you’re considering a future annexe construction, there’s no time like the present to start weighing up your annexe options. It’s advice that Theresa would certainly recommend, based on her experience. She said: “If you’re thinking about it, don’t just think about it. Speak to somebody at iHus, because they’ll come out and talk to you under no-obligation. It’s not what you think it is when they start showing you the things that are going to be in it.”
While the turnaround of our builds is fast-paced and efficient, there are several hurdles that can prolong the earlier stages of annexe construction. Successful planning results – for example, could take anywhere up to six months to secure. At iHus, we handle all the complexities of the planning process, so you won’t have to needlessly stress over it.
“I was dubious about getting the planning permission,” Austin confesses. “But, iHus said don’t worry about it. We’ll sort it – and there are different ways of doing it, but we have somebody who knows how.” Sure enough, our expert team of professionals were able to secure successful planning results – and deliver a new, custom-built home, on schedule.
What’s more, additional factors can also affect completion date. Helen and Kevin’s project required a new house – with adequate garden space, to accommodate the scale of their annexe. In these cases, it’s worth bearing in mind that property sales have taken longer to finalise in recent years. Get ahead of the crowd by putting your thoughts into action, now.
4) It’s easy with our help…
In our experience, those coming to us for annexes tend to have a lot of misconceptions about them. That’s why we created Open Hus, so those unsure about annexe living can see our past builds first-hand, and talk with people who’ve been through the entire process in full.
With our expert guidance, things couldn’t be simpler. From start to finish, we’ll work with you to create a bespoke annexe solution that addresses your personal wants and needs. Be it initial design and planning – or putting up that final shelf on move-in day, we’ll remain in close contact throughout.