Living in a garden annexe might seem a strange idea to some people – especially those more familiar with garden buildings being used as summer houses or home offices. But a cosy garden annexe makes the perfect home, especially for an older person or couple; this is why garden annexes are often referred to as granny annexes.

Read on for more differences between garden and granny annexes and how you can make the leap to garden living.

Can You Live in a Garden Annexe?

Garden annexes have multiple uses – families may use them for extra living space when room is tight in a family home, an annexe in the garden is a great idea for a hang out space for teens, or a movie or games room. The most common reason someone may want a garden annexe is as a workspace – they make ideal spaces for offices or studios and are often favoured by those who are self-employed or even artists.

Seeing how well constructed and comfortable these annexes are may have led you to question if you could live in a garden annexe.

image shows an older lady smiling

Why A Granny Annexe?

A garden annexe becomes a granny annexe when it is used as a permanent residence – rather than an occasional use building.

Granny annexes make the ideal home for different types of people for various reasons, and despite the name, they aren’t just for grannies.

The most popular reason to live in a granny annexe is age; families build granny annexes for ageing relatives to live in, usually a parent or grandparent.

An older person can benefit from living in a granny annexe for several reasons;

  • An annexe is a single story building so is ideal for those with mobility issues
  • Living so close to relatives is both practical and comforting
  • Living in an annexe can save money when compared to private care or care homes

As mentioned, living in an annexe is suitable for other groups of people too; recently we have seen first-time buyers becoming interested in garden life because of the rising costs associated with homeownership.

People with disabilities can also benefit from living in an annexe too. People with older disabled children may choose to build an annexe for their child – life in an annexe offers a chance of independence and privacy, yet the individual is still close enough to home for times that they need help.

image shows an iHUS garden annexe in a cream colour

Granny Annexe & Garden Annexe Planning Permission

What makes a garden annexe a granny annexe? This is a good question and as it turns out, quite an important one.

There is a distinct difference between the two – a garden annexe is a building used occasionally; it only becomes a granny annexe when the structure is a permanent dwelling for a person.

The difference is quite important as one requires planning permission and the other may not.

A garden annexe isn’t a permanent residence and doesn’t usually require planning permission (as long as the dimensions meet current requirements). A granny annexe, however, is intended to be someone’s home and therefore, it is necessary to gain planning permission.

You may be wondering why you can’t just have a garden annexe built to get around planning laws but its not quite that simple. However cosy a garden annexe may seem, they just aren’t designed as permanent residences. On the other hand, a granny annexe from a specialist company, like iHUS, is built from the start to be a proper home – comfortable all year round and feel just like a real home.

Gaining planning permission isn’t as difficult as you may think either; iHUS customers benefit from our end to end service which includes our planning permission service.

Contact iHUS

If you are considering building a garden annexe or granny annexe, then please contact us.

One of our consultants will be more than happy to come and visit you, asses your site and offer you advice based on your needs.

View Our Annexes

The Cantley is the smallest annexe in our Core range and is one of our most popular models for independent living. The floorplan is designed to maximise space and fits comfortably into most back gardens.
As one of our most popular one-bedroom annexes, the Bawtry is the perfect choice for elderly care or an independent young adult looking for their first home.
The Ravenscroft is a spacious one-bedroom annexe, designed for those with a larger garden plot. All three footprints utilise a central shower room to separate the bedroom and the open-plan kitchen/living area to maximise living space.

Recent Projects

Speedwell Annexe


Our customer moved into her Annexe in January and is thoroughly enjoying her lovely new home. She describes her Annexe as ‘Warm Sunny Cosy & Comfortable’. Click below to watch an exclusive interview with the owner and watch their Annexe walk through!
Williamson bespoke granny annexe

Jenny Williamson

The Williamsons family moved into their Annexe over 3 years ago. When visiting the family they told us life in their new home exceeded their expectations for many reasons. So much so, they wanted another iHus building! Click view to find out more about their story and take a look around their Annexe.

Wendy Hamm

In Autumn 2020 Wendy Hamm and her family approached iHus as they were contemplating an annexe build in their back garden to house Wendy’s mother. Wendy’s mother Jane, 82, was living over an hours drive away from the family. Wendy’s day to day responsibilities meant that visits to Jane were a lot less frequent then they would have wished. Read their story here.

Shelagh Booker

All of our iHus annexe are customised to meet the want’s and needs of their owners. Take a look around Mrs Bookers annexe and listen to what her and her daughter have to say about their iHus annexe journey below.

Download Your Free Annexe Brochure

Simply fill in the form and you will be emailed a link to download our 32 page annexe brochure.

    Simply fill in the form and you will be emailed a link to download our 32 page annexe brochure. Please check your Junk mail if your brochure doesn’t appear in your inbox

    Request A Hard Copy?:

    Download Your Free Annexe Brochure

      Simply fill in the form and you will be emailed a link to download our 32 page annexe brochure. Please check your Junk mail if your brochure doesn’t appear in your inbox

      Request A Hard Copy?:

      Talk to a Consultant

      We know that building an annexe can seem daunting which is why we created our Signature Move process.

      It all starts with a conversation where we want to get to know you better, understand what you need and give you an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

      To get started complete the form and a member of our team will get in touch to book you an appointment with a consultant…