The 4 Key Aspects of Granny Flat Design

For many people – designing their own home is a dream opportunity; it’s a chance to create a space that fully reflects your own style and preferences, after all. With so many things to think of – it can be easy for self-builders to become overwhelmed; or overlook key elements. Having an annexe constructed is no different – it’s self-building; just on a smaller scale. Just like larger builds, it’s vital you plan or select a granny flat design that works for you; to ensure it turns into the property of your dreams.

From the layout of the interior; to exterior finishes and the quality of land you’re building on – there’s a lot to mull over. But, if it’s starting to sound like too much to take on – don’t fret. We’ve crafted this handy guide to cover the 4 key aspects of granny flat design; with some examples from our range to help get your creativity flowing.

1. The Loversall: Granny Flat Design Exteriors

As the first step in our Signature Move; we make getting to know you a top priority – how would we create a space you can truly call home otherwise? After some initial calls over the phone or on Zoom; we’ll start to get a solid idea of your personal preferences. From this – we’ll be able to plan, discuss and advise on a design that will work perfectly for your current – and future, needs.

Now, when it comes to customising your annexe; it can be almost instinctive to focus on the interior – after all that’s where you’ll be spending most of your time. However, we like to think we’re building it for two customers: Those that’ll be living in it – and those who’ll be viewing it from outside. That’s why it’s also vital that you consider the kind of exterior you’d like.

Everyone’s circumstances are different; but size, shape and external finishes are all important things to consider when selecting the right granny flat design for your garden.
Take ‘The Loversall’ for example: It’s one of the most popular options in our range; and – as with all our pre-designed annexes, comes in three distinct size options. So – whether you need a smaller space due to mobility issues; or a larger one to fit multiple occupants – we’ve got plenty of footprints to choose from.

When it comes to the external finishes and customisation options – there are also plenty of things for you to consider. Would you prefer a flat or pitched roof for your annexe – for example. There’s also window and door frame trims to think of; and the kind of decking you’d like – should your annexe have any. Here at iHus, we have a number of pre-set customisation options available – to make the process easier. Of course, if there’s something else you’d prefer; we can incorporate that too – the only limit is your imagination.

2. The Hatfield: Land and Location

Once you’ve considered how your annexe should look from the outside; it’s time to think about where you want it to be placed. It could be you’d like it to attach to the main property; should your health require regular care – or you’d just like to be closer to your loved ones. Perhaps you’d rather a full-fledged garden annexe instead; completely separate from the main house to retain a stronger sense of independent living.

It’s also important to think about the plot of land you’ll be building on. Gardens come in all shapes and sizes; so if yours is a little unusual in layout – or features a lot of uneven land; it may be difficult to figure out what’ll work best. However, there are a number of granny flat designs that can easily work around these issues – it’s all about selecting the right one.

HatfieldGranny Annexe

‘The Hatfield’ is a perfect example; this L-Shaped build fits naturally into any large corner plot – even in awkward or unusually shaped gardens. What’s more – if the land being constructed on is inclined or generally uneven; then building the annexe on a raised foundation is an ideal solution we can deliver.

At iHus, we like to use screw-pile foundations for our Annexe builds as they work well in a variety of soil conditions. They’re also a much more environmentally-friendly alternative to concrete foundations; and the installation is rather cost-effective. ‘The Hatfield’ is a great example of one of our annexes built on screw-pile foundations – with an optional ramp installed for accessibility.

3. The Cantley: Granny Flat Design Constraints

One major constraint that may limit your choice of granny flat design is your available budget. How much you can invest in its construction will impact what choices are available to you; and opting for a smaller annexe may be your most affordable option. After all, larger builds – requiring more materials; would of course incur heftier costs.

Furthermore, if your garden plot is rather small in length or width, a two-bed annexe – or one with a larger living area; may not be possible. ‘The Cantley’ is the smallest annexe in our core range; and one of our most popular options for independent living as a result. With its reduced footprint; it also comes at a lower cost – perfect for anyone who may be limited by a smaller budget or garden plot.

Cantley Granny Annexe

Of course, selecting a smaller granny flat design doesn’t necessarily have to be for these reasons. Some may opt for a more petite annexe, solely for the fact that it can prove easier for independent living. With a reduced footprint – those who suffer with mobility issues may find it an easier property to move around in. In turn, this could allow for these individuals to live independently for a longer period of time.

4. The Cadeby: Alternative Interiors

So – with practicalities, constraints and external factors aside; it’s also important to consider what layout you’d like for the interior. Depending on health needs and preferences – you may find certain designs more desirable; for all manner of practical or personal reasons.

While many of our annexes follow a similar layout – specifically designed with maximising space in mind; some options feature an alternative design. ‘The Cadeby’ is one such example; offering a centralised living space and bedrooms on adjacent sides – it’s an ideal option if you’re a fan of open-plan living.

What’s more – this interior may also be desirable for those concerned about privacy. With no adjoining walls between bedrooms; occupants can enjoy a little more breathing room. As such, it may prove the perfect choice of layout if you’re wanting to house multiple occupants; or use it for intergenerational living.

Cadeby annexe

With the interior layout covered; it’s time to think about how you’re going to decorate it. We’ve previously shared some garden home design tips to help spruce up your annexe interiors; but for many – moving their already-owned furniture over, is the logical choice. At iHus, we appreciate that change can be stressful – that’s why we offer to help with your removals. Alternatively, if you’re downsizing, we’ll help in finding storage for – or the sale of; any furniture you choose not to bring to your new annexe.

Trust in iHus

With over 10-years experience – and more than 200 bespoke garden homes under-our-belt; we like to think we know a thing or two about getting it right. We take pride in crafting a space that truly suits each and every clients’ present – and future needs; that’s why we offer a 10 year guarantee on any build we do.

If you’re thinking about building an annexe in the near-future; why not talk to one of our friendly team members today? We’d love to offer our expert advice – and help you choose the perfect granny flat design for you.

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…