Building an annex is a great way to help elderly people maintain some form of independence while still being close to family members, should they need help or company. So, while building an annex for your older family members seems like the perfect solution, there are some things to consider before you get started.
This will depend on the type of annex you are building. For example, if you have decided to repurpose your garage into an annex then planning permission is not necessary.
If you are planning on building an annex in your garden or as an extension, and therefore separate to your house, then you should enquire as to whether you need permission from your local council. Planning permission may also be necessary if you decide to build an annex that is a fully equipped living accommodation with facilities such as a kitchen and bathroom.
As well as this, you may need planning permission if you live in a conservation area, your house is a listed building or you are planning on building a particularly large annex.
It is always worth checking as the alternative could mean you pulling down your beautiful (and expensive) new space.
These is likely to depend on the level of mobility and capability your elderly family members have, and the amount of space available.
A self-contained annex will have full living facilities such as a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living area. Whereas some annexes are built just to house a bed and small living space or bathroom.
Many families are opting for underfloor heating in annexes as it saves on space, the systems are more economical and it removes the risk of burns and trip hazards associated with radiators. Wet rooms are also the better option to a bathroom as they are more easily accessible to the elderly.
This usually depends on the type of annex you’ve built. For example, if your annex includes kitchen facilities and a separate entrance than through your main home, then you may be charged a separate Council Tax band bill. However, if you have only repurposed your garage to fit a bedroom, then you may be exempt.
Recently, the government have relaxed the council tax bills on annexes by as much as 50%, so it is recommended you contact your local council office to see what rights you’re entitled to.
As you can see there’s lots to think about when building an annex so you should seek advice and most importantly check that all involved are happy with the final decision before you get building!