Can you put a prefab house in your backyard?

A question that we get asked a lot by our clients is, ‘Can I put a prefab house in my backyard’, so we’ve explained some of the ins and outs of this, to help you out…

Putting a prefab house, also known as an ancillary dwelling, in your backyard can be a great way to improve your circumstances, and give you that little bit extra space…be it for a granny…work office…teenagers retreat, or whatever else you fancy. And the great thing is that you can do this, but you just have to make sure that you’re going by all the rules, which we’ve explained below!

What is an ancillary dwelling?

An ancillary dwelling is a small habitable building that is separated from the main dwelling but shares the same connections. Ancillary dwellings allow homeowners to have flexible living arrangements, to accommodate their changing family needs.

The typical rules around an ancillary dwelling:

  • An ancillary dwelling must have a gross floor area of 60m2 maximum. This is measured to the outside of the walls.
  • There can only be one ancillary dwelling per lot.
  • It can be fully self-contained, with a kitchen, bathroom and laundry.
  • It must share all services with the main dwelling, including connecting to the meter box of the house and sharing water, sewer and stormwater services.
  • It needs to share the same access or driveway as the main dwelling, but it doesn’t necessarily need to have its own car parking.

How an ancillary dwelling can fit on your block:

An ancillary dwelling must feel connected to the main dwelling. On a rural property, it should not be more than 30 meters from the main dwelling. On a residential block, it will naturally be closer to the main dwelling.

Can you build an ancillary dwelling before you build the main dwelling?

At Tasbuilt Homes, we have had many clients that have been moving from the mainland and decided to put a 60m2 ‘dwelling’ on their land and connect it to services. This is later re-classified as an ancillary dwelling when the application is submitted to build the main house, which is generally a larger home.

How can you place an ancillary in your backyard?

At Tasbuilt Homes, as we’re a modular builder and construct 80% of the home in our factory, and then crane it into place, we can lift most ancillary dwellings over the top of a house and lower it into the backyard. Standard regulations state that 3-meter-wide site access is required for the ancillary dwelling, but as we’re able to crane the dwelling into place, the 3-meter-wide access is not required.

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