Choices in designs for granny units, (also called accessory dwelling units) are expanding, as shown by this range of plans.
If you are thinking of building an in-law or granny unit, the cleverly titled In-Laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats, by Michael Litchfield, a founding editor of Fine Homebuilding magazine, offers the essential introduction. It's a comprehensively illustrated guide to the design and building of backyard cottages and additions for aging in place. Interviews with families who have completed this process show that the trend is well under way. A thoughtfully designed in-law unit or granny flat makes it possible for seniors to live near family members without losing their independence. Communities across the country are changing their zoning laws to allow the greater density that backyard cottages produce. The changes are long overdue. Chapters range from basement remodels and garage conversions to stand-alone structures — with a wide variety of case studies for each type of dwelling unit.
Here's a look at one such plan designed specifically for maintaining independence while aging in place. It's the Inspired In-Law Cottage designed by Larson Shores Architects and is our Plan 507-1. The 538 sq. ft. home consists of a living/dining/kitchenette, a hall, bathroom, and bedroom, with a small deck at the front.
A ten-foot high ceiling, and deftly placed windows make the living room feel spacious. (All furnishing was by Room & Board.)The kitchenette side has room for a small table and two chairs beside the under- counter refrigerator and storage cabinet.
The shower is surfaced in elegant Hakatai mosaic tile made from recycled glass. The floor tile (from The Tile Shop) also uses recycled material.
Thanks to the Kaldewai shower tray it’s a roll-in shower.
The bedroom has room for twin side tables, and a built-in desk with a roll-up counter and an artfully placed window to preserve privacy.
The plans shown in the slide at the top of this post are, clockwise from top:Plan 890-1Plan 917-4Plan 914-2Plan 507-1Plan 915-7
For similar plans browse our Collection of Granny Unit House Plans.