Granny Flats, Casitas, and Guest Houses

Granny Flats, Casitas, and Accessory Dwelling Units

In response to San Diego’s housing shortage, the city is working on making it easier and cheaper to build granny flats or secondary living units. Granny flats are a great way to offset the cost of your home, take advantage of the high cost of rent in San Diego County, or give yourself a little more privacy if you have a multigenerational home.


What is a Granny Flat?

Although it is called a granny flat, it doesn’t mean your grandma has to live there. They are often used by grandparents, young adult children, nannies, houseguests, and (depending on zoning laws) renters.

A granny flat is a secondary, self-contained living area built on the property of a single-family home. Sometimes they are called casitas, guest houses, accessory dwelling units (ADU), mother-in-law units, pool houses, in-law apartments, bonus units, accessory apartments, or secondary living units.

They usually have a kitchenette, bathroom, and private entrance. Depending on the size and design, they may be all one room like a studio apartment or they can have a bedroom and separate living area.


What are my Design Options for a Granny Flat?

A granny flat can be attached or detached from your home. Sometimes a granny flat can be added on over the garage or the garage can be converted to a granny flat. If there is room in the back or front yard, the granny flat can be added as a detached unit. The recent tiny house movement has been a real boon for granny flats, making more space-saving and attractive designs available to homeowners.

If an elderly family member will be using the granny flat, you will want to make sure the secondary living unit is accessible to seniors. TR Construction also specializes in aging in place remodeling and can help bring the unit in line with universal design or accessible design principles.

If you would like more details about granny flats and the required steps for building a granny flat in San Diego, please give us a call at (858) 537-6490.

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