Permanent or Portable Granny Flats, Lets Explore the Benefits
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With all the changes in granny flat design, it seems appropriate to explore and evaluate the differences between permanent and portable granny flats. We’ll explore their different strengths so you can be sure you’re building the right one for you.

What is the Difference?

A permanent granny flat is often built on site, whereas a portable granny flat is often prefabricated (manufactured offsite in advance) and then shipped and assembled. This means that a portable granny flat does not have to be built into specific foundations.


As the two differ in construction, they may potentially also differ in affordability. A permanent granny flat may be more expensive, as the on-site construction will take longer therefore the costs associated with on-site construction will also be accounted for. With a transportable granny flat, however, it will be shipped in a modular unit, meaning it will simply have to be assembled onsite, however this doesn’t take into account the shipping distance which would also influence the cost. Assembling involves connecting plumbing and electricity, and the process takes up to 3 days to complete subject to site availability. As you can see, these options are available to you to decide which suits you best, in regards to timing, cost, and ease of management. 


Prefabricated modular houses also tend to be more affordable because the materials used are more efficient. This is because construction occurs offsite where there is greater access to materials on-hand. 


It is also important to consider safety. There is no argument that a permanent granny flat will be safe and sound, however, a portable granny flat is likely to be a tighter building with little to no energy leakage.



When it comes to the length of the process, the portable granny flat has a significant advantage. As it is assembled elsewhere, both the site and the granny flat can be worked on simultaneously. A permanent granny flat, however, will have to wait until the site is cleared for it to be built upon.

The building process itself is also faster with the prefabricated granny flat, which will not be affected and delayed by bad weather – whereas a permanent granny flat might.


Both permanent and portable granny flats can be flexible as they should be designed to reflect the needs and styles of their owners. However, with a relocatable granny flat, you have more flexibility, as the construction happens off-site.

Therefore, if you have an interesting and potentially difficult design in mind, it will be easier for this design to be created offsite, instead of having it be constructed onsite as with a permanent granny flat.


This is not only relevant for interesting roof designs, but also for those with specific needs. Perhaps you are interested in building a granny flat that will be accessible to someone with a physical disability. These types of adaptions are significantly easier to implement in a modular granny flat.

Questions? Contact Us

If you have any questions about this article, our modular home manufacturers, or about our wide selection of granny flat, cabin and modular home designs, contact us today on (07) 3889 7385. Our team is only a phone call or email away.