There are several different construction systems used to create self-contained granny annexe buildings. One of the most popular systems is Structural Insulated Panels - SIP's. They are popular because they are one of the quickest ways to assemble the core structure of the building. They also create a highly insulated envelope for the building.
SIP's panels come in varying thicknesses. The thicker the panel, the greater the thermal performance. Where SIP's panels excel compared with other granny annexe construction methods, is that there are no 'cold spots'. Cold spots are areas in the framework where there is no insulation because there is a supporting timber instead.
Creating a highly insulated building envelope means that the granny annexe will be a comfortable living space all year round. Because of the high levels of insulation, the annexe will require little energy to heat and cool the space, resulting in low running costs.
Annexe Spaces utilise SIP's technology
Annexe Spaces the specialist living annexe arm of Garden Spaces, make use of SIP's technology for their buildings. This 40sqm living annexe in Scotland is an excellent example.
Annexe Spaces were commissioned by a family in Tranent, Scotland to create a self-contained home in the garden. Annexe Spaces customer wanted to bring her parents to live with her but wanted to ensure their independence while living close by.
Having previously built a house using SIP's panels, Annexe Spaces customer knew the benefits of the building system. They worked closely with the Annexe Spaces team to create an 8m x 5m one-bedroom home, that is full of features.
Light-filled living space
As we can see from these images, Annexe Spaces have created a wonderfully light living space. They have used a combination of window types to ensure this.
On the front elevation, leading into the kitchen and open plan living space, a set of 1.8m wide French doors has been fitted with high, opening windows on either side. This is a nice combination, a practical alternative to the more common configuration whereby the side windows are full height and non-opening.
Further glazing has been fitted in the living space, bedroom and shower room, it includes:
- 1 x 1m wide x 2.23m high glazed door
- 1x 0.8m wide x 0.48m high opening window
- 1 x 1.8m wide x 1m Tilt & Turn window
All the doors and windows are double glazed with Anthracite grey uPVC frames externally and a white finish internally.
Well equipped kitchen
Just because you are downsizing to a granny annexe, there is no reason why you have to give up your interests, such as cooking. Annexe Spaces will work with you to create a kitchen space that meets your needs. In this case, the annexe features one of the best-equipped kitchens we have seen in a granny annexe building.
The L-shaped configuration does not dominate the living space, but incorporates everything the cook needs, in rather nice units!
Contemporary shower room
The shower room in the annexe may be modest in size, but it is full of contemporary style. Accessed by a space-saving pocket door which slides into the wall as it is opened. The shower room has been fitted out with modern style sanitaryware and a large walk-in shower.
The use of white shower board and clear glass shower screen looks very sleek but also ensures the shower room is easy to use and maintain.
Annexe Spaces handled all the groundworks and connections to the services for their client. This included installing a mini pumping system.
When comparing garden annexe companies to work with, you need to clarify if they will handle the groundworks and connections, as Annexe Spaces do. Some companies will only create the shell of the shower room and leave you to organise the connections separately with another company. This is a significant job, and could be a hidden cost with some companies! You are much better to work with one firm like Annexe Spaces who handle the whole build for you.
Annexe Spaces handled all the applications
Annexe Spaces handled the planning application and building control sign off for this project, on their client's behalf. Because the project was in Scotland, they had to obtain a Building Warrant before work could start.
Part of the application process involved carrying out a Coal Mining Risk Assessment, which was required because the site is located within a Coal Mining Development High-Risk Area.
Adopt two Sea Otters as you build your annexe
Annexe Spaces have chosen building systems and materials that ensure their buildings are as environmentally friendly as possible to build, and energy-efficient to use.
In addition, they have recently set up a scheme with the WWF to adopt Sea Otters with every annexe they build. If you buy one of their self contained living annexes, two Sea Otters will be adopted in your name. Isn't that great?!