31st Jul 2019

    Granny Flats For Modern Homeowners

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    The humble granny flat has come a long way in the last decade. In fact, they are rapidly becoming a desirable feature for current homeowners and potential buyers. They are a viable solution for many modern families with the return on investment being hard to ignore. Today, we’re sharing some of our favourite designs along with all the reasons granny flats are here to stay. 

    Return On Investment 

    It’s estimated the average granny flat can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $120,000 to build – this includes all the mod-cons you’d expect in a luxe set up. While this figure may seem high, the return on investment makes it well worthwhile!

    • Granny Flats can attract rental income of $300 to $500 per week dependant on the location. That’s a whopping 15% to 25% yearly return on investment. 
    • If you live in a desirable location, AirBnB is another option which could increase your return on investment significantly. 
    • Looking to the future value, a granny flat will add value to your home should you wish to sell or use the equity at a later date. 

    You can crunch your own numbers using this free granny flat return on investment tool. 


    Virtual Working Solutions 

    It’s estimated nearly 1 million Australian’s are now running a home-based business. This figure is increasing rapidly with the rise of virtual working solutions. Further to this, flexible working arrangements are becoming the status-quo in Australia with many full-time workers taking advantage of these perks. So it makes sense that the modern homeowner is seeking a solution to make working or running a business from home seamless. 

    Enter the Granny Flat. 

    A space to work away from the hustle of the home. Better still, elements of the build and ongoing expenses can be claimed on tax if you are running a business. 


    More Space 

    Growing families can really take advantage of the space granny flats offer. With banks tightening their lending conditions, many families just can’t afford to upgrade. A granny flat can offer perks without over-stretching the budget. 

    Granny Flats can be used to:

    • Contain older children who are seeking privacy 
    • Accommodate guests 
    • House an AuPair (a popular option for working parents!) 


    Granny flat design is now a beast of its own. With the rise of mini-homes and the like, there are so many creative ideas to draw upon when planning your own. Keep in mind, you’ll want to design the granny flat to complement the existing house, making sure it’s poised to grow with you. 

    Granny Flats

    Source: https://thedesignfiles.net/2019/03/architecture-harleygraham-marvellstreet-grannyflat/

    Granny Flats

    Source: www.aaarchitect.com.au

    Granny Flats

    Source: http://urbangrannyflats.com.au

    Of course, there are many considerations to take into account before you build. Do your own research as each state has its own regulations. In the meantime, a few larger restrictions include:

    • Maximum floor area should not exceed 60m2 – 120m2 (check with your local authority)
    • Land size usually has to be larger than 450m² or larger for a granny flat to be built on the property (check with your local authority) 
    • You must have 24m2 courtyard space for the granny flat – some states only. 

    Here at Arei Designs, we’ve been inundated with requests from our builders to add more granny flat designs to our current suite of house plans. Being the people-pleasing kind of business we are, we’re just about to release our very first complete granny flat series. We’ve added a sneak peek of the upcoming floor plans below. 

    Granny Flats Granny Flats


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    11th Jun 2019

    Eco Friendly House Design Is Crucial For A Cleaner Tomorrow

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    Australians are becoming increasingly eco conscious. We’re seeing it in the way we shop, cook and, in home design. With the pressure on our climate mounting, sustainable, affordable housing is an excellent way to plan for the future.

    Here at Arei Designs, we’ve made it a mission of ours to provide our subscribers with eco-friendly alternatives. We create plans tailor-made for challenging housing estate covenants AND different climates. The truth is, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to eco-friendly house design. There are very specific passive design principles applicable to different climates. For example, the requirements for North Queensland vs the South-East Victorian climate are vastly different.


    Sustainable Home Requirements

    In order to meet the minimum sustainability standards, eco-friendly housing estates should include*:  

    • Minimum 7.5 star energy rating
    • 2.5 kilowatts of solar
    • 10,000 litres of rainwater storage
    • Integrated on-site power generation
    • 3 star plus water efficient plumbing
    • Optimum site orientation for maximum energy efficiency
    • On-site waste systems
    • Use of recycled materials
    • Sustainable manufacturing processes
    • Reflective roofing materials


    Sustainable Housing Estate: An AREI Project

    Recently, we were approached by The Cape Project to design a suite of housing for a new eco-friendly, sustainable housing estate. The Cape Project is Australia’s first truly sustainable residential project.

    This combination delivers homes that are comfortable year round with minimal heating and cooling and very low energy bills compared to conventional homes on the average housing estate in Australia. Further to this, The Cape has over 50% open space compared to around 10% or less on most conventional estates. Open space includes parks, walking and cycling paths, dogs off leash fenced park, habitat areas, community gardens, wetlands and landscaped road verges, and this open space can never be built out.

    Eco Friendly House

    The project with Cape Homes is still in production however, we do have a few plans to showcase.

    Eco Friendly House Eco Friendly House


    The Benefits Of An Eco Friendly House 

    It’s true, the cost of building a sustainable home initially will be more than the traditional counterparts. This is due to using high-quality materials throughout, solar, water tanks and more. Long-term though, the benefits will pay the difference and then some.

    Eco Friendly House

    Energy & Water Efficiency

    The cost of water and energy is increasing year after year. With a sustainable home, you’ll make use of solar power and water tanks which will drastically reduce these costs in the future.


    Higher Property Value

    As more and more Australia’s are seeking out an eco-conscious lifestyle, the demand for sustainable homes increases year on year. As such, your resale value will be more.


    Lower Carbon Footprint

    Taking steps now to reduce the impact you and your family have on the environment is crucial for the future. Building or owning an Eco Friendly House is a step in the right direction. 


    Low Maintenance

    As the materials used are designed to be durable and stand the test of time, you’ll find yourself spending less on repairs and maintenance in the future.


    Stay tuned for exciting updates from The Cape Project in the future. In the meantime, if you’re a custom home builder looking for cost effective, sustainable house plans, we’d be pleased to help!


    *Source: http://www.yourhome.gov.au/sites/prod.yourhome.gov.au/files/pdf/YOURHOME-6-HousingOfFuture-4-Affordability-(4Dec13).pdf   


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    30th Oct 2018

    Adaptable Housing: The Future Of Home Design

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    Here at AREI Designs, we are all about ensuring each and every home we design is functional along with of course, stunning in it’s design. A new wave of home design is making headway in Australia and we’re happy to report, we’ve adopted the trend and now offer Adaptable Housing in our subscription package.


    An adaptable house is designed with the current and future needs of the client in mind. For example, empty nesters may seek a smaller and efficient home now but what about as they age? Will their needs change? We believe they will and an adaptable house can accommodate these changes without the need to demolish or renovate extensively.


    The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that the percentage of individuals with a disability increases significantly with age. It’s estimated more than 50% of people aged over 60 will have physical limitations. For this reason, we truly believe adaptable housing is the future of home design. Here’s why.


    Adaptable Floor Plans

    Mobility and declining physical capabilities can be catered for with ease with an adaptable house plan. Homes are pre-designed to include widened hallways fit for wheelchairs, lower cabinetry for easy reach and bathrooms that can be easily modified should one of the occupants require assistance bathing in the future.

    adaptable housing


    Access is a key requirement when designing an adaptable home and each plan is equipped with easy access into the home with the inclusions of ramps, handrails and flatter surfaces. Materials used are non slip meaning the likelihood of a fall due to wet weather is minimised.


    adaptable housing



    The Australian Standard AS 4299-1995, Adaptable Housing provides guidance on what qualifies as a livable house, accessible house and adaptable house. Here at AREI, we design to cater to all three sub-groups. You can access these plans once you subscribe to our database of buildable, bankable house plans.

    For those of you who are not sure what the requirements are for each, we’ve outlined this below for you.

    • A Liveable House is designed with the changing needs of the occupants in mind.
    • An Accessible Home is designed for access and mobility with the ability to accommodate wheelchairs in all areas of the home. The design must meet Australian Standard AS 1428.1-2001
    • An Adaptable Home is a liveable home which is easily adapted to become an accessible home in the future.

    At AREI Designs, each of our adaptable homes have been designed to comply with the Liveable Housing Australia Guidelines. 

    References:  http://www.yourhome.gov 

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