10 Things To Keep In Mind When Building A Workshop

Aarons Outdoor Living offers a large range of workshops, which could be the perfect addition to your backyard. Workshops can also be used for more than just storage space or a timber workshop. They are completely habitable and can offer the perfect alternative to aged care facilities. workshops are a good option for elderly people, as it means family or carers are living nearby, but they are still able to maintain their independence by living in a separate building from the main family house.

If you are considering building a workshop as a living space for an elderly relative, here are 10 things you need to keep in mind:

  1. Regulations

As workshops are habitable, they also have regulations which need to be met. Fortunately, all of Aarons’ range of workshops are designed to meet council and building regulations. Workshops are fully habitable and are able to include kitchens and an en suite. This sets them apart from studios. As they are smaller, studios are not designed to be lived in, cannot have bathrooms or kitchens, and will not meet regulations. Aarons’ offers 18 different sizes, so you will definitely be able to find the perfect sized workshop for your property.  

  1. Granny flat right

If you’re going to have a habitable workshop on your property, it’s important you have an understanding of the laws and regulations involved. This will help you avoid any future problems with the Council, Government or even your own family members.

A granny flat right is generally created as an arrangement with family members. Those who are living in the workshop pay money in exchange for the accommodation. Those living in the workshop cannot have it built on their own property. This means there are a few options for those who are going to live in a workshop:

  • Sell their existing house, and pay for a workshop to be built on their child’s property.
  • The children move into their parent’s house, with the title being transferred to the children. This would allow for a workshop to be built on the property.
  • Both parent and children sell their houses, and a completely new property is purchased with the intention of care being given there.

Once this granny flat right is established, it is important to have an aged-care assessment from Centrelink. It is important to familiarise yourself with rules surrounding gifting in order to avoid any problems, particularly with Centrelink payments. Centrelink also recommends all parties involved in the granny flat right to have an agreement in writing and gain legal advice.  

  1. Design

When designing the workshop, keep in mind who is living in it. Make sure everything is easily accessible and within reach. Sometimes it will be important to ensure the workshop does not include any hazards, such as stairs, to avoid any accidents. While it is good to have family nearby for company, the resident of the workshop would also need privacy, so consider the layout of the workshop, which windows to install and where they are on the house. Consider the direction the workshop is facing, what exposure this will get to the sun, and how this will affect temperatures, especially in summer and winter.

  1. Kitchens

Workshops are able to be completely habitable, and that means they can include a kitchenette. This allows for an elderly person to live in the workshop independently and be able to cook their own food, rather than relying on their children or carer. A kitchenette generally consists of a refrigerator, a microwave oven, hot plates and a sink.

  1. Bathrooms

Workshops also include fully functioning en suits, which means you won’t have to share the one bathroom within your house. Workshops will be able to be fitted with all the necessities, including a shower, basin, and toilet. This gives the occupant more privacy and the all-important independence.  

  1. Customisable Extras

Aarons range of workshops come with many customisable options, which you have to consider before building. Choosing which size workshop you’re going to build is just the first option! Workshops are able to come with classic verandahs, which gives the workshop a bit of extra flare and style. It also makes the workshop look homier and offers a great space for relaxation.  

There are also many options you can choose to make sure your workshop is the perfect look and feel for you. We have four different options for doors, different sizes, and styles for windows, and can also include a window box, balustrades, timber steps or timber ramps. This is important if you are going to need disabled or wheelchair access.

  1. Disabled Access

As well as fitting the outside area with wheelchair access, you may also need to consider the interior design if the person living within the workshop is disabled. Ensure there is enough space within the workshop for a walker or wheelchair. Having tight, cramped spaces will create problems and challenges that can otherwise be avoided. Keep in mind the height of furniture such as beds and couches – make sure they are easy to get on and off. Workshops include en suites, but these can easily include the necessities such as hand rails and seats.

  1. Solar power

Having a workshop will also mean there’s an increase in the electricity or water bill. This can be helped by investing in renewable energy. An option to consider is whether it is worth installing a few solar panels on your granny flat to lower costs. In the long term, solar energy can often be a sound investment. Some states will even include grants or rebates for solar panels, making them a very attractive option for your workshop.     

  1. Storage Space

While your workshop will include all the necessities needed to live comfortably, it may end up being tight for space, especially when it comes to storage. To avoid having a cluttered and crammed workshop, consider having space for storage in the ceiling or under the floor. This means items are still easily accessible, will not have to be discarded, and will give you more space in your workshop.

  1. The Garden

A home isn’t really complete without a garden. When you’re building the workshop on your property, keep in mind how the surroundings will compliment the building. You want to ensure your elderly relative will have the best living experience in your workshop; this can be improved by considering the aesthetic of your garden. Amplify the look and feel of your workshop by including a few flower beds, pot plants, shrubs or trees in the garden. This will really help to make your elderly relative feel comfortable and at home while living in the workshop.  

Ensure your workshop is designed to be as comfortable as possible by keeping in mind these 10 important factors. Aarons Outdoor Living can help you with any enquiries regarding the installation and construction of workshops on your property.

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