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There was one granny flat that stood out from the crowd when the NSW Hous­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion judges saw the Af­ford­able Hous­ing cat­e­gory en­tries in last year’s awards.

The one-bed­room granny flat on a ru­ral site over­look­ing a lake near Coffs Har­bour (be­low) was built for a re­tired cou­ple liv­ing in their own home nearby.

They wanted to use their new granny flat for Airbnb ac­com­mo­da­tion and en­listed Build by the Sea to con­struct it.

The de­sign was drawn up by LAB De­signs, a com­pany that de­signs build­ings that fol­low “pas­sive house” prin­ci­ples, so they’re com­fort­able to live in all year round, are low main­te­nance and don’t cost too much to run.

Tim­ber fea­tures strongly in the de­sign, tongue and groove floor­ing, stylish light fit­tings, dou­ble-glazed win­dows and a spa­cious al­fresco area out­side.

“It does have a re­ally nice open flow to it, es­pe­cially as it opens up on to the deck,” Build by the Sea director Sam Broom­field says.

“They re­ally fo­cused on their cross flow de­sign, from front to back, so it’s re­ally nicely ven­ti­lated.”

Sam says while the own­ers ini­tially planned for the granny flat to be a short-term stay op­tion for other peo­ple, they love it so much they’ve now moved into it them­selves and they use their for­mer house as hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion.

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