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Last update: 30.05.2018

VAT on Granny Annexes, Planning & other Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions that we get regarding our garden granny annexes. These include the old chestnut regarding no VAT being due on a garden annex, which seems to be circulating more and more often! Take care and know the rules and protect yourself!

Click on the questions to see the answers:

1) Do granny annexes need planning permission?

2) Is there VAT on annexes?

3) What is the warranty on the annexes?

4) What maintenance is required for the buildings?

5) Do you do a maintenance free wood option?

6) How much is an annex going to cost?

7) Do we supply a kitchen and bathroom in there?

8) Can I have a wet room? 

9) Why are true wet room prices so expensive? 

10) What comes with the granny annex?

11) Can I have the annex to the exact size I require? 

12) How are they heated?  

13) What about disabled access? 

14) Can we just supply the granny annex as a flat pack? 

15) You need the annex in a hurry, can it be done quickly? 

16) Do the annexes come with a base installed and services connected?

17) What foundations and services are required and can we do them for you?

 

1) Do granny annexes need planning permission?
In general, anything where you will sleep in it requires permission from the local planning authority. It is always best to have written permission from your local planning authority before you commence work.

See our article on annex planning permission (click here), written by expert annex planning consultants.

This is not usually a difficult process, and we are available to guide our customers through the application or we can manage this for you if you prefer. Click here to contact us for help.  Very occasionally only minimal permission is needed but to stress this again, ask your local council and get it in writing from them!

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2) Is there VAT payable on garden granny annexes? 

Yes! Some confusion comes where new build houses have options for VAT to be reclaimed on materials used; however this is for new build houses where they are sold separately (and the rules for this should be checked by you directly with HMRC to make sure they are current at time of purchase).

Garden annexes are built within the grounds of an existing house and are subordinate to them and, most of the time, are unable to be sold as separate dwellings with separate access.

Ultimately the choice as to whether VAT is charged on annexes is down to HMRC and you should speak with the national VAT advice helpline if you feel you may have a case to not pay VAT or if you have been told of extenuating rules and reasons. The last thing you need is to receive a large VAT bill from HMRC after your annex has been completed, and so this is sensible practice to confirm if you believe that no VAT, or reduced VAT, should be charged on your annex.

Not convinced whether VAT is due?

Here are the rules, as we understand them, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-708-buildings-and-construction/vat-notice-708-buildings-and-construction

Search for annexes in that document and you'll reach the section:

3.2.2 Examples of when a qualifying building is not constructed

Common examples of work you cannot zero-rate include the construction of:

  • a ‘granny’ annexe which cannot be used, or disposed of, separately from a main house. This is because the conditions of ‘a building designed as a dwelling’ have not been met in full - see paragraph 14.2

 

Please note that if you can get an official document from HMRC that tells us not to charge VAT, we will be more than happy to do as they say. Otherwise, VAT is chargeable and we suggest you are very sure that it is not before taking the risk of not paying it. Remember:

One simply does not cross the VAT office!

Our advice on VAT, as always:

If you think you have a case, please speak with the National VAT Advice helpline to confirm any regulations currently in operation, even if you've been assured by 'someone else' that it isn't due...



3) What is the warranty on the annexes?
We offer a structural warranty see the warranty details - click here.

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4) What maintenance is required for the buildings?

Although our annexes are low maintenance, we also have a ThermoWoodTM cladding system which is guaranteed for ten years without any treatment - Click here for details. Like every wooden structure it is important to make sure you treat the wood (especially the exterior wood) from time to time this will depend on the quality of the product you use, as a rule of thumb the more money you spend on the treatment the longer it will last.

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 5) Do you do a maintenance free wood option?

We can supply an exterior wood product called Thermowood, this has a 10 year guarantee without needing treatment. Click here for details.

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6) How much is an annex going to cost?
We have several standard model examples listed on our price list, but we can make the annexes to order, and indeed that is the usual way we do it, as everybody is different. Click here to see our price list or contact us to discuss your requirements.

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 7) Do we supply a kitchen and bathroom in there?
We supply our installed annexes with a kitchenette, shower, basin and toilet. See the full specification for a list of standard items supplied. Baths are available upon request and subject to available space, but an upgraded hot water system will be needed to accommodate this at additional cost.

If you prefer to supply your own kitchen, we can also install that for you if required.

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 8) Can I have a wet room?
The standard installed annexes come with a shower, basin and toilet. A true wet room is a much more involved item when done properly. Typically, a  properly created wet room will be around £5000 + VAT due to the materials and extra labour costs involved, but please ask for a quotation for your model.

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9) Why are wet room prices so expensive?
Wet rooms vary hugely in quality and there are a lot of inferior quality installations, where tiles have been used on the ground. Our wet rooms are totally sealed moulded floors, which are run up the walls slightly to help prevent water from getting below the flooring in a very wet environment.

With tiles, even slight movement of the floor can cause imperfection in the floor seal and water to ingress below the level of the tiles, potentially causing costly water damage. To help prevent this, you should only use a proper sealed wet room solution, where the entire floor is sealed and the lips of the floor material go up the wall and are then tiled down to.

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10) What comes with the granny annex?
The full specification of the fitted annexes is listed on our site.

If you're looking for just a flat pack annexe that you erect, insulate yourself, etc. this comes with all you need for erection of the shell, including double glazed windows, roof boards, door(s), etc. excluding roofing felt. See our specification sheet here.

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11) Can I have the annex to the exact size I require?

Yes! We specialised in bespoke cabins. Just email us a rough sketch or dimensions and we can make to order. The best part is, that you won't pay a surcharge for this service, it's within the prices and these are worked out on the same basis as our 'off the peg' models.

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12) How are they heated?
The fully installed units generally come with an electric heating solution - see the specification page for a full description of what is supplied with a fitted annexe. As an alternative, you can heat them with anything from a gas boiler with radiators to wood burners, at extra cost (£p.o.a.).

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13) What about disabled access?
If extra wide doorways are required for wheelchair access, please ask. Ramp access can be supplied but as each installation is different, this would be quoted for on an individual basis. Click here to contact us for your free, no obligation estimate.

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14) Can we just supply the granny annex as a flat pack?
Yes, we are happy to supply only if this is required. Simply let us know your requirements (click here) and we'll price up to your specification and supply the kit for you to erect yourself.

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15) You need the annex in a hurry, can it be done quickly?
Contact us with your exact requirements and we can let you know how fast it can be done. Where possible we will work within your time restraints, but there are limitations, including how quickly you gain permission, whether the ground works are complete and what the weather is like at the time of installation. However, give us a call, or use our online form and we'll make it happen for you ASAP!

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16) Do the annexes come with a base installed and services connected?
The prices for the completed annexes are for an annex built and connected to the existing services, provided a base is there already and services are at the base. We can also install a suitable base and run services (electricity, water and drainage) at additional cost, but these are quoted on an individual basis. Please contact us free to arrange a site survey with no obligation on your part.

 

17) What foundations and services are required and can we do them for you?

As well as suitable foundations, you will need fresh mains water to your annex, drainage for sinks, toilets and shower, and mains electricity. We can lay all of these services and the foundations for you. You can see more information on foundations we lay, including a video of foundations we use being installed here. For a free quotation, without obligation on your part, please contact us or use the form on the right (or below on mobiles).

 

Do you have other questions? You can contact us using our online form (click here), by calling on on 01279 755155, or by using our handy chat facility at the bottom of the site, which is available during office hours and often during the evening until late.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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