Adult children aren’t the only ones returning to the nest, Granny and Grandpa are coming back home, as a growing trend reverses the tables.

Elderly parents wishing to have privacy and independence are moving into granny cabins on their children’s properties. In a twist of fate Barry and Elma Woods moved back ‘onto’ their original property… in the backyard.

Barry and Elma, in their late 70s, live in a granny cabin in Brighton alongside their original property, which now belongs to their son Stephen.

“Originally we lived in the house in 1973 and we lived there 24 years, we sold the house and moved to Noosa… soon after, the house went back on the market and Stephen bought it back,” Barry says.

Barry says they were originally considering retirement homes, but Stephen said “Don’t do that, It’s a waste of money. You can live here” and they saw an advertisement for Glendale Homes’ granny cabins and approached them.

They moved in January 2012 and say they are comfortable with the space, having two bedrooms, a sitting room, kitchen, bathroom and verandah.

Glendale Homes allow customers to customise their own granny cabin, from a wide range of sizes, designs, colours and finishes. The company has manufactured granny cabins on site for over 40 years.

Stephen Woods says it was a very simple process from start to finish, with his parents deciding on a design and it being installed within a month with no issues.

“They bought it in December and it was installed the first week of January, but it could have easily been ready within seven to 10 days if it wasn’t around Christmas,” he says.

Living 16 meters from the main house with their own street entrance, Barry and Elma say they are happy to come and go as they please without disturbing their son and daughter-in-law. It also provides added security as Stephen, Barry and Elma can watch over each other’s properties.

“For us to live here, everything is at our fingertips, especially family… and that’s really important when you get older,” Barry says.

The council approved manufactured homes are generally between 60 to 100 squared meters and are placed alongside a conventional home for occupation by an aging or ailing relative, providing options to live close to family in privacy and with independence, without the higher costs associated with other retirement options.

According to Glendale Homes consultant Pam Strong, many people find it hard to conceptualise the size and room of the granny cabins by simply looking at plans, thus Glendale Homes has a display granny flat.

“This display allows our customers to access the suitability of layouts in real terms,” she says.

Unfortunately in Brisbane, it is illegal to rent out a granny flat as they can only be used by a single household group and not as investment property.

Visit the Glendale Homes granny cabin display at 42 Dickson Road, Caboolture from 8am to 5pm weekdays and by appointment on weekends or visit