And a granny flat out back

Being able to live independently, while still being close to family, is an important choice for many retirees. Atlas Living's stand-alone Eco 58 living space may be the perfect solution

When looking into retirement property options, you want to have a decent balance between your proximity to family and your independence. For northern suburbs retiree Julia Skane, the decision to build an independent studio style home to downsize to was an obvious choice. Already owning a block with a house on it, Julia opted to build a granny flat out back, while renting out her main house.

"I wanted to build on my land so that I could live alone, but be close to my family," she says. As this was her first time building a home, there were a range of needs Julia wanted met by her new home, which ultimately led her to look at Atlas Living and its range of modular designs.

Julia choose to build the Eco 58, a contemporary stand -alone living space that's built with a mix of modern materials and designed for energy efficiency with large windows and sliding doors. The design also comes with optional decks adjacent the living, while for privacy the bedroom and bathroom are situated at the back.

"I wanted plenty of light, energy saving features and a separate bedroom," she says. "I chose to build with Atlas Living because they had good reviews and a reliable history." With 59sqm total size, the base design of the Eco 58 - a one -bedroom, one -bathroom design with one large living/dining and kitchen zone met most of Julia's needs. However she did want to change some aspects of it.

"The only modification was to exclude a bath and have a bigger shower," she says. And the builder was more than happy to modify the design to meet her needs. Vibrantly decorated inside with a veranda adjacent the living zone, her home is welcoming and bright. From signing the contract to getting the keys, the build process took about 12 months and allowed the retiree to move into her home with a relative amount of ease.

"Once the weather cleared enough for work to commence it was completed quickly," Julia says. "I was fortunate to have a flat block, the only issue was very large tree roots which had to be removed, but the site supervisor was most helpful."

Having lived in the new home for just over eight months, Julia says the low maintenance design allows her to enjoy time with family and friends without the stress of and upkeep of a larger home, while still remaining independent. "It's warm, easy to keep clean and very convenient generally," she says.

"I enjoy the veranda very much, I had great fun watching and playing with my grandsons over Christmas and the summer." Although she admits she would make minor changes to the layout if given the chance, Julia is very happy with her home and believes it will keep her comfortable and relaxed well into the future.

Features you'll love

Open plan: The open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area provides plenty of flexibility and having a deck straight off it is a bonus.

Low maintenance: With 59sqm of total space, this design makes the most of its compact size and is ideal for singles or couples, teens or adult children.

Accessibility: Allowing the modification of the bathroom to increase the size of the shower and remove the bath gives homeowners more accessibility which is a necessity for the elderly living independently.

Outdoor entertaining: The optional veranda and deck give occupants the chance to have an independent outdoor space, which is important particularly if you are building a studio at the back of another house.


The Sunday Mail Home Magazine

For more information about the house in this story please look at the Eco 58.


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