A family plan, built from the ground up

Farah Drake, John Drake, Willow Grove Homes and Granny Flats, Melbourne, Dandenong, Victoria

Source: The Age

Dad, mum and daughter combine to offer dedicated building experience to clients.

Farah Drake is proud to say her father, John, built his first home more than 50 years ago. She has been working in the family business since she was a teenager and has watched it grow for the past 20 years.

Farah is a registered builder and a director of Willow Grove Homes & Granny Flats, as is John Drake. Her mother, Patricia, works with them as a colour consultant.

“The father-daughter combination is a bit unusual in this industry,” Drake says. “Together we are committed to building quality relocatable homes and granny flats.”

Granny flats must be relocatable to get council approval.

Willow Grove’s home sand granny flats are built from the ground up on site in the same way as any other home. However, they’re designed and constructed so they can be removed at a later date.

There was a time when many granny flats were so small they resembled upsized caravans.

Willow Grove’s designs are more akin to downsized homes as the team is composed of builders and designers, not manufacturers and assemblers. Drake says this means clients can customise standard layouts to suit and keep costs to a minimum because transporting a build to a site is not required. Access requirements are also minimised to the width of a walkway, if necessary.

Seven granny flat designs in the Willow Grove range are on display in Dandenong South. Designs range from modest one-bedroom Hampton and Elwood styles to the 99-square-metre, three-bedroom Sorrento flat, which has a 1.5-metre wide, full length verandah. The Dandenong South display village is open seven days a week.

Every Willow Grove home and granny flat comes with a six-star energy rating and standard features, including:

  • Choice of quality exterior cladding;
  • Colorbond roof;
  • Lockable aluminium windows with double glazing;
  • 2000-litre water tank connected to the toilet cistern;
  • Full-length verandah with merbau decking;
  • Internal and external painting;
  • Carpet, and ceramic floor tiles in wet areas;
  • Spacious kitchens with plenty of storage, laminated bench tops and cupboards;
  • Quality kitchen appliances;
  • Bathroom vanity with ceramic basin;
  • 3 in 1 heater/fan/light to bathroom;
  • Light fittings; and,
  • Flyscreens.

Drake says standard floor plans can be tailored to a client’s specific requirements to “make their new home as individual as they are”.

Alterations such as moving a wall or upgrading fixtures and fittings are no problem. Using the expertise of Willow Grove staff, clients can design a home that meets their requirements and budget.

Options include stone benchtops, timber flooring and a choice of window and external cladding.

Facilities and fittings to aid people living with a disability are also available and include stepless showers with non-slip base, raised toilets, grab rails, hand-held showers and wider doorways.

Building in a bushfire prone area is also not a problem as Willow Grove has years of experience building in these regions.

“We take care of the plans and permits and once issued we start very quickly, generally within a week,” Farah Drake says. “A build takes about 8-14 weeks depending on the size of the home.”

Willow Grove Homes & Granny Flats also provides a 10-year structural builders’ warranty on all building works.

Want to find out more? Don’t hesitate to contact us! https://www.willowgrovegrannyflats.com.au/contact/