Earn income from your backyard

The terms Secondary Dwelling, Granny Flat and Auxiliary Dwelling are often used interchangeably. Councils may have different definitions and certainly have different rules as to their use, however for our purposes, we’ll refer to them generically as secondary dwellings.

Many homeowners throughout Australia are earning additional income from secondary dwellings on their properties. While rules governing such dwellings vary from state to state and even between local government areas, it could be a great way to supplement incomes.

Before going down this path however, it’s always advisable to check with your local council to find out the rules that would apply to your situation. In South-east Queensland, council’s such as Ipswich and Logan, allow secondary dwellings (actually referred to as Auxiliary Units) to be rented out to non-family members, potentially turning an unproductive asset into an income earner.

“We are extremely happy with the auxiliary dwelling installed in Ipswich by Kerdic. It’s very popular with our Airbnb tenants and is in high demand. Of the 41 reviews to date, 100% have been 5 Star and it’s returning between $450-530 per week.”

SD, Sinnamon Park

Local Government Areas


While there may be other criteria, the key requirements in south-east Queensland local government areas are as listed for each area below.


It is stressed that these are guides only and are subject to change so please check with your local council to establish the current guidelines and regulations applicable to your property.


Can be Rented to: Anyone in the household.

General Provisions: Up to 80sqm GFA and no more than 20m from the principal house.

Link to Brisbane Council Information


Can be Rented to: Anyone.

General Provisions: Up to 50sqm GFA and a maximum of one bedroom.

Link to Ipswich Council Information


Can be Rented to: Anyone.

General Provisions: Up to 70sqm or 100sqm GFA depending upon the zoning, a maximum of two bedrooms and within 20m of the primary dwelling.

Link to Logan Council Information

Moreton Bay

Can be Rented to: Anyone in the household.

General Provisions: Up to 60sqm GFA, maximum of two bedrooms.

Link to Moreton Bay Council Information


Can be Rented to: Anyone in the household.

General Provisions: Up to 50sqm GFA and within 20m from the primary house.

Link to Redlands Council Information

Gold Coast

Can be Rented to: Anyone in the household.

General Provisions: Up to 80sqm GFA and either attached to or within 10m of the primary house.

Link to Gold Coast Council Information

Sunshine Coast

Can be Rented to: Anyone in the household.

General Provisions: Up to 60sqm or 90sqm GFA depending upon the zoning and a maximum 50% site cover and minimum allotment size of 600sqm.

Link to Sunshine Coast Council Information


In order to gain first-hand experience in this field, in recent years Kerdic acquired several properties in Ipswich and Brisbane for the purpose of installing secondary dwellings or auxiliary units. The Ipswich homes were then placed on the rental market via Airbnb, to generate income. In Brisbane the secondary dwelling was added as an extension to an existing home then rented to a single household, thus increasing the property’s appeal and the potential rental yield.


In each case, Kerdic used prefabricated homes from Nova Deko Modular (www.novadekomodular.com). These homes arrive fully fitted out internally other than dishwasher and air conditioning. Onsite works included connection of services (power, water and sewerage) and the addition of decking with roof and a carport.
With this invaluable experience, Kerdic now provides a complete service including supply and installation of Nova Deko Modular prefabricated homes, within 100km from the Brisbane CBD.

Basically there are two components for the installation of a prefabricated home: firstly, the purchase of the prefabricated home and its delivery to site and secondly, its installation together with any associated on-site works. For the prefabricated component, there are a number of different Nova Deko designs from which to choose. See below.


Santa Fe





6 x 2.4m

6 x 3.4m

12 x 2.4m

12 x 3.4m







1 Bed, Bath, Kit, Living

1 Bed, Bath, Kit, Living

1 Bed, Bath, Kit, Living

2 Bed, 2 Bath, Kit, Living






Please note that these prices are subject to change due to currency fluctuations.

For installation, there are many variables such as distance from Brisbane CBD; council fees and charges; site conditions, access and preparation; location of services, height off ground, etc. The prefabricated homes have built-in gutters so do not require a separate roof. In addition, there’s the optional ancillary works such as decking, roof over the deck, steps and car accommodation. These will vary according to the client’s preferences. As a guide, the estimated costs to supply and install a Newport design for example, would be as follows.


Supply and delivery of the ‘Newport’ design within 100k from Brisbane CBD

Estimated installation costs

Total indicative cost

NOTE: Includes construction insurance; soil test; council fees; certification fees; LSL levy; supervision allowance; crane, generator and machine hire; concrete footings; carpenter/labour allowance; plumbing and electrical connections; and painting touch-ups. These will vary according to the site location, conditions, access, services, council fees, etc.




Kerdic has standard deck/roof designs for each home should the client prefer a fully completed home ready for immediate occupation. Pricing for decks with roof will be provided upon request.


• Frame – purpose-built container carcasses with heavy duty steel framing, joists and bearers.
• Insulation – Closed cell polyurethane sprayed onto inside walls (R1.5) and Rockwool fibreglass batts installed in framing (R2.5).
• Windows & Glass Doors – double glazed glass (5mm).
• Internal Walls – 12mm Drywall plasterboard; FC sheeting to wet areas.
• Flooring – compressed FC sheeting with floating vinyl covering; tiles to wet areas.
• Kitchen – gloss 2-pac, melamine or veneer finish (depending upon design) to all cabinetry; reconstituted quartz stone benchtops; quality appliances (oven and cooktop).
• Bathroom – tiles ceiling in shower recess and to 1.2m elsewhere; wall mounted vanity.
• Paint – three coats premium paint to internal walls.
• Plumbing – all internal tapware, sink, toilet, wastes, basins and shower roses; under-slung drainage.

Santa Fe




The Steps to Ownership


Design Selection

Client selects the design and discusses requirements with Kerdic representative.

Preliminary Works Agreement

Client enters into a Preliminary Works Agreement with Kerdic and pays $1,200 non-refundable deposit (to cover the cost of soil test, survey, drainage plan and site inspection).

Finalise Requirements

Client finalises the overall requirements.

Fixed Price Determined

Kerdic determines fixed price based on client requirements and preliminary works.

Contract & Deposit

Client enters into a building contract with Kerdic and pays the required deposit (20%).

Proof of Finance

Client arranges finance and provides proof of finance to Kerdic.


Kerdic undertakes supply, delivery and installation together with any ancillary works.


Client takes possession of the new home.

The Benefits

Engaging Kerdic to supply and install a pre-fabricated home is not only a beneficial choice, it’s a safe choice. Kerdic is intrinsically involved with the prefabricated home manufacturer so has an in-depth knowledge of the product, so when we inspect the intended site beforehand to ensure suitability for the home, we give you the best advice.

For further information

Please contact Kerdic here.

Cost Benefits
All costs are known upfront, bank finance can be easily arranged and installation & onsite works are fully covered by builders insurance.
Supply & Installation
Covered by a building contract, with a licensed builder, you can rest assured the installation will be done by a professional and experienced team, with the whole process being the responsibility of the builder, including dealing with the council.

Council Compliance
A secondary dwelling or auxiliary unit requires compliance with the building code and relevant standards and must be approved by the respective local authorities. Normally, this involves obtaining a range of certifications relating to the structure, surveyor set-out, soil test and foundation design, energy efficiency, plumbing and drainage, electrical connections, smoke alarms, glazing, smoke alarms and waterproofing. These certificates are normally provided by the builder.