Learn how to conduct a detailed feasibility study for a secondary dwelling using Canibuild.

We’ll take you through the step-by-step instructions and teach you how to upload your scaled plan, search an address, assess the main site conditions and determine if it’s worth your while sending a quote. 

What you will need;

  • Access to canibuild.com
  • Your favorite architectural design to upload
  • An address to look up

1. Log in to the canibuild app. To login click HERE

2. Admin Using the arrow on the top right hand side of the application, selection “admin” from the dropdown 

3. Select “Design Catalouge”  from the side panel. The design panel contains all the individual floor plans that you upload.

4. Add Item Click on the three dots located on the top right hand side. Click ‘Add Item’  – This will allow you to choose a floor plan from your device and upload it.

5. Crop your plans This is achieved by joining one line to the other and creating a closed shape. One you are happy, click on the scissor icon on the left hand size to save changes

6. Scale your image sing your mouse create a line from one side of the structure to the other and add the distance.  Click the green tick to save your measurement. This will allow Canibuild to scale your image

7. Fill relevant information sing the panel on the right hand side, fill in all relevant information related to the plan, including design name, size and price

8. Save your design once all relevant information is added click on the green tick. This will automatically save your design into your design catalogue. 

Congratulations! You have uploaded a plan and are now ready to commence the Granny Flat feasibility assessment.


1. Type in an address this should be the granny flat site you wish to do an assessment on.  

2. Boundary lines you will notice a white line around the perimeter of the block when on satellite view, and a black line around the block when on map view – these are the boundary lines. Sometimes the boundaries of a block are hard to determine. Your block is legally defined by these boundary lines.

3. High resolution imagery will appear on your screen. Take the opportunity to  notice features that may be present on the block such as pools, retaining walls, driveways, sheds, trees etc

4. Zoom in and out to get a feel for the street and surrounding houses

5. A list of relevant site details are listed for your quick review. This includes LOT DP, landing zone, heritage area, acid sulfate soils, bushfire prone land, local council, area, frontage and whether the property is on a corner block. You can access this information by clicking on the ‘i’ icon located next to the address of the left hand side panel.

6. Select the design tab – you will see your uploaded and scaled architectural plan. Click on it and it will appear on the aerial image of the block.

7. Green shaded area You will notice that the block has a green shaded area. This is called the buildable area. Your architectural plan needs to remain in the green shade for it to comply with state regulations.

8. Move your plan around as you move the architectural plan around the site, the plan changes from green to red and back again. If the plan is highlighted in RED, the placement does not comply with a certain state regulation. If the plan is highlighted in GREEN, the placement will comply with state regulations

9. Planning rules the details in the planning rule tab will change depending on the placement of the secondary dwelling. When you place your secondary dwelling in the ideal location, you will receive green ticks. When the secondary dwelling is placed in a location that compromises a state regulation, you will notice that a red X appears. You want to avoid these red X


Now that you have placed your secondary dwelling into the ideal position and determined that it does comply with state regulations, you need to understand the contours of the block.

1. Click on the contour icon that is located on the right hand side of the screen. The icon is depicted as two curved lines parallel to each other. 

2. Most blocks have some sort of slope. The greater the slope, the higher the implications for a build. Once you have clicked on the icon you will notice coloured lines appear over the selected block. To learn more about how to read contour lines click here. 

Based on the contours of the block, you may need to consider the structural design implications and their cost. For example, the use of drop edge beams, stairs and landings. By understanding the implications of cost and design during your feasibility study, you can make informed decisions from the very beginning.

You just checked the property contours! The last step is to use the measuring tool. Here’s a quick rundown for you. 

1. The measuring tool helps builders make decisions quicker it allows users to create accurate measurements on site, measuring both area and perimeter. Start by right clicking on the point where you want to start your measurement. Drag your mouse along where you would like to measure and then just double click to end the measurement. This will show you the distance from one point to another. 

2. Differentiate your lines by changing their type, thickness and colour. To do this, hover your house over the line. This will help you create various measurements on one block.

3. To measure area to measure area, simply create a closed shape rather than a straight line. Right click anywhere on the screen to begin your measurement. Move your mouse along the page, creating corners by clicking once. This will allow you to change direction. Connect your last line with the first point to create a closed shape and Canibuild will automatically display the perimeter and area. 

Here’s some examples of how you can use the measurement tool to make your builds simpler

Checking the access  Since secondary dwellings are typically located. Secondary dwellings are located on a block with an existing dwelling, this means that information regarding access is vital. This example shows a side access of 3.56m for this particular property. You may only consider taking on jobs with a minimum side access of 1m, or charge extra for anything less than a metre.

Demolition In order to construct a secondary dwelling, do you first need to remove a garage or a shed? The size and material of the item to be demolished needs to be determined. You need to determine the size with accuracy. Don’t just take a guess as it could eat into your profits if you don’t quote it accurately. The size of the structure to be demolished in this example is XXX. The structure is made of brick. The cost of the demolition can now be added to the quote.

Does the block have sewer lines running through it? maybe directly in the centre or in the right hand corner? Placing the secondary dwelling with the consideration of the sewer line can save time and money. Once you have located the sewer line through DBYD / Sydney water, transfer that line onto the block. Does your placement of the secondary dwelling come into contact with the sewer line?  Do you need to quote sewer encasement or redirect the sewer ? 

Was this Step by step guide helpful and are you interested in reading more? Head over to our help guide for more step by step information. Just CLICK HERE

For video tutorials that will help you make the most of your Canibuild experience, check out our Youtube channel. CLICK HERE.  

Enjoying our content? Don't miss out on future articles, guides and more