Have you recently heard the term “granny pod” and are trying to figure out just what it means? Don’t worry, we were all once in that exact spot.
What’s A Granny Pod?
A granny pod is a small home meant for grandparents or the elderly. It’s called a “pod” because it’s normally a modular home that arrives fully constructed. These pods are normally placed near a property’s primary residence.
As people grow old, many find it difficult to live alone due to limitations on mobility and health-related issues. Many people think the only option is an old age or nursing home, but that’s not the case. Staying with children is an option but small homes may not have space for parents to stay with their children. One solution is a granny pod.
A “granny pod” is a fun name for a pod or a modular living space meant for grandparents so they can stay close to their family. It is a tiny home meant for one or two people and it is usually placed in a backyard of a residence.
A granny pod has all the amenities required in a home and, most importantly, ensures people stay close to their children and grandchildren. It ensures privacy for the resident and gives them a space that is separate from their family who may be space-constrained or may simply want a little bit of distance away from their parents (or their adult children!).
The granny pod is sometimes referred to as an “in-law cottage” or “in-law apartment.” Such a pod is more formally known as an “ADU” or accessory dwelling unit, depending on the area where you live. The term “ADU” is very popular, for instance, in Portland, Oregon where space limitations in the city limits have caused zoning boards to allow for secondary dwellings, like granny pods, to be built on properties that wouldn’t normally allow for an additional structure.
A granny pod usually comes with elderly-friendly options like a lift to help the residents get in and out easily. It can also have video cameras inside to keep track of any falls or call buttons to get help. Railings, carpeting, walk-in bathtubs and other options are available to ensure safe living.
Are Granny Pods Legal?
Before getting into more specifics, we need to look at the legality of these pods. Is it legal to build a granny pod near your home? The answer to this is that it depends on your local zoning laws. Your local laws will determine if you can install a granny pod in your backyard or anywhere else on your property.
There are other considerations too. You may require a power connection, water connection, connection to the septic system, and so frrth. All these require work to be done for which requisite permissions are needed. So, research your local laws to see if there are any prohibitions. If not, ensure you take all the approvals from local agencies to avoid problems.
There may be limits in terms of how much space should be utilized for the granny pod. You may need to get exemptions if there are local laws that act as an obstacle. Ensure that all this is done before going ahead. This will save you from trouble later.
What’s In A Granny Pod?
Let’s take a look at an example to understand what a granny pod would have. Boxabl.com is an online company offering a modular home known the “Casita.” It is a compact and independent granny pod that has all an elderly person would need. Let’s looks at the features of this granny pod:
The floor space of the entire unit is 374 sq. ft. and the pod is priced at $49,500 (before shipping).The home is “boxable” — folding — so can be easily delivered and unboxed. Installing the home takes about a day.
This is essentially a small modular home that 20 feet by feet and can be fit anywhere in your backyard (subject to getting local approval). It has a bed, bathroom, kitchen with appliances, a fridge, and an air-conditioner.
You will need a proper foundation on which the pod is installed. There are installation charges also required to set up the pod.
The above was an example to help you understand all about granny pods. There are different types available with different features. Depending on your space availability, your needs, and your budget you can get the pod of your choice.
How Much Does A Granny Pod Cost?
The cost of a granny pod varies depending on the space it takes up, amenities added, etc. On average, the costs of getting a granny pod in your home would be anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000. You must note that the average cost of assisted living in 2021 is over $40,000 per year and nursing home care can cost over $80,000 a year.
When you consider these costs, you will find the granny pod pays off in the medium run. The initial costs may seem expensive but it will work out as you don’t have to spend much in the next few years.
Buying A Granny Pod
If you are convinced about the utility of a granny pod, the next step is to go ahead research. You may have questions like where to get the granny pod and from whom to buy it. The following are some tips that will help you buy the best granny pod for your home.
- Granny pods are available online. You can even buy cabin kits from Amazon and get them assembled at your home.
- There are specialized online sellers who offer ADUs that are compact and have value-added features.
- MEDCottage has a granny pod that also serves as a portable hospital unit. Apart from the basic amenities like a bed, bathroom, kitchen it also has other useful amenities. Hand railings, defibrillators, soft flooring, first aid supplies are other features available.
- You can have a small unit that can be fit inside a garage. There are units that you can assemble on your own with a little effort. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, then use the services of a local contractor to get the pod assembled and ready.
- Do some research on the different options available. Compare all the features offered and the price before you make a decision. Before you do anything, evaluate the space you have in your home. Decide how much space is available and find the right place where it is easy to connect power, water, etc.
- It is very important to look at reviews from customers. Either check out reviews available online or get feedback from people who have bought these pods. Find out about their experiences so you can get an idea of the practical problems faced. This will help you find a pod that meets your needs. It also helps you prepare for the installation.
- You can even get low-cost options. Research all the options before buying so you can save money.