Building a Tiny Space for Grandma: A Granny Pod Guide

Independence, freedom, and security are just some of the benefits of a granny pod. A living space that provides reassurance without compromising freedom, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), known as granny pods, are the perfect solution for older relatives who may need to live on your property.

Elderly parents needing care or assistance have limited options. Of course, there are care homes and aged care facilities that can accommodate this, but it can be an overwhelming experience, both for you and your loved ones.

Along with the financial cost, the distances, and deciding on the most suitable facilities, it can be also a big change, which is often unsettling. A great alternative to care homes is the granny pod. A small home in your back garden means you can keep an eye on your loved ones, while they can keep their independence.

We’ve put together a guide to help you make your decision. From pricing to ADU types and safety regulations, we have you covered.

What Is a Granny Pod?

Granny pods are a type of ‘guest house’ or ‘granny annex’ that can accommodate elders on your property. There are many different ways to do this, it could be a completely separate small house, a loft conversion, or their very own studio. You can even find eco-friendly designs.

The concept behind an ADU is to ensure the safety of elderly parents and grandparents. If they are not far from the main home, it allows carers to oversee their parents while offering privacy for both.

The main priority is to keep them safe and secure, making sure to include safety precautions like non-slip floors and wide door frames, or even medical assistance if needed.

What Is the Price of a Granny Pod?

Like most things, ADUs differ in price depending on what you choose to include. The most basic granny pods could simply be a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette, whilst a more established granny pod might have a living room storage space and garden. The great thing about the pods means that you can adapt them to whatever space you have on your land.

Granny pods can be attached directly to your home, or away from the house such as in the garden. Depending on the type of space you are creating, the prices range from anywhere between $40,000 to $250,000. The price is also influenced by your location too.

While this might at first seem expensive, it’s wise to think about it in the long term. Assisted living or nursing homes are more expensive than ADUs so they can work out financially better for the future. Another alternative is to rent out a tiny home.

Are Granny Pods Safe to Live In?

Accessory dwelling units are made for safety reasons, allowing families to monitor elderly loved ones, while being only a stone’s throw away. Granny pod floor plans are, therefore, unique to each dweller, and it’s essential to make your parents or relative feel comfortable and at home while considering their accessibility and safety.

Common features of a pod include wide doorways for wheelchair access, open floor plans, making it easy to navigate their home by themselves, and even flooring, such as a low pile carpet. Other features might include safety handrails or switching doorknobs to levers, for better grip.

Of course, it doesn’t have to stop there. Depending on what your parent or relative may require, you can even add in video monitoring at floor level to look out for any falls, along with special lighting for similar reasons. On top of this, there are medical and healthcare features you can install.

Where Do I Buy a Granny Pod From?

So now you know the price and accessibility, it’s time to think about where you can buy or rent a dwelling unit. There are multiple options to choose from, whether you simply want to build a cabin, or buy freestanding homes, ideal for back gardens. If you live in Northern California then click here to see how Acton ADU design and build personalized granny pods.

Usually the size of a small studio space, ADU’s are built around 400-500 feet. You can work on a floor plan that meets the needs of your parent or relative while also appearing modern and stylish. You can install the features yourself or have someone build it up from scratch.

The pod, of course, will need to be set up in a similar way to your house. It will need consideration surrounding electrics, water systems, and sewer supplies which are usually connected to the main house itself. It’s also worth noting, that these will impact your own bills and not your parents, as it’s all linked to the main house.

While you get caught up in all the logistics and intricacies of features you can add to your home, it’s good to think about making it special for your relative, such as integrating skylights to bring in lots of natural light.

What Kind of Granny Pods Are There?

With such a selection, it’s easy to personalize a pod to your loved one’s taste.

Before building a granny pod, make sure you spend time researching into your local law zone, to find out if it’s legal for you to build a pod. The zoning laws will be able to provide confirmation about whether you can build on your land.

ADUs can come in all different shapes and styles. It could be a log cabin, a small cottage, a pre-made exterior to simply converting your garden shed. The possibilities are endless.

Is a Granny Pod Right for You and Your Parents?

Taking all this into consideration, it’s now time to decide whether an accessory dwelling unit is a good option for you and your parents. It’s a unique and personal experience for each person and their family. Check out our blog to find more articles like this.