Installing a Granny Pod: What to Expect
Whether you’re caring for an aging parent or ailing grandparent, aunt, uncle or adult child, a granny pod can be an excellent solution. Designed as a compact, free-standing living space with built-in accommodations for the ill or elderly, a pod can be placed in your backyard, making caregiving more convenient, reducing stress and improving quality of life for both you and your loved one.
If you’ve arranged to have a granny pod installed, it helps to know what to expect. Some manufacturers have installation teams that handle delivery and installation, but in most cases, you have the option to arrange for a trusted local contractor with the requisite skills to tackle these essential tasks:
- Transport. Most pods are designed to be trucked to your site on a flatbed trailer or hauled using a specialized hitch. If it’s the latter, you may be required to provide space to store the hitch for later, when the unit needs to be removed.
- Delivery. The pod is delivered to your home, removed from the truck or platform, and placed in the designated location, which can be an open area or concrete pad installed specifically for the purpose.
- Leveling. Once the pod is in place, it must be leveled. Some come with built-in mechanisms, but most are placed on piers that support, level and stabilize the unit.
- Anchoring. In most communities, granny pods are classified as temporary structures, so they can’t be fixed to a permanent foundation. To prevent movement and resist high wind events, they’re typically secured in place with in-ground anchor screws.
- Utilities. Most jurisdictions require pods to be connected to the main house utilities (or water well and septic system). To accomplish this, the installers will dig trenches for electric, water and sewer lines, plus other services such as cable TV, internet, security and monitoring systems. They’ll lay the pipe and conduit, make and test the connections, refill the trenches, and insulate aboveground connections to prevent freezing.
- Skirting. Insulated skirting is installed to hide the undercarriage, protect utility connections, and provide a finished appearance.
- Ramp, steps or lift. Pods are typically designed to sit low to the ground to make access as easy as possible, but most require a ramp, steps or lift, which will be positioned, leveled and anchored to prevent movement.
- Exterior enhancements. If there are exterior enhancements such as a porch or awning, they’ll be added in the final stages.
The majority of pod installations require most if not all of these steps. If advanced medical technologies or amenities are involved, those systems or components may require specialized installers. Once installation is completed, all you have to do is add a few furnishings and your granny pod is ready for occupation.