Granny Pod

How To Personalize Your Granny Pod

Over 1.1 million parents in America currently live with their adult children. So if you are thinking about moving your parents into your family home, you are in good company.

However, this transition can be difficult for everyone involved and requires sensitive handling. Giving people enough space and independence will help them adjust to their new surroundings. This is where building a granny pod for your home can help!

Accessory dwelling units provide the perfect space for your loved ones and feature all of the amenities they need. Nevertheless, to really make your mother-in-law feel at home, your granny pod plans need to feel personal.

Not sure how to design a backyard home with a personal touch? Then you’re in the right place! Read on to find out all the benefits of granny flats and our top tips for personalizing yours.

A Great Way to Use Your Outdoor Space

86% of homes in America have some sort of private outdoor living space. If you have significant outdoor space on your property, then you will always be looking for ways to make the most of this.

Landscaping and installing decking can be a great place to start. However, you may find that there are certain areas of your property that don’t get enough attention. This could be the ideal spot to install a granny pod.

Backyard homes can make a stunning addition to any garden and are certainly a feature that will draw the eye. Architecturally, you can also use them to celebrate your garden design and highlight features that you are proud of.

Granny Pods Increase the Value of Your Property

If you are looking for granny pods for sale, it can be tempting to fixate on the price tag.

However, it is also important to think about the value that a granny flat can add to your property. In fact, a recent Acton ADU in San Jose, California appraised at 115% of its project cost; a substantial return on the homeowner’s investment.

Not only are granny pods architecturally impressive, but they’re also extremely adaptable. Because of this, potential buyers may think about using them as:

  • Guesthouses 
  • Home offices or studios
  • Vacation or rental homes to generate additional income

So your accessory dwelling unit could make your home a lot more attractive to potential buyers. This means that you can increase your asking price when you sell your home!

Granny Pods Help You Support Loved Ones Without Compromising Their Independence

As people get older, they may need more support in their daily lives. However, one of the greatest concerns that people in America have about aging is losing their independence. This can spark feelings of frustration, anger, and resentment. 

Because of this, when it comes to caring for your loved ones as they get older, it is important to acknowledge and support their need for independence. Granny pods make this possible. 

This ensures that you are nearby to support your loved ones on a regular basis when they need it. For example, you can collect their groceries for them and drop them off quickly. And, if they need you urgently, you will always be nearby.

However, they will also still have a space that they feel they have ownership of. This will be their own private home that they can personalize as they please. This can really help to ease the transition into co-dependent life.

Granny Pods Make It Easier for You to Care For Your Loved Ones

Speaking of caring for your elderly relatives, installing a granny flat also makes this easier for you.

This means that you can quickly and easily check in on your elderly relatives. It also means that, if you need to run errands for them, you won’t have to go out of your way. 

Having regular contact with them can help to ease concerns that you might have about them living alone. And it can help to combat feelings of social isolation so that they feel less lonely in their later years.

To start this journey, it is a good idea to have an open and honest conversation with your loved one about your granny pod plans. Involving them in the conversation about their flat design can help to create a space for them that feels personal. 

So what are the best ways to personalize a granny pod for the loved ones in your life? Let’s take a closer look.

Start With Their Needs

If you’re installing a granny pod for a specific person, it is a good idea to think about what they need from their home. This includes considering:

  • The amount of space that they’re looking for
  • How much storage they will need for their belongings
  • Mobility requirements that they have
  • The sort of amenities that they will need to use on a daily basis

Some of these needs will be practical, while others can help to accommodate their hobbies and interests. This will make their granny pod feel more like home. 

For example, if your loved one still enjoys painting or writing regularly, you might include a second bedroom in your granny pod floor plans. Rather than using this as a bedroom, you can set it up as a studio for them instead! So they will still be able to pursue the things that they enjoy and remain mentally and emotionally stimulated. 

It is also worth thinking about their personal taste. After all, choosing design features and styles that they like can help them to connect with a property quickly. 

For example, if you already know that your loved one doesn’t like modern or minimalist architecture, it is best to avoid this. To help move these conversations along, take a look at a range of different granny pod designs. This will help you find a design that you are both comfortable with.

Make Sure That You Check Local Planning Regulations 

Before you start designing your granny pod, it is important to make sure that your property meets local planning regulations. In California, the latest planning laws came into effect earlier this year. These are the SB9 laws. 

If you live in an R1 or OP1 residential zone, you can build an ADU provided that you: 

  • Own a lot that is at least 1,200 square feet in size 
  • Have lived in your property for three years or more 
  • Divide your lot equally between the properties built on it 
  • Fit any new buildings with fire sprinklers and solar panels 

The SB9 laws also outline a number of exemptions or further restrictions that apply to certain property owners. For example, you cannot build in a historic area. 

A professional ADU construction company or planning permission officer can help you understand these further. This will ensure that you can go ahead with the plans for your property.

Think About Accessibility

If you are moving older relatives into a brand-new flat near your home, accessibility is a very important consideration. You can think about their needs now, but it is also important to consider how these might change in the future.

The majority of granny pods’ floor plans feature single-story designs. Single-story floor plans immediately offer better accessibility. However, it is also important to think about accessibility around the property as well.

For example, a property might have no steps inside, making it easy to navigate. But if it has a step up to the front door, this immediately introduces an unnecessary obstacle. 

To combat this, it is worth considering how easy your property is to get in and out of. Where necessary, you should create alternative routes for people with additional access needs. Better still, prioritize accessibility during the design process and this won’t become a problem later on.

Some other great ways to improve accessibility in your granny pod floor plans include:

  • Installing support railings in the bathrooms and along the walls
  • Having walk-in bath and shower designs in the bathroom
  • Designing easy-to-navigate countertops at the right height for your loved one
  • Creating doorways that are wide enough for wheelchair access
  • Building in storage for medical equipment

Thinking about this in advance ensures that when your loved one needs support equipment, for example, this won’t dominate the property.

Think Carefully About the Location of Your Granny Pod

Building a granny flat on your lot creates more livable space on your property. However, it is important to plan its location carefully, so it doesn’t feel like one building is on top of another. And more importantly, so it can be legally built in the first place! Either way, knowing your location will promote a sense of independence and privacy for anyone living on the property.

Because of this, it is important to think about where you want to build your granny pod and its view. For example, you do not want the bedroom and bathroom windows of your home and your ADU looking directly into one another.

If there is a particular view or part of your garden that your loved one enjoys, this might be a good location for your granny flat. This will show them that you have considered them when building their new home. 

You might also want to consider using landscape gardening to help improve privacy. For example, some strategically placed trees or garden features can help to block the view between your home and your ADU.  

Look For Architecture That Complements Your Existing Property

While you want your accessory dwelling unit to be unique and its own building, it also needs to look good alongside your existing home.  

Because of this, it is important to think about the architecture you already have in place. This might include thinking about the style of your home’s design. It is also a good idea to think about the materials and the color scheme that you already have in place.

For example, if your home is built using sandstone or light brick, this might look strange alongside an ADU built from dark wooden materials.

Of course, complementing the style of your existing property doesn’t mean that your ADU has to perfectly match it. In fact, choosing a contrasting design can look as impressive as a matching one.

For example, if your property uses wooden painted cladding, you might want to also use this on your granny pod. However, you can choose a different color palette to set your ADU apart from your home. You could even choose your loved one’s favorite color to make it feel homier for them! 

Thinking carefully about this will ensure that your additional dwelling unit doesn’t end up looking like a garage, but property in its own right. 

Create a Garden Space For Your Granny Pod 

Outdoor space is now a priority for people in America. In fact, this is one of the top things people look for when buying a home, and with good reason.

Having an outdoor space gives you room to relax and something for you to cultivate yourself. If you are thinking about renting your ADU in the future, outdoor space will make it more attractive to renters as well. 

Of course, your granny pod will have limited space for a developed garden. Luckily, your loved one will also be able to make the most of your garden as well.

However, there are some great ways that you can make the most out of small garden space for your ADU.

For example, you could install a terrace or deck outside the granny pod to give your loved one somewhere to relax in the sun. If they are more green-fingered, then you might want to create a vegetable patch for them to tend to. Rockeries also make great features in small garden spaces and are fairly easy to maintain as you get older.

If your loved one is relocating from their old property, they may already have a garden there. In that case, you can take garden inspiration design from their existing garden to make their new ADU feel more familiar. You could even transfer garden features from one location to the other.

This will ensure that your loved one has the opportunity to enjoy all of the emotional and physical health benefits of spending time outside. 

Create a Personalized Kitchen 

Cooking encourages people to get creative and switch off from the stresses and strains of daily life. There are also significant health benefits to learning to cook for yourself and it promotes a sense of independence. 

If your older relative shares this passion for cooking, put time into creating a kitchen space that facilitates this and works for them. 

For example, you might want to devote more space in the kitchen and dining room area to kitchen appliances. You will also need to ensure that there are ample power outlets for these appliances.

When designing your kitchen, it is also a good idea to think about accessibility. Adapting your kitchen counter height means that you can create a kitchen that is easily accessible to someone in a wheelchair.

If your loved one has another type of mobility impairment, this also makes it easier for them to work in a way that is comfortable for them. For example, they can sit while chopping vegetables rather than standing at the kitchen counter.

Create Room For Socializing

Just because an elderly relative is moving in with you does not mean that they will be spending all of their time with you. In fact, it can be extremely liberating to maintain an active social life and have friends over for dinner.

Because of this, it is important to create a great open space for socializing within your granny pod. A lot of granny pod floor plans use open-plan living designs to help make the most of the space and support socializing. 

This also means, for example, that your loved one can be cooking in the kitchen and chatting with their friends in the living room at the same time.

Creating a home that supports socializing, and that your loved one feels proud of, will really help to encourage this. They will be excited about inviting people over and showing them their new home.

Leave Plenty of Wall Space 

Large open wall spaces within the property can help it to feel bigger, which is a great plus for an accessory dwelling unit. However, they can also help your loved one personalize the space more.This creates room for them to display their own artwork and personal photographs around the home. This will immediately transform the space into one they feel familiar with and that is personal to them.

Factoring this into your designs can also make your granny pod more attractive to rent in the future. This enables possible tenants to put a personal touch on a property without compromising a no decoration leasing agreement. So it immediately gives your property potential for future tenants.

Because of this, you should think about wall space while putting together your granny pod floor plans. Thinking about how furniture will fit in the space will ensure that you can also leave plenty of room for decoration and personal touches. 

If you are working with smaller walls, you can also help to create space for personal belongings by installing built-in shelves or storage units.

Distinguish Bedrooms Using Ensuite Bathrooms

The number of bathrooms that you want in your granny pod will depend a lot on the amount of space that you have available. If you are planning to have two bedrooms, you may want to distinguish one of them as the master bedroom.

Installing an ensuite bathroom is a great way to do this. The bathroom doesn’t have to be an enormous room, but it gives your loved one a personal space to get ready in the morning. It also means that they can store personal items, such as medication, out of the way of guests. 

So, if your loved one wants to have someone to stay with, they will feel more comfortable about sharing their space.

An ensuite bathroom can also help to improve accessibility in your granny pod. For example, you might have a bath in the main bathroom but install a walk-in shower in your ensuite. This means that your loved ones can wash in a way that works for them and that they have options to choose from.

Think Carefully About Your Storage Space 

When it comes to living in a smaller home, having plenty of great storage space is vital. This means that you will not need to bring a lot of additional furniture into the space. And it will not feel like your belongings are overcrowding it. 

If you are designing a granny pod from scratch, then you can actually make this easier by creating built-in storage space around the property. 

For example, you could install a built-in wardrobe in the main bedroom and a window seat with storage in it in the living space. It is also a good idea to provide at least one hallway closet for coats and shoes. This ensures that the space feels clean and open the minute you walk through the front door.

Of course, over the course of their life, your loved one will have accumulated a lot of belongings. Their transition into a granny pod may involve a lot of downsizing. However, you do not want your loved ones to feel like this transition is forcing them to get rid of their cherished possessions. 

You can help with this by creating attic space or eaves in your granny pod floor designs. It won’t be quick and easy to access the belongings stored in these spaces. But it does ensure that your loved one can hold onto the things that they care about and knows where they are stored.

Make the Most of Natural Light

Natural light makes a huge difference in a home no matter its size. This will help to make the space feel open and fresh. In a smaller space, it can also make a home feel a lot bigger than it is. 

Because of this, make sure that you allow as much natural light as possible into your granny pod. This will mean installing plenty of windows in your bedroom and living spaces. You might also want to consider using glass paneling in the doors and lightwells in darker areas. 

The position of the rooms within your property will also determine how much light they get throughout the day. For example, south-facing rooms will get a lot of sunlight all day long, while north-facing rooms will be darker. So, if you want to maximize the natural light in your property, be sure to opt for a south-facing design.

Install Plenty of Artificial Lighting

Of course, even with plenty of windows on your property, you cannot guarantee natural light all year around. During the winter months, the sky will be darker and the sun will set earlier. This can quickly make smaller homes feel dark and dingy. 

To combat this, make sure that you include plenty of artificial sources of lighting in your floor plans. This includes installing powerful overhead lights throughout your property. It also means putting in plenty of power sockets so that your loved one can use their own lamps. 

Adjustable lighting can also be a nice personal touch throughout the property. This means that your loved one will be able to adjust the lighting to suit their needs or mood.

Use Long, Vertical Lines of Sight 

When designing a home in a small space, you need to think carefully about your lines of sight. A line of sight is how far you can see before your view is cut off by an object or wall. 

Long lines of sight create space in a room and make it feel bigger than it is. You can create these using:

  • Open-plan living space designs 
  • Tall windows
  • Glass panels in your interior doors

Vertical lines of sight, in particular, help to make a room feel bigger than it is. Installing tall artwork or mirrors will help to create these.

Involve Your Loved One in Interior Design Ideas  

You can design a stunning home but, if the interior design feels sterile or isn’t thought out properly, it will not feel homey. Because of this, it is a good idea to involve your loved one in conversations about interior design. After all, this is going to be their home. 

It is a good idea to have a look around the property once construction is finished so that they get a clear idea of how it looks. Then you can talk about different color choices or furniture designs that you might be interested in using. 

If you already have some ideas of your own, be sure to bring these to the conversation. That way you have a starting point for your discussion. 

It is also worth asking whether there are any pieces of furniture that they want to bring to the home with them. That way you can think about the pieces that you are starting with and develop your ideas around them. 

In a smaller space, the colors and textures that you use can make a big difference in how it feels. Darker colors or heavy prints will instantly make a space feel smaller. 

This can be an asset in a bedroom or bathroom. For example, it might make a bathroom feel like a relaxing space at the end of the day or a bedroom feel cozier. 

However, because of this, it is also a good idea to avoid dark colors in the living spaces of your granny pod. Creams, whites, pale blues, grays, yellows, and pastel tones all help to open a space up. If your loved one is a big fan of color, you can also suggest incorporating this using statement furniture, artwork, or cushions. 

Use Smart Tech to Make Your Home Easy to Use 

Smart technology is hugely beneficial in homes across America. You can use this to: 

  • Play music
  • Monitor energy usage 
  • Set the temperature in your home 
  • Adjust the lighting 
  • Turn appliances on and off 
  • Improve security
  • Answer the front door 
  • Schedule appointments or reminders 

This can all make life a lot easier for your loved ones and can help them stay on top of their home. For example, it is lovely for them to be able to walk into a room and ask to listen to their favorite song or check the weather for that day quickly. 

This also means that they can check that their home is safe and secure from the comfort of their own bed. So, before they go to sleep, they can double-check that they have turned everything off without getting up. If your loved one is living with a mobility impairment then this will make life much easier for them.

You can also use smart technology to check in on your loved one from a distance. For example, you can use the app on your phone to make sure that they have remembered to turn off their appliances or lock the front door. This can give you real peace of mind without making your loved ones feel like you are checking in on them all the time. 

Personalize Your Granny Pod Today 

Installing a granny pod on your property makes it easier for you to care for your loved ones without compromising their independence.

There are also loads of great ways that you can work with your loved one to find a granny pod for sale and personalize it. This will immediately make them feel more at home.

If you are wondering where to buy granny pods then look no further! Get in touch with Acton ADU today to find out how we can help you create a custom granny pod design that works for you.

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