Back in 2017, 66-year-old Meredith Stannard was nearing retirement. Many others her age would sell their houses and move into a retirement community. But she and her partner had another plan. They knew they wanted to downsize, and they did it the best way possible – by living in a ‘granny pod’ in her daughter’s backyard.
Her daughter, Drew was living with her husband in Seattle, and they had a backyard spacious enough to fit a tiny house.
“Everybody was curious,” Meredith said of her former co-workers. “I started doing these happy hours where I’d have one or two people over at a time. There’s a lot of buzz with people wondering if they could do this too.”
Drew shared the idea with her friends, and they had mixed reactions about the setup.
“When I told friends, their reaction was either, ‘That’s so wonderful, wish I could do that with my family,’ or ‘Oh my god, you’re crazy, I could never do that with my parents,'” she said. “You know whether or not it would work for you and your family.”
The family first had the idea of building a granny pod around 2014 when Drew and Jacob were buying a house. The couple eventually found a property that had a sizable backyard big enough to accommodate a small cottage.
The setup wasn’t a problem for Meredith and her daughter. Drew was an only child, and she said that they were “very close” and “very direct” with one other. But, of course, Meredith and her partner made sure that Jacob was completely on board with the idea before they made any move. Once they confirmed that he was okay with it, they called the architect and began the planning stage.
Since then, the retiree has moved into the 613-square-foot tiny home in her daughter’s backyard. There’s no doubt it was the perfect way to downsize!
The family worked with various contractors to make their granny pod dreams a reality. They also furnished the tiny home with items from stores that build furniture for smaller spaces. And the final result was amazing.
Meredith and her partner also sought the help of Bruce Parker, owner of microhouse, a company with an expertise in designing small houses and customized backyard cottages. With the help of Bruce and his team, they were able to build a two-story tiny home designed to complement Drew and Jacob’s house.
As tiny as it looks, the pod has all the essential parts of a house: one bedroom, two bathrooms, one living room, and a fully-furnished kitchen. The interior boasts of a clean and minimalist look.
Living in a 1,300-square-foot home to a small granny pod required Meredith and her partner to make big adjustments. It wasn’t easy; but as it turns out, to downsize was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. The pair is happy to be living near their family, especially since Drew is set to become a first-time mother at the time. It would be great for her child to have her grandparents within reach.
The granny pod trend has gained popularity among Baby Boomers in recent years as the cost of houses in metropolitan cities continues to rise. We wouldn’t be surprised if it would become the standard housing for retirees in the next coming years!