Let's face it, in this day and age, with rents in basically every city across Florida sky-high, upgrading your living situation or getting into the real estate business is next to impossible. But a growing number of experts believe that there exists a straightforward solution for that sort of problem, that is, building an entirely new building on a property you are already living on.
These things, known as Accessory Dwelling Units, Granny Pods, or simply as sheds, are all the rage these days, and with costs not looking to come down anytime soon, if you are someone who wants to add more living space to your home, or accommodate loved ones or renters on your property without compromising privacy, building a shed in Florida might be the perfect solution.
But how exactly does something like this work? What does living in a shed in Florida like? Is it even legal in the first place? And if so, what do the regulations look like? And most importantly, how can you get one? Let's take a look at some of these things.
What is a Granny Pod?
If you haven't heard of them by now, Granny Pods or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are basically a building, cabin, or any other form of residence that is constructed alongside the main structure on a property but exists as an independent residence.
That means the people living in the pod have their own kitchen, bathrooms, mail, and entrance. This allows people to rent out part of their property or share it with relatives cheaply but without compromising privacy.
And boy, can these things take a lot of shapes, from things like an old-school backyard guest house to modern, ridiculously cheap prefab guest houses. Some companies even help build modular ADUs, which can be constructed and upgraded in a matter of hours.
But is doing something like this even allowed? We all know how messy regulations surrounding these can be, so what does the law say about shed kits in Florida?
Are Granny Pods legal in Florida?
Yes, to put it plainly, according to the Florida Accessory Dwelling Units Statute, not only is it legal to construct a studio shed in Florida, but the government actually encourages all localities to allow for the controlled, legal development of such sheds as a way to meet the state's affordable housing goals. However, specifics change from county to county.
That being said, wherever you are in the state, as long as you follow some rules, you should be able to construct your own granny pod in Florida, so let's look at how that process goes.
How to Get a Granny Pod in Florida
1. Consult Local Laws
Since ADU construction is a real estate matter, the laws and ordinances will change from locality to locality. As a result, before you start drafting guest house plans, you should first make sure what the process looks like in your area by consulting things like your Homeowner's Association, local contractors, and real estate agents.
This is especially important in major cities. For example, Miami only allows immediate family members or employees to live on a site's ADU; by comparison, Tallahassee, Orlando, and Tampa all allow for ADUs to be rented but restrict their size and orientations according to their laws.
2. Draft your Plans
Once you've made sure that your area allows for the construction of granny pods, you should start looking into which type of construction you want to have.
Most people go for things like wood sheds in Florida due to the low cost and fast construction time, but things like concrete, metal, or even things like fiberglass are valid options.
Besides the materials, you also have to consider whether you want a proper foundation or something else, what the plumbing and electric systems will look like, and whether they'll be connected via your connection or separately. In fact, the list of shed house ideas you can implement is basically endless.
Once you have finished your planning, you will have to get some detailed drawings of your proposal, which you can get by hiring a dedicated architect or, if you want to save time and money, by going to the many prefab ADU companies for things like pre-planned small house kits.
3. Get your Permits
Once you have your drawings, you have to go to your local building department to get permits before you can start construction, just as with any other construction project.
These will include a building permit for construction, zoning permits for the use of your property, and a variance permit that will allow you to construct something that doesn't follow the same local laws.
4. Construct your ADU
Once all these things are done, you can move on to the last and biggest step, the construction. Many people opt for dedicated ADU contractors in the area, but there are many other options as well, so let's look at the best ways of building a shed in Florida.
- Prefab Sheds - These are ADUs that come manufactured and just need to be assembled on-site. Notable names include things like Autonomous ADUs or even Amazon or other retailers.
- Modular ADUs - Similar to prefab sheds, modular ADUs come with factory-made parts that can be combined into whatever form you need for quick but versatile construction. These are sold either as a unit or as separate parts from similar retailers.
- ADU Contractors - These are construction companies that specialize in ADU construction and help streamline the process according to your needs.
- General Contractors - If other options are not suitable, you can always go with your straightforward local contractors, who will construct your ADU the same way they build houses and other projects.
All in all, depending on the kind and size of the project, you can have a dedicated ADU in as little as three months with barely 50 grand out of your pocket.
Top 5 Picks of the Best Granny Pods in Florida
Are you looking for a way to provide independent living for your elderly loved ones while keeping them close to home? Granny pods, also known as accessory dwelling units (ADUs), are becoming increasingly popular as a solution.
These small, self-contained living spaces offer a comfortable and convenient living option for seniors, allowing them to maintain their independence while still having the support and care they need.
In this section, we will explore the top 5 best granny pod contractors and their best granny pod kits, helping you make your dream living a reality.
1. Ablenook Modular Dwellings
Ablenook Modular Dwellings is a renowned contractor specializing in high-quality modular living spaces. They are committed to providing innovative designs and sustainable construction practices. With their expertise in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing granny pods, Ablenook Modular Dwellings offers an exceptional living solution for seniors.
Ablenook Modular Dwellings takes pride in its attention to detail and customization options. They work closely with their clients to understand their unique needs and preferences, ensuring the granny pods are tailored to meet specific requirements. Their designs are modern, spacious, and equipped with all the necessary amenities to create a comfortable living environment.
One of Ablenook Modular Dwellings' best granny pod kits is their architecture school project. The model features a flat-pack kit made from aircraft-grade aluminum and premium fittings. It is quite a simple yet functional granny pod that allows you to live peacefully. The kit is thoughtfully designed and can be extended with additional modules.
The model can also add a Smeg kitchen and furnished bathrooms. Most of the proceeds from the sale of this kit go to disaster relief. Hence, it is also supporting a great cause.
2. Home Care Suites
Home Care Suites is a reputable contractor specializing in building custom granny pods in Florida that cater to seniors' specific needs. They understand the importance of creating a comfortable and safe living space for elderly individuals, and their expertise shines through their exceptional craftsmanship.
Home Care Suites focuses on personalized designs and attention to detail. They work closely with clients to create granny pods that reflect their unique lifestyles and preferences. From the initial consultation to the final construction, Home Care Suites ensures their customers a seamless and stress-free experience.
Home Care Suites' best granny pod kit exemplifies modern living. The kit offers a cozy and inviting living space for seniors. It features a spacious bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen, a living area, and a bathroom with senior-friendly fixtures. The model is designed with comfort and accessibility, allowing seniors to move around easily and independently within the space.
SteelHomes is a reputable contractor known for its expertise in steel-framed modular construction. They have a wide range of experience building various structures, including granny pods. SteelHomes combines durability, efficiency, and aesthetic appeal to create exceptional senior living spaces.
SteelHomes stands out for its commitment to sustainable construction practices. They utilize eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient technologies to reduce their environmental impact. Additionally, their steel-framed construction offers enhanced durability and resistance to natural elements.
SteelHomes' best granny pod kit is the Tulip model. This model offers a sleek and contemporary design emphasizing open living spaces. The Modern Comfort model features large windows, allowing abundant natural light to fill the space. It includes a bedroom, a modern kitchen, a living area, and 2 bathrooms with modern fixtures. It maintains a solid steel frame and is a great option that serves you for a lifetime.
4. Homes of Merit
Homes of Merit is a trusted contractor specializing in manufactured homes and granny pods. With their extensive experience and commitment to quality, they have become a preferred choice for seniors seeking well-designed and affordable living options.
Homes of Merit offers various customization options to suit different needs and preferences. They prioritize affordability without compromising on quality. Their granny pods are built to the highest standards, providing a safe and comfortable living space for elderly individuals.
Homes of Merit's best granny pod kit is the Ultimate Kitchen Two. The model offers a perfect space for you to put your master chef skills to the test. It includes all the essential elements and appliances to make a perfect kitchen.
The kit is designed to maximize functionality and comfort, with ample storage space and senior-friendly features. Homes of Merit's Ultimate Kitchen Two is an excellent choice for an affordable and well-designed granny pod.
5. Sanders Manufactured Housing
Sanders Manufactured Housing is a well-established contractor with a reputation for delivering high-quality granny pods. They have extensive experience in the manufactured housing industry and are known for their attention to detail and exceptional craftsmanship.
Sanders Manufactured Housing offers a comprehensive range of granny pod designs to suit different preferences and budgets. They prioritize customer satisfaction and work closely with clients to meet their needs.
With their expertise in construction and design, Sanders Manufactured Housing creates granny pods that are functional, comfortable, and visually appealing.
Sanders Manufactured Housing's best granny pod kit is the nature-inspired series. The model offers a charming and cozy living space for seniors. It features 3 bedrooms, a compact kitchen, a living area, and 2 bathrooms with senior-friendly fixtures.
The kit is designed to provide a warm and inviting atmosphere, ensuring seniors feel at home in their granny pod. Moreover, they are further improved with rustic wood finishes, making living into this masterpiece a dream come true. The only issue will be with the weather since heavy rainfall might affect the wood. However, proper maintenance will solve this issue as well.
Granny pods in Florida, like anywhere else, are becoming less of a novelty and more of a necessity in today's market. And while not everyone needs one, at relatively cheap, and with modern design and tech, we seriously doubt that anyone will not find them incredibly useful. So if you are interested, we recommend looking into the topic more.
Granny pods provide an excellent solution for families seeking independent living options for their elderly loved ones. This article's top 5 granny pod contractors offer exceptional quality and innovative designs.
Whether you prioritize customization, affordability, sustainability, or style, a granny pod contractor suits your needs. With their expertise and attention to detail, these contractors can help you make your dream living a reality. Thanks for reading!
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