At Mermaid Beach, a couple with an established home wanted to explore the option of building a granny flat in their backyard. They could rent it out for the time being, and use it themselves if the maintenance of the main house and swimming pool ever became too onerous. This idea is gaining popularity as a way to for seniors with larger properties to prepare for eventual downsizing without changing address.
The proposed site for the Mermaid Beach pod would involve one of the longer walls bordering the backyard pool area. Contrary to the many people with pools wanting pods as poolside cabanas, with as much accessibility to the poolside area as possible, in this instance the idea was to have a ‘blind wall’ (no windows) facing the pool. This idea would give privacy to the family in the main house if the granny flat was tenanted, and for the property owners if they ever moved out of the main house to occupy the pod themselves.
The existing in-ground pool area and surrounding fall of the land on the property would greatly increase the cost of conventional sewerage connections for the granny flat and cause major disruption. A local plumber had quoted the excavation, external pipework, and subsequent restoration work at more than $10K. One of the design challenges was to create a light and airy environment despite one of the long walls having no windows. Another was the property owner’s desire to include a separate bedroom, as well as a full kitchen, and a Euro laundry in the bathroom, within a total livable space of no more than 4m x 8m.