Extra accommodation dilemma solved in Garra, NSW. DIY Backyard Pod becomes combination guest sleep-out, teenage retreat, and home office.
Fiona faced an unusual situation. How to accommodate overnight guests and her daughter in a residence with no separate bedrooms? A home environment lacking the privacy of fully enclosed bedrooms might suit a single person or a couple with a small child but how do you modify such an environment to meet the needs of visitors and a teenager? Especially when the structure is a converted community hall and constructing additional rooms isn’t a practical option.
Fiona owned a three bedroom villa in Orange, NSW. Her daughter, Nicole, regularly stayed at the villa and had her own bedroom which also doubled as a study area. The other bedroom was used for guests and home office requirements. However, circumstances had changed due to relationship living arrangements. Fiona and Max had been a dedicated couple for quite some time and it was becoming impractical and expensive to maintain two residences. Max’s home was the preferred dwelling so Fiona put her villa onto the rental market.
Max owned a very unusual acreage property at Garra, a small hamlet approximately 45mins from Orange. It had once been the local community hall. Max had cleverly transformed the cavernous structure into a comfortable, functional home. The living arrangement was completely open-plan with the stage used as the only bedroom. Nicole obviously needed somewhere private to set up camp when she came to spend time with her mother. Overnight visitors would prefer a secluded sleeping arrangement. Work commitments required a quiet area for a home office. The property would definitely benefit from a guest sleep-out.
Fiona and Max chose to undertake a DIY project so they began looking for something in the style of a cabin or bungalow. After researching various options the couple discovered Backyard Pods. To their relief, a pod ideally solved their accommodation dilemma due to cost saving, portability, and DIY characteristics. The corrugated exterior of the pod also blended well with the corrugated surface of the hall and the rugged surrounding landscape.
Max was a builder tradie so constructing the 3m x 6m pod from the prefabricated kit would be a straightforward process for him. The couple chose to customise their pod by using silver-coloured Zincalume® for the roof and exterior panels as the colour melded smoothly with the hall. Zincalume® also had many advantages. The steel is made with new technology and has an activated-aluminium coating. This makes it much tougher and more durable. This is something to consider when living in harsher conditions. Zincalume® is an environmentally-friendly product and won’t hurt the budget.
The pod was built on concrete piers. Fiona and Max chose Polar eco-view double glazed vertical windows. The top window extended outwards to assist with ventilation. Beneath, a sliding window could be fully opened to capture the breeze. To allow light and fresh air to flow through the pod, a sliding glass door with glass side panel was used to create the entrance. The rear wall was left intact to maximise wall space. A reverse-cycle air-conditioner was installed to help with Garra’s ever-changing weather extremes. Wall shelves with an attached desk allowed for storage and home office purposes. Timber look vinyl floor panels complimented the interior. Gyprock walls made the pod feel more comfortable and cosy.
The Backyard Pod turned out to be a very worthwhile investment. Its flexibility fulfilled all extra accommodation requirements at an affordable price. Fiona and Max were very pleased with their choice. “When the pod began to take shape we could see immediately that this was the best option for us”, said Fiona. “The people at Backyard Pods were very helpful and we couldn’t be happier”. Eventually, both Fiona and Max had to spend more time in Sydney due to work commitments. However, should a permanent move to Sydney arise, the pod can always be transported to a new home.
For a virtual tour and commentary of this practical DIY Garra pod go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRtjEytlb14
If you’re looking to create a separate area for a home office, guest room, teenage retreat, rumpus or even an art studio then a cost-effective, functional backyard pod is a fitting structural choice. Backyard Pods will coordinate your pod kit options and delivery logistics, and can often help owner-builders to find installers in their local area or professionals to help with documentation and compliance if requested. You can start with options for your structural solution and get in touch with us today at
Please note, if you’re thinking of doing a self-managed DIY project like the above, you should research local Council guidelines and other legislation online for preliminary information and seek advice specific to your property, zoning, location, and intended use. Contact your local Council and any other consenting authorities relevant to your project.