When it comes to DIY prefab, it's often difficult to find clean, modern design with sustainable materials all in one simple package. But San Francisco-based YardPods combines both features in a tidy little 120-square-foot (or less) footprint.Officially launched in late 2009, YardPods is the brainchild of Malcolm Davies, former CEO of both Michelle Kaufmann Designs and Gehry Technologies (a Frank Gehry company), and Marvin Mauer, former CEO of HousePlans.com. Needless to say, they know a thing or two about building efficient and attractive homes.
YardPods designs, manufactures, delivers, and installs prefabricated "sheds" ranging in size from 8x8 to 10x12. But they are far from being the utilitarian sheds normally banished to the back of your yard. These well-finished freestanding rooms are inviting enough to be used as an office, artist studio, guest bedroom, play room, gym, or backyard retreat. Since they're so small, they usually won't require a building permit, though you'll want to check your specific city codes first.
YardPods utilize durable, eco-friendly materials in their construction, such as recycled steel framing, FSC-certified plywood, recycled cotton fiber insulation, double low-E glass manufactured locally in the San Francisco Bay Area, and bamboo or cork flooring. True to their commitment to the highest standards of sustainability, the structures are prefabbed in a solar-powered manufacturing plant in Sonoma Mountain Village, the first zero-waste, One Planet Community in North America.
For the enthusiastic DIYer, a 10x12 bare-bones YardPod runs about $2,100. If you prefer a turnkey space, a professionally finished, delivered and assembled YardPod starts at $16,500. Currently, a completed YardPod can only be delivered and assembled within Northern California; however the DIY kit can be shipped anywhere in the USA.
For more information on pricing and design options, click here to visit the YardPods site.