The #1 question is usually: “How much does a YardPod cost?” We have delivered YardPods for between $7,000 and $40,000.
Cost is dependent on size, geometry and finishes. If you want to have a YardPod at the lowest possible cost, here are some guidelines.
- 1: Size: The larger the building, the more materials it contains and the more expensive it will be. However, because, for example, a 10×12 and an 10×8 have similar foundations, a similar number of doors and windows and similar electrical connections, the price is not directly related to the floor area. A 10×12 will provide a lower price / sq.ft.
- Foundations: Most YardPods are built on 6 piers which raise the building above grade. This is the most economical foundation. Assuming a minimum of 6” clearance under the building, we do not recommend sealing the perimeter. Critters will not normally nest under a YardPod if there are no corners to hide in. We recommend a high-quality landscape fabric underneath the building to prevent vegetation growth. We also offer a concrete slab at a higher cost.
- Roof: A flat roof costs less than a sloping roof. And yes, the flat roof is waterproof and guaranteed by the manufacturer for 15 years. We normally use a Duro-Last roof membrane which comes in a single unbroken sheet, there are no joints to fail. We design our roofs to shed rainwater to the rear, not over the door. Sometimes there will be standing water, but that does nothing to reduce the life of the roof.
- Exterior Wall Finish:Most people like vertical cedar boarding which is not only the most expensive to install, it is also the most difficult to maintain. Cedar naturally turns grey over time and while it is functionally sound, it does not look as good as it does when new. At the other end of the spectrum, LP SmartSide is the lowest cost and lowest maintenance product that we use. It is installed in panels 4ft wide with caulked joints and is painted. LP SmartSide is rot-resistant, insect-resistant and has an excellent manufacturers warranty. It is our most widely-installed finish.
- Doors: When glass panels are required, either in single or double French doors, the most economical are steel doors. If budget allows, we always recommend upgrading the door to fiberglass or wood. A high-quality door will provide many years of life, providing water resistance and insulation. Marvin Integrity is a high-end door that we have had good results from. Note that in the Bay Area, there will normally be large portions of the year, when it will be comfortable to work in the YardPod with the doors wide open, this is why double French doors are most popular.
- Windows: As with doors, there are low-cost options such as vinyl windows, but there are also more expensive and more durable options including aluminum. All windows have low-e double paned glass and screens on opening windows. Vinyl provides good thermal insulation and is generally a good choice for YardPods. If aluminum is selected, they should be thermally-broken to prevent the windows being cold inside in the winter. In selecting windows, we recommend that larger are better than smaller, cost is not a big difference. We also recommend having widows on two opposite sides of the YardPod to provide cross-ventilation.
- Heating and Air Conditioning: Much of the Bay Area does not need air conditioning and only seasonal heating is required. A free-standing space heater is usually sufficient to heat a YardPod, saving the cost of affixed unit and installation. When AC is required, we recommend a through-the wall combined heater and air conditioner.
- Flooring: Owners can add their own floor finish or have it provided with the YardPod. Bamboo is one of the most economical and hard wearing.However, if water and/or mud from the yard is anticipated, a vinyl sheet floor will be more appropriate.
- Other Considerations:Owners wanting to minimize costs sometimes elect to undertake the interior and exterior painting themselves. We have also provided “YardPod Shells” where the owner undertakes the interior and exterior finishes. As a minimum, we can deliver and install a YardPod with doors, windows, roof finish and water-resistant exterior.
- Potential Savings:Many customers ask if we can install solar panels to avoid the need to carry an electrical cable from the house to the YardPod. If all that is needed is lighting, the answer is “yes” we can include a 12V LED lighting package. However, most customers want to have 110v to power a computer, printer, space heater, etc. In this case, main power is essential. Power from the main house to the YardPod is carried inside conduit. When this is installed, we recommend doubling or tripling the conduit so that an internet cable or telephone line can also be routed.
Finally, do not forget: some YardPod owners can write off some or all of their costs as business expenses. Please consult your tax professional!