What You Need To Know About Modern Prefab Pod Homes

pod homes buyers guide


Living in a pod home is one of the most enticing forms of alternative living because they come in so many different styles, sizes, shapes, and types. With many benefits like straightforward pricing, quickly being able to develop a piece of land and self contained systems, there’s a lot that appeals to someone considering this style of housing.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I’ve lived in a tiny house for years, and have recently considered adding another prefabricated pod home onto my homestead to use as an office. The portable nature and easy installation of pod homes is super alluring to me.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

What Is A Pod Home?

What Is A Pod Home

A pod house is a prefabricated home that is built in a factory and delivered to the homeowner as an entire compact unit. People use pod houses for an array of different reasons, including as a rental property, backyard dwelling unit, guesthouse, or even a small office.

pod houses in a developmentAs the tiny house trend gets more and more popular, lots of alternative housing options are becoming popular right along with them, like living in a van, cargo trailer, skoolie, teardrop trailer, and many more. Pod homes are just another example of a classic way to live small!

While pod homes are typically prefabricated and ship out from the factory, there are also pod house kits out there that you can order to build a pod house on your own. Whatever you style, budget, skill level, or desired use, I am sure there’s a pod house out there for you to fall in love with!

History Of Pod Houses

History Of Pod Houses

One of the very first times the idea of a modular pod house caught on was in 1908 and seemed to originate with the founder of Sears department stores: Richard Sears. He came up with the idea to sell “kit homes” in the Sears catalog right at the turn into the 20th century. These kit houses were very popular in the early 1900s, and later in 1950, pod house popularity began to skyrocket.

pod home as a guest houseDirectly after World War II, prefabricated modular homes became essential to meet the stark rise in housing demand. But these starter modular houses began to decrease in popularity once again as the baby boomer generation came into the picture and families needed larger homes to accommodate rapidly growing families.

In the 1960s, pod homes saw a resurgence as a popular housing solution for couples and small families. Some people today still use pod homes as their full-time place of residence, but their functionality has expanded in a lot of cool ways. Many people today order pod homes and use them for something entirely different like an art studio or guest home!

Modular Pod Home Elements

Modular Pod Home Elements

What makes a pod house what it is? Pod homes can be designed in a variety of ways. However, there are some elements that most pod houses tend to share, including portability and prefabrication. To sum it up, pod homes are designed to be simple to build and easy to move.

What Makes A Pod House

  • Prefabricated
  • Portable
  • Composed of premade units
  • Contain one to three rooms
  • Sustainable
  • Low square footage
vessel pod house

Pod House Pros And Cons

Pod House Pros And Cons

Like any kind of alternative or traditional housing, there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to consider when thinking about living in a pod home. I have several friends who live in a modular pod off-grid, in the middle of the woods, or in their own backyards. However, this housing style isn’t for everyone, so it’s important to consider what you want before investing a pretty penny into a brand-new pod home.

Where To Get Your Own Pod House

Where To Get Your Own Pod House

If you are feeling ready to commit to a pod house of your own, there are several different ways you can make that dream come true. While pod homes are pre-fabricated, there are different levels of pre-fabrication when it comes to getting your own.

What I mean by this is, some pod homes come entirely pre-built and are shipped cross-country as an entire house. Some pod houses, however, come as individual pieces that you assemble yourself DIY style. Whether you choose to buy or build your grannie pod, it won’t be long before you have a modular home you love in your own backyard.

build or buy a tiny house

Buy A Pod Home: Vessel Houses

Buy A Pod Home Vessel Houses

If you choose to buy your pod house instead of building it, there are a couple features you should keep in mind to ensure that your home will be durable, high quality, and stand the test of time.  Recently I was able to learn about this style of housing from a company called Vessel Houses.

vessel houses pod homes
pod homes built by vessel

You’re going to want to choose a builder who has good handle on the manufacturing process of their homes and consider their approach to materials and engineering.  Some of Vessel’s designs are made with a particularly strong carbon steel that can resist earthquakes over level 8, hurricanes over level 12, and typically last 70 years or longer.

vessel pod houses
pod house vessel homes

Additionally, pod homes are energy saving, thermally insulated, and include smart technology system. Different models each bring something unique to the table that can satisfy different lifestyles. Some of these feature panoramic windows for those who want to be more connected to nature while others have thicker walls and a patio on the back, front, or side of the building.

Vessel House Models To Purchase

Build Your Own Pod Home

Build Your Own Pod Home

For those who seek to have more control over the design of their pod house, you can easily buy a pod house kit that comes as independent pieces for assembly on site in your own backyard.

Depending on the type of pod home kit you buy, there could be any range of methods to assemble all the compact units together.

However, I am a huge believer that anyone with the will can get into DIY construction projects and building houses on their own. In fact, assembling a pod houses kit is probably a great place to start if you’re new to the building world, since you’re mostly just putting pre-assembled pieces together like a puzzle.

prefab storage shed

tiny house building checklist

Prefab Cabins Use And Design Ideas

Prefab Cabins Use And Design Ideas

Like I said before, the category “pod house” encompasses many different styles and elements. Some have a completely open concept, some are surrounded in glass, and still others are covered with wood or shingles. Pod homes are also made into different shapes. They can be rectangular, spherical, dome shaped, A-frame, or another shape.

spherical shaped house pod
spherical shaped pod house
house pod as guest house
guest house home pod
modern house pod
house pod in modern style
self contained home pod
house pod design
home pod kitchen
home pod bedroom
unique shaped house pod
house pod style

Additionally, pod homes have many different uses in people’s daily lives. Some people want to turn their pod house into a permanent mobile home, while others hope to keep it stationary and turn it into a space for relatives or friends to stay when they visit. Many small business owners use pod homes as a mobile storefront or office. The possibilities are endless!

The Benefits Of Modular House Pods

The Benefits Of Modular House Pods

At the end of the day, there are numerous reasons to try out living in a pod house of your own. I think one of the most enticing elements of pod homes as a whole is that they come in so many different shapes, styles, and forms. I truly believe anyone could find a pod house they’d like living in.

Benefits Modular House Pods
Modular House Pod Benefits

It Doesn’t Take Long To Build A Pod Home

It Doesnt Take Long To Build A Pod Home

One major benefit of living in a pod house is they do not take long to assemble. If you choose to buy your pod home from a manufacturer, it’ll ship right to your door, ready to be placed on your property. If you decide to build your own pod house, it will still ship as prefabricated pieces that are simple to assemble on your own.

tiny house tools

Pod Houses Are Cost-Conscious

Pod Houses Are Cost Conscious

In the realm of housing costs in our modern world, pod homes really aren’t that expensive. They tend to range anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 depending on the size of the home, the quality of the materials, how easy it was for the manufacturer to create it, and more. However, pod homes tend to be a lot smaller than most traditional housing options, so that’s something to factor in.

live well on less money

Modular Pod Homes Are Eco-Friendly

Modular Pod Homes Are Eco Friendly

Modular pod homes are usually built in a way that is highly conscious of the environment. Many pod homes feature things like solar panels, water catchments systems, and solar generators to be as eco-conscious as possible. The smaller size of the house also helps use less waste and reduce the carbon footprint of both the builder and homeowner.

eco friendly tiny house

Pod Homes Are Portable

Pod Homes Are Portable

One of my personal favorite elements about any kind of pod housing is that it’s portable. While it’s not entirely legal to park your pod house just anywhere, there are many parks and campsites all across the US and the globe that allow you to do so.

Owning a pod home, tiny home, or any sort of mobile housing brings with it the freedom of location, the ability to move about as you please and take your entire home with you. The freedom to travel anywhere I please is one of my favorite aspects of living life on the road.

towing a tiny house

There Are Many Kinds Of Pod Homes

There Are Many Kinds Of Pod Homes

Another thing I love about pod housing is that there are so many different styles, shapes, and types of buildings to peruse through, and there really is a type of house out there for every possible lifestyle.

Whether you envision yourself in an off-grid pod house in the middle of a remote forest, totally isolated, or inside your pod house on your own acreage by the lake, playing board games with family, there’s a way to let a pod home improve your life and match your personality.

tiny house design ideas

Pod House Living Will Bring You Back To Simplicity

Pod House Living Will Bring You Back To Simplicity

If I’ve learned anything from living in a tiny house for over a decade, it’s that you can gain so much by reducing the size of your material life. Your house does not have to be gargantuan to feel like a home and provide you with the space you need to be happy and fulfilled.

In fact, for me and many others intentionally seeking simplicity, living in a smaller space with fewer possessions has only added to that pursuit. I feel more content than I ever have in my smaller house.

tip for simple living

How Much Do Pod Homes Cost?

How Much Do Pod Homes Cost

A pod house averages around $90,000 depending on your model and finishes. Because pod homes really just refer to any factory-made or pre-fabricated house that’s mobile, pricing can really vary. It’s likely that your pod house could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $300,000, depending on several factors.

If you buy directly from a pod home manufacturer, the features you choose will determine your overall price. I really do feel that Vessel Homes is one of the best options out there for a high-quality pod house. If you build your pod house yourself, the upfront cost of the DIY house kit is the only cost you’ll really need to account for.

buy directly from a pod home manufacturer

Your Turn!

  • Will you buy or build your own pod house?
  • What will you use your pod house for?
1 Comment
  1. Hello
    I would like to know if you have any prototype of a VESSEL home – like a modern style with kitchen.
    Also if you have any one installed in California, Arizona or closer.
    We need to know the prices as well and pictures from the outside and inside!
    Thank you

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