What Are Backyard Pods?

December 15, 2022
What Are Backyard Pods

Key takeaways:

  • Backyard pods are small structures in your garden or backyard that are used for extra space.
  • DIY kits for backyard living pods can cost you less than $3,000 for a 15 square metre garden.
  • Larger, bespoke designs of backyard pods can range upwards of $50,000.

Living in any space for a long enough time can get monotonous, regardless of the abode’s design. If you genuinely want to add a unique touch, then you need to think outside the box. Modular backyard pods help you do that both literally and metaphorically.

If you’re asking yourself, “What are backyard pods, and how can I get them in my backyard?” then this is just the guide for you.

Backyard pods are small structures in your garden or backyard that are used for extra space. People use these as an extension of the home for storage, an office or playroom, or even an extra bedroom.

How Much Does a Backyard Studio Cost in Australia?

The budget can vary widely depending on what kind of backyard studio you have. DIY kits for backyard living pods can cost you less than $3,000 and can conveniently fit within a 15 square metre garden. If you want more deluxe amenities, a designer can fetch you a brochure of prefab studios for upwards of $54,000.

The size of your pod is a crucial factor as well. 1 bedroom backyard pods can cost you far less than an 8×12 m. backyard studio with air conditioners and neon lights. If you’re willing to restrict a bit more space in the yard, you can get your mates for a BBQ party within a reasonable budget.

What Are Backyard Pods

Another advantage you can avail of is tax breaks, especially when you run a business through the pod or craft it using eco-friendly materials. That can land you in favourable waters with Australia’s sustainable building and housing guidelines.

Can I Put a Pod on My Land?

Yes. No law in Australia prohibits you from building a habitable space on land you own. You can even start out by building several such units and renting them out for a decent, consistent income.

Still, doing that over a residential space may get you in a spot of trouble if you don’t have the necessary permissions. More on that later.

How Do I Build My Own Office Pod?

What Are Backyard Pods

Ever since COVID-19, more people are finding it more comfortable to work from home instead of commuting every day to a designated office. Still, the confines of your home can get pretty dull after a while, especially when you live on rent in Gold Coast.

Building a backyard office pod can provide the quiet and pleasant atmosphere you need. However, you must follow a few essential steps to do it right:

  1. Measure the space that you have available in your backyard. You might want to leave the desired separation for roaming around.
  2. Draft a basic design for your office pod.
  3. Procure the necessary supplies as per the design and stock them close to the construction site.
  4. Get the floor frame and foundation for all backyard rooms completed.
  5. Assemble the walls.
  6. Install all the door and window frames.
  7. Assemble the roof.
  8. Paint over the surfaces and install all the required accessories.

You can also install a green power source, such as a solar panel, provided it can sufficiently fulfil the energy needs of your backyard pod.

Do I Need Planning for an Office Pod?

What Are Backyard Pods

Even with the simple designs, any property investment advisor would recommend planning for backyard office pods. It helps to consider the following criteria, depending on your requirements.


Try for an office pod that has enough space for the people who you expect to be working simultaneously. You not only have to consider the seating but additional separation for their paraphernalia.

Electrical Supply

As most professionals working from home use computers, ensure that you have an adequate power supply to the backyard pod. It is a good practice to plan the outlets compatible with your devices.


Your garden office pod should allow enough lighting to let you know the time of day and save on electricity. You probably won’t need several LEDs, but you must install them, so they don’t reflect off any monitor screens.


Outdoor studio rooms lose their advantage if they don’t grant proper ventilation. You can allocate that with wide-open windows and overhead gill slits. If you believe your neighbourhood can get hot during the summers, you also need air conditioning for your backyard pods with a bathroom.

Do You Need Planning Permission for an Office Pod?

Although it might look like a straightforward job for small backyard granny pods, an office pod is a habitable space you need planning permission to build.

It must comply with the building approvals relevant to your state. Without it, you might be forced to demolish/modify it, lose insurance on your property, or pay hefty fines for disrupting city plans.

What Are Backyard Pods

What Can You Put Up Without Planning Permission?

For those who recently started asking themselves, ‘what are backyard pods?’, there are still structures you can put up without planning permission. They just have to fulfil the criteria mentioned below:

  • The room is a storage room, shed, or any structure not designed for humans to inhabit for extended periods.
  • Its floor surface area is less than 20 sq. m.
  • The patio within the room is not higher than 2.4 m., with the overall roof length no more than 3 m.
  • The room is behind the building of any road frontage, like a fence or walkway.
  • The walls enclosing the structure are at most 1.4 m.

What Is the Biggest Garden Room You Can Have Without Planning Permission?

What Are Backyard Pods

For any construction on the Gold Coast, the biggest garden room can occupy a surface area of no more than 20 sq. m. Anything bigger than that, and you have to apply for planning permission from your city council. As detailed in the section above, there are also limitations with the height and width.

Like what you’re reading?

If you liked this piece on what are backyard pods, you could read further helpful tips by downloading our app for the full Soho experience. Not only can we help to find your dream home, but we can assist you in saving for it and decorating it!

So don’t forget to swipe on your property matches. You never know which one can suit you for decades to come.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
Share this article
Don’t waste time searching for a home. Let our AI do the work
Soho logo

Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier 

Soho logo
Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier.