The mini backyard building is shipped to your doorstep and ready to assemble in just one day. See why people are loving this affordable housing alternative.

By Hannah Bruneman
March 11, 2019
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You can find just about anything on Amazon these days—even a house.

Following the trend of she sheds, prefab homes and sheds have become widely available on Amazon. The kits come with all the materials you need to build a standing structure in your backyard. Most can be completed in a day, though some larger models may take more time. Simple instructions make it easy for anyone to build, but the DIY tiny homes are most popular for their versatility. With the bones of the house built, you can use the space for any hobby you’d like.

Image courtesy of Allwood

However, there’s another surprising market for the miniature backyard apartments: affordable, independent, and safe housing for aging parents. Sometimes called “granny pods” or, more commonly, mother-in-law suites, these homes can fill a need for multi-generational households. According to a report by Zelman & Associates, 19 percent of U.S. households in 2016 had two or more adult generations, as opposed to 12 percent in 1980. As more and more parents move in with their children, the need for additional housing continues to rise.

Allwood, an Amazon vendor, has several tiny home kits available to order online, but one really stands out as an affordable, functional option. The Mayflower Base Garden House is 117 square feet and full of potential.

Image courtesy of Allwood

When the kit arrives, the wood is in its natural state, so you can choose the exterior and interior colors. Double doors flanked by 4-foot windows carry natural light into the space. Inside, you’ll find a blank canvas with a charming curved roof. There’s enough space for a daybed, a small dining table, and even a kitchenette—though the Allwood kit does not come with appliances or cabinets. All you need to build the tiny home are a few common tools, including a hammer, measuring tape, and level. Plus, it’s good to have another person around to help.

For all that you’re getting, the kit is surprisingly affordable at $6,995—free shipping included. It’s not an everyday purchase, but for the comfort of having an aging parent close by, we think it’s well worth the cost.

You should, however, check your zoning laws and neighborhood association guidelines before jumping in. You might need to apply for a building permit, which could save you the trouble of moving the shed later on if it's against any ordinances.

Image courtesy of Allwood

Once you commit to the cabin kit, let the fun begin. There are plenty of cool small-space hacks to make the most of your tiny home. Look to apartment decorating tips for inspiration and try to find convertible furniture that serves a dual purpose.

Whether your pre-fab backyard house is for play or living, it’s an easy addition that can bring so much more to your home.

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