What to Expect When
Expecting a POD

Hello & Welcome to Backyard Pod! 

This document will help guide you on your way through the Backyard Pod process. Please hang onto it for future reference. 

Table of Contents 

Who’s Who at Backyard Pod 

You will have a Project Manager appointed to your Pod. But if any issues ever arise, you are more than welcome to reach out to other members of our team to make sure that we can put all hands on deck with your project. 

Who?
About What?
Email
Kelly Kassian
Questions related to sales and client experience
Kelly.Kassian@backyardpod.com
Brooke Bitter
Questions related to contracts, invoicing, and operations
Brooke.Bitter@backyardpod.com
Pavel Kolenda
Anything and everything else!
Pavel@backyardpod.com

Understanding Schedules & Installation Process

The schedule can change due to a number of factors: weather, materials availability and issues, unforeseen circumstances such as sick days and family emergencies. When scheduling changes, we will update your portal so you can always see the most up to date schedule.

The Pod Process at a Glance

Pre-Pod

First, log in and get familiar with your Pod Portal

The Pod Portal makes it easy for you and Backyard Pod to stay on top of all of the little details related to your Pod project. Think of it as your home base.

The Pod Portal is organized by tabs. You’ll probably use Messaging and Schedule the most.

  • From the Messaging tab, you can reach out to your Project Manager with any questions and keep track of the answers for future reference. We use this portal-based messaging rather than texting or SMS to keep all messages related to your Pod in one easy-to-reference place.

  • From the Schedule tab, you can see a calendar view of your Pod project, with easy color-coded highlights showing each stage of construction. Your Project Manager will keep this as up-to-date as possible, so you’ll always know what to expect.

 

Additional helpful information can be found under the Financial tab (your estimate, invoice and all other financial details) and the Documents tab (Terms and Conditions).

To create your account, check your email for a message from us with the subject line “Login Details.” Use the link and temporary password to log in at backyardpod.com/portal. You’ll then be instructed to create a new, permanent password. 

Paperwork: Securing Permits

The following information is intended as a general overview. We aren’t permit experts and, because things can change at the city level, we can’t be responsible for this information being 100% accurate. 

  • As the homeowner, you’re the party responsible for securing permits — not the builder. This means you’re the one who’ll be held liable if you don’t.

  • The permitting process can be lengthy, so it’s a good idea to get started as soon as you make your first Pod down payment. 

  • There are two ways to handle permitting: : 

  • If permits are required, Backyard Pod is happy to provide any necessary documents or architectural plans. 

  • Once all permits are submitted and approved, we can schedule your installation start date. See table below for permit timeline:

Step
Time Frame
Overall Time Frame
1. Deposit Received
Day 1
Day 1
2. Technical site visit completed & all selections are made
2 Weeks
Week 1-2
3. Documents for Permitting are prepared and reviewed. Add -2-4 Weeks if any survey work needs to be completed
2-4 Weeks
Week 3-6
4. Documents reviewed by the city. Please note that if any comments are brought up by the city, this process will have to be repeated with additional 2 weeks for the documents preparations
8 Weeks
Week 6-14
5. Pod Installation
2 Weeks
Week 1-2

More Paperwork: Securing HOA Approval

  • If your neighborhood or community has a Homeowners’ Association, you will probably need permission to build your Pod. Please investigate these requirements as soon as you make your first Pod downpayment, because otherwise there could be speedbumps down the road. 

  • We are happy to provide any architectural plans or other information as required by your HOA. 

  • We are usually able to accommodate Pod customizations as required by your HOA. (An additional fee may apply) 

  • Once you have HOA approval, we can schedule your build start date.

 

KEY MILESTONE:  Backyard Pod will not schedule your build start until all necessary permits and HOA requirements have been approved. This is for your protection as well as ours.

Decor Details: Selecting Paint & Finishes

You will make the following selections: 

  • Exterior siding color (for the deck/front door surround as well as the other 3 sides) 

  • Exterior trim color 

  • Deck stain 

  • Interior wall color 

  • Interior ceiling color 

  • Interior trim color 

  • Interior flooring finish 

 

Can the colors match my house?

We use all Sherwin-Williams paints. If your current exterior paint is also from Sherwin-Williams, we can use the same color as long as you have the color name/code and the type of paint product that was used. If you don’t have that information or your house was painted using a different brand, we can do a custom color match for $250. 

 

Keep in mind that since paint fades with time and weather, new paint will not look exactly the same as older paint.

 

Can I see the samples of floor, paint, and stain? 

Absolutely! Our team can provide samples or floor and stain, while you can obtain samples of paint directly from Sherwin Williams (there are so many colors to choose that it’s easiest to get color swatches from paint company directly)

 

NOTE:  We request your paint, stain and flooring selections within a week of signing the contract and making your first payment. This is so we have plenty of time to order and receive the materials before we start your build. You will have two opportunities to adjust your selections, for a small change fee: 

  • 4 weeks before build start — $XX fee 

  • 1 week before build start — $XX fee 

 

Prepwork: Clearing Obstacles and Protecting Systems

 

First, clear the area where your pod will be installed.

You don’t need to level the area. We build on pier-and-beam foundations, which can be used even on a slope and also helps reduce the possibility of future uneven settlement. 

 

  • Remove obstacles in the build area. 

  • Trim and/or remove trees, branches, roots and other plants. NOTE: If Backyard Pod has to remove any branches, they will be trimmed on Day 1 of the installation and a tree trimming fee of $250 will be applied to your order. 

  • Move or remove swing sets, old sheds, and any other man-made objects.

  • Move any operational sprinkler heads and pipes in the build area. No sprinkler heads or pipes should be underneath your Pod itself, and no sprinkler heads should be spraying water at the Pod. 

 

Next: Help us avoid damage to underground cables, sprinkler system elements, etc. 

Trenching equipment is very powerful and, obviously, we can’t avoid underground obstacles if we don’t know they are there. Backyard Pod will call 811 to mark underground structures before we do any digging and trenching, but we also need your help to avoid damage. 

 

Here’s what to do: 

  • During the first site visit with your Project Manager, you will discuss and loosely map out the pathway for the electricity and Ethernet cable trench between your Pod and the house. 

  • Pick up some inexpensive construction flags at your nearby hardware store, and mark every cable, plumbing, or sprinkler system line running underground in the general area of the trench path. 

  • Next, uncover these areas by mowing closely, removing plantings or digging out extra soil to make sure the underground systems are clearly visible. 

 

NOTE: While we can and do take every precaution, the responsibility for damage to underground structures in the trenching area falls to the homeowner. If damage does occur and repairs are needed, additional charges will apply. 

 

In the event of any damage during trenching, your Project Manager will notify you immediately so you can discuss options.

  • If the repairs are simple, Backyard Pod may be able to address them ourselves. (An additional charge of $150 per repair will apply)

  • If damage is beyond our ability to address, we will advise you to contact your Internet provider or sprinkler repair company to complete the repair. These costs will be outside our regular scope of work, and charged directly to you. 

 

A day or two ahead of your Start Day: 

If you have a sprinkler system, let your sprinkler company know about the work being done in your yard and the slight possibility that a repair might be needed. That way, if any sprinkler system elements are damaged during trenching, you can call your repair team for service ASAP. 

 

Building Your Pod​

Understanding Timelines 

Depending on the type of Pod you choose, the installation process generally takes from 4 to 8 weeks.

 

When permits are required, that process adds significantly to the timeline. Unfortunately, it can take months for various municipalities to issue permits and approve them before installation starts, and then there are inspection scheduling requirements at the end — all of which are beyond our control. Please adjust your expectations accordingly and hang on to your patience. 

 

In general, we use specialized crews for each phase of your build, so you will be seeing different workers at different times. Don’t worry, though — your project manager is always on top of everything and always available to answer any questions. 

 

NOTE: Although we try to keep the installation timeframe as tight as possible, it is normal for there to be breaks between installation stages (and even within those stages). Weather can affect our ability to proceed with various work, crew members can get sick, etc. If you are concerned about your timeline, please never hesitate to contact us with questions! 

Stage 1: Start Day, Foundation & Trenching

Here we go! Our crew outlines the location of your Pod and you confirm. Next, we install the foundation piers and skids. 

 

We also dig the trench for your electrical and Internet connection. (Depending on the distance and soil conditions, this can take a few days.)

Stage 2:  Framing

Our team installs the framing for your subfloor, walls and roof. All structures will be sheathed and waterproofed.

Stage 3: Roofing & Siding

The carpentry team comes in to install all siding materials and roofing — now it really starts to look like a real Pod! 

Stage 4:  Electrical & Plumbing Rough-In

The electricians come in and install all outlets and switches. (“rough-in” means we hold off on the final outlet and switch covers until after painting is complete) 

If your Pod has plumbing, our expert team will also come in to make those installations. 

If electrical and/or plumbing inspection is required, it will be performed at this stage. 

Stage 5: Drywall, Paint, & Flooring

This stage takes a bit of patience, because drywall and paint take time to cure. Proper drying and curing time is one of the keys to a beautiful paint job. 

 

Your luxury vinyl flooring goes in at this stage as well. If you opted for hardwoods or other custom floors, please expect some additional time for scheduling and labor. We use third-party installers for custom flooring to ensure the best results for your Pod. 

Stage 6: Electrical and Plumbing Trim-Out

Time to power up! We connect your Pod to your main electric service and install outlets, light switches, and all other finished electrical components.

 

If your project includes a bathroom or kitchen, all plumbing and related fixtures are added at this stage. 

Stage 7: Punch Out and Clean Up 

Home stretch! This starts with a “soft” walkthrough to identify any items for the punch out list (basically just a to-do list for our team). Any visual imperfections visible from three or more feet will be addressed. 

 

Once everything is complete, our cleaning team comes in to make your Pod shine! 

Stage 8: Final Walkthrough and Inspections (if required)

This is the more formal walkthrough — we walk all around your Pod one more time, together, to make sure everything meets your expectations. Then we hand over the keys and it’s all yours! 

 

If permits were required for your Pod, we will coordinate with the right city departments to arrange the necessary final inspections. 

Financial Details

What's not included in the price?

Electrical and Optional Cat 6 Ethernet connections require trenching between your Pod and the electrical panel on the house. 

 

Because the trench length varies widely from house to house, the price is calculated after the Project Manager’s official site visit. 

  • 0-100ft trench = $1,000

  • 100-150ft trench = $1,500 

  • Beyond $150ft, discuss with your project manager 

  • Optional Ethernet = $500 

 

Standard pricing is based on digging a straight trench, using a conventional trencher, and encountering no obstructions in the trench line. 

  • Additional charges may apply for two reasons: 

  1. Navigating the trenchline around retaining walls, sidewalks, landscaping, etc.

  2. Unexpected obstacles — such as a heavy limestone presence that requires the use of a jackhammer or rock saw.  

 

Slope mediation 

  • If your Pod site slopes from front to back (or vice versa), additional foundation work may be required. In that case, you can expect an additional $500 charge. 

  • If your Pod site slopes from left to right (or vice versa), you may wish to add an additional step up to the front deck of your Pod. You will have an opportunity to step into the Pod during the build to make this decision. Cost for an additional step ranges from $800 to $1,200, depending on the size of the Pod).

 

NOTE: Any changes made after the technical site visit, such as changes of paint colors, will result in a $450 fee plus the cost of materials. 

Payment Schedule

The total amount  is split up into 4 payments of 25%

 

  • 25% gets you on the installation schedule. You also receive a welcome package and other customization options.

  • 25% due 8 weeks prior to your installation date.

  • 25% due once framing and siding of the Pod is completed.

  • 25% due once the Pod is completed and we do a final walkthrough with you to go over anything we may have missed.

Financing Options

Yes! We have teamed up with Hearth Financing. There is a link on our website where you can fill out a short questionnaire. Once this is filled out, you will immediately get pre-qualified by up to 13 lenders without affecting your credit score. You can then pick a customized payment plan. You can apply for your preferred loan option and if approved, receive funding in as few as 24 hours. 

 

You can pay for your Pod for as little as $193/ month. 

Taxes

 

There is no additional sales tax in addition to the price of the Pod in the State of Texas.

 

NOTE: We are not accountants and cannot provide tax advice. Our structures can be moved and are considered portable, therefore, depending on your tax jurisdiction, can be fully deducted in the year of purchase. 

Warranty

We offer a one year bumper-to-bumper warranty. We also offer a 10 year warranty on anything structurally, such as integrity of walls, roof, windows, etc.