Living Large Reveals: A Multi-Functional Tiny Granny Pod

Living Larger Sue Smith Moak lives in an awesome tiny house on acreage in the Texas Hill Country, but her daughter and her family lives in Austin. What to do? Build another tiny house in their backyard, of course!

Sue Kanga Outside

Sue, 66, loves spending time with family. She also realizes that she may not always be able to live on her beloved Rockin’ RS Ranch forever, so she decided to build a so called Granny Pod in her daughter and son-in-law’s backyard.

While Sue is mostly country and a little bit rock –n-roll (her Texas Hill Country Ranch is definitely country), Sue decided to go modern with the Granny Pod. “It fits in more with my daughter’s neighborhood,” Sue says. She chose Kanga Room Systems to build the 280 square foot space. The hardest part was navigating the code requirements in Austin.

Sue’s dream finally came to life last year, but realizing even with the Kanga, she will still spend most of her time on the ranch, at least in the present, Sue and her family came up with a clever idea. Austin is such a hot place for festivals and tourism, why not rent the Kanga out when Sue is not visiting? The income split between Sue and her daughter’s family, would not only help her pay for the Granny Pod, but also help them.

The Airbnb listing has been a great success. The Kanga is booked almost every night that Sue doesn’t block time out for herself and the reviews on the website are amazing.

Thanks to that feedback, Sue made a couple of adjustments to make it even more cozy for visitors.

She added a table that can fold up when not in use.


At first, she had a daybed in the space, but instead decided to add a queen sized bed that has storage underneath. This allows the Kanga to sleep two more comfortably.


“I bought a blue metal tool chest on wheels to use for storage. It locks so I’m able to keep my personal items there,” Sue says.

Sue Kanga Tool

The space consists of one big room and a bathroom. Her favorite space is the kitchen, but Sue says she also loves the deck that has a ceiling fan. “I can sit out there when the weather is nice and watch my grandson play outside!”

Sue Kanga Kitchen II

Sue Kanga Kitchen


You can read more about Sue’s other tiny house, The Rockin’ RS Ranch, in my book, “Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480 Square Feet With Six Dogs, a Husband And One Remote…Plus, More Stories of How You Can, Too” (Reader’s Digest Books, June 7, 2016).

 Have you ever thought of building a granny pod?

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11 Responses

  1. Jane Boursaw says:

    I love this Granny Pod (and those great vintage movie posters!). Great idea to rent it out for AirBnB.

  2. Nora Laughlin says:

    I don’t want to be nosy, but I’m curious about cost. The site has the kit rice, but what about the bathroom and plumbling? I’d love to do smething like this though!

  3. That’s really neat and the idea of renting it out for AirBnB is a great one.

  4. Avi Hyman says:

    One of the best things about working with Kangaroom Systems is that they will do as much or as little as you need. They can drop off a kit for you to assemble or have assembled or do the whole things from stem to stern including dealing with permitting at City Hall and everything in between. The shell goes up in two days so your back yard does not resemble a construction war zone during the 6 months of finishing. The hire trustworthy hard working sub-contractors and I have nothing but good things to say about them. (Full disclosure – I am the Son-in-Law of Sue, the ‘granny’ whose home is featured here)

    • Kerri @ Living Large in our Little House says:

      Thank you, Avi, for your input! I hear you’re doing a wonderful job of managing! 🙂

  5. Jane Madden says:

    Where did the name Kanga come from please? I know that word as a very large scarf that covers the entire body for women in Kenya. I even have 3 of them I brought back as souvenirs so it surprises me that it is used as a tiny house term. Thanks

    • Living Large in our Little House says:

      It’s the name of the company who built it. The link is in the story. 🙂

      • Mommaofmany says:

        It made me think of the momma kangaroo in the Winnie the Pooh stories. Her pouch is a safe, little place where Roo is very comfortable. 🙂

        • Living Large in our Little House says:

          You’re right! Actually, I guess the name of the company is a play on kangaroo. Here is what Sue’s daughter posted on Facebook: “The full name is Kangaroom, which is just a play on kangaroo (the animal) + room. I guess because these houses are “pocket-sized.”

  1. April 11, 2016

    […] A backyard 280 square feet backyard mother-in-law home built by Kanga Room Systems in Austin, Texas. More info. Living Large In Our Little House. […]