With housing shortages and loosening ADU laws effecting cities nationwide, new prefab house start-up Samara is poised to make waves—with Airbnb's co-founder Joe Gebbia at the helm no less. Initially created by Airbnb's internal innovation studio dedicated to developing "new futures" for the company by exploring topics like housing development in rural areas, the company is now independent and as of this week, officially live. It's debut product, a net-zero tiny house called Backyard, is a natural progression of this work–although for now, the intended customer is urban-dwelling Californians.
The Backyard is marketed specifically as an Accessory Dwelling Unit, intended to fulfill growing housing needs in California either as an in-law suite, rental, or at-home getaway. Two models, the 430-square-foot Studio and the 550-square-foot One Bedroom cost $289,000 and $329,000 respectively, including installation costs, and can be customized via an admittedly fun 3D model portal on the company's website.
Each Backyard model comes equipped with a full kitchen boasting all-electric appliances, a bathroom, a combination washer and dryer, built-in storage, living area, and one row of solar panels for power. Designed to last, they're constructed with steel frames resistant to mold and termites as well as high-quality finishes throughout, while a dual-process air purification system filters dust, pollen, and wildfire smoke from the internal environment.
Optional customizations include a variety of external cladding, side or front entry points, cedar decks additions, internal finishes and blinds, and an additional row of solar panels for running electricity back to the property's main house.
Besides handling the construction and installation of each Backyard model, Samara pledges to aid customers through the often frustrating surveying and permitting process. A Studio or One Bedroom model can now be customized and reserved through the company's website for $250.
Like Dwell Magazine's recently released Dwell House, the Backyard may fulfill demand for additional housing amidst rising home prices, rent—all of which Airbnb admittedly has played a not-insignificant role in—and loosening restrictions on ADUs nationwide, albeit with an ironically hefty price tag. While the Backyard is currently only available in California, the company prompts users to "Tell us where to expand next," on Samara's homepage. So, if you want a Backyard for your own backyard, give them a shout.