Home Care Suites Blog

Home Care Suites Blog

Welcome to the Home Care Suites Blog, where we keep you informed of the latest trends and ideas to increase quality and lower cost for elderly care. 

Follow us on twitter @HomeCareSuites for more news and opinions.


Tuesday, 25 April 2017 15:30

Granny Pod Showdown

Home Care Suites VS MedCottage

GrannyPod Showdown1

The “Granny Pod” trend is sweeping the nation, and there’s one company that’s getting a lot of attention. Home Care Suites would like to challenge the versatility of the popularly sited “MedCottage,” and suggest that our granny pod offers a more comfortable, practical, and economical cottage lifestyle for your aging family member. 

But first…

What is a granny pod? 

Essentially, a granny pod is a stand-alone housing structure that a family puts in their backyard for an aging relative.  This structure can be modular, although this is not permitted in Florida. Florida requires permanently built structures. The technical term for a granny pod is an “Accessory Dwelling Unit.” These tiny homes, or granny flats are gaining popularity as baby boomers increasingly reject assisted living facilities or nursing homes and pursue options that allow them to age in place. 

Granny pods or granny flats are more appealing than a traditional spare bedroom mother-in-law suite because they are a separate building, giving everyone their own privacy and separate living space.  Mom or dad can live with you; just not under your roof.  This new option for aging parents is an affordable alternative to assisted living facilities, which can cost well over $3,000 per month out of pocket.  Granny pods, or Home Care Suites enable an efficient, family-focused lifestyle keeps families close and independent. 

MedCottage VS. Tampa-Bay-based Home Care Suites 


Home Care Suites: $75,000 to $110,000

MedCottage:  $150,000 to $200,000


Home Care Suites:  Our cottages are designed to focus on high quality living and comfort.  Our builder has over 30 years of experience designing high-end custom homes, bathrooms and kitchens. We know how to design and build comfortable, livable structures that are pleasing to the eye. The cottage lifestyle is cozy and convenient. We’ve made the most of our floor space so that everything you need is at your fingertips in one comfortable, compact space. The Home Care Suites cottage is designed to feel more like home than a hospital room.  

MedCottage: MedCottage granny pods have a more sterile environment similar to a nursing home or a skilled care center. The design is centered around medical components, such as blood pressure cuffs, medication dispensers, activity sensors, and other medical technology that not only increases the cost of the structure, but make it feel more like a doctor’s office than home. 


Home Care Suites:  A Home Care Suite is an affordable investment with long-term value; it is an investment into your home that can be used throughout every stage of life.  Your Home Care Suite can be used for multiple purposes in addition to the original purpose; it can be a home office, gym, guesthouse, or game room.  

MedCottage: While the company claims that this building can be repurposed for future activities, such alterations will not come easily. The initial design of the building is focused on the efficiency and finish of a skilled care nursing Center which is much more difficult to repurpose.

Conversely, Home Care Suites cottages focus first on comfort and livability. Individual owners have the option to add as many or as few medical devices as they desire a la carte. Our basic design is a versatile one that can be easily used as a pool cabana, then as a mother-in-law suite/granny pod and then again used as a office or guest home as needs change.


Home Care Suites: The cottage is custom-designed to match the primary home on a family’s lot. We can easily add wheelchair ramps, and other components such as easy-to-reach cabinets and adjust counter-heights to meet the needs of your family member. 

MedCottage:  The photos we’ve seen of MedCottage clearly show stairs in the front entry way, which would be difficult to navigate for a person in a wheelchair. 

Structural Integrity

Home Care Suites Our structures are permanently built to match the architectural style of the primary residence. Home Care Suites meet Florida building codes and are capable of withstanding Florida hurricanes. We construct our buildings from concrete, wood framing, with each durable cottage reflecting our building expertise, singularity, and craftsmanship.

MedCottage are modular, portable residences with plastic vinyl siding that we do not believe would meet Florida building codes.

In Tampa Bay Home Care Suites is your best option for a granny pod that will enhance the value of your home and keep your loved one close and independent.
Monday, 23 November 2015 10:53

Home Is Where You Hook Up 


Tiny House on Wheels in Tampa Bay

Do you want to build a tiny house on wheels (THOW) and live in Tampa Bay? Not so fast.


Your Tiny House on Wheels (THOW) Is Actually an RV


We've seen the clever tiny homes featured on television - many have been built on wheels. When you build your tiny house on wheels, it is technically considered a Recreational Vehicle, or RV. RV's are subject to regulations that prevent you from taking up residence and parking anywhere you choose. If you want to live in Tampa Bay, before you pursue building a tiny house on wheels, consider this:


Where are you going to put your tiny house on wheels?


In your head, you may see yourself living here:

Beautiful Tiny Homes Tiny House Community Orlando


But in reality, you may end up living here: 

Trailer Park Image2 sm


The bottom line is that in the Tampa Bay area, there are very few places where you can actually live in your tiny house on wheels (THOW).


    1. RV Park
    2. Tiny House Community, aka an RV Park, (none that we know of in Tampa Bay; closest one is in Orlando)
    3. Your own land (properly zoned, single family lot with permanent water, power and septic or sewer needed – a serious financial commitment).


The most likely choice is an RV Park.


Welcome home to your tiny house in an RV Park!

Trailer Park Mailboxes


Is this really where you want to live?  

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, there are rules about living in what is technically considered an RV. All communities have rules about where you can park an empty RV, and the rules are much more stringent when someone actually occupies the RV as a permanent residence. Your THOW is required to be hooked up to sewer and water, and there are only certain places that have the capability of offering those hook-ups – mainly RV parks.


Trailer Park image 3


Trailer Park Image1


We visited a few RV Parks and mobile home communities in the Tampa Bay area. We asked them if they would be willing to accept a THOW. We found that the majority are deed restricted and do not want home-built projects in their community. Others only accept selected manufacturers' "park models" that do not exceed 600 square feet. We did, however, find a very nice RV community near the Hillsborough River State Park that would allow temporary parking for your THOW, but would not allow for a permanent stay.


The Tiny House Community website offers a national listing of tiny house friendly RV parks; there are approximately fifteen of these RV parks in the state of Florida. 


*** UPDATE ***  Even the RV people say that a Tiny House is not an RV! 

Even the RV Community is rejecting the THOW concept! We recently reviewed the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association website, and we verified a few things. There's a type of recreational vehicle known as a "Park Model" - here is what the RVIA says about these "Park Models"  

"These RVs are used for recreational purposes only. They are not meant to be permanently affixed to the property, they do not improve property values in any way, and they are neither designed nor intended by their manufacturers to be used as permanent residences." 

When asked the question, "Is a Park Model RV a Tiny Home" the answer is a resounding NO. RVIA explains:

"so-called 'tiny homes' that the media describes are not really homes either. That's because federal, state and local laws typicaly require that permanent residences be built to federal, state or local building codes or standards. Few so-called 'tiny homes' meet those standards."  


Want to live in a THOW in your backyard? That is illegal.

Occupying a THOW in the backyard of a single family zoned parcel is prohibited in the Tampa Bay area including Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties.


    • You can park your THOW along the side of your house, but you can't live there.
    • You must be the only house on the lot. Make sure you comply with zoning. All single family homes lots are zoned to have one single family, permanently built structure on the site. Multiple living structures are not permitted.  


Want to buy a lot, or put yout THOW on your vacant land? That could be costly.  

By the time you spend the money to incorporate the required infrastructure, (water/sewer/electric) you might as well build a traditional house.


Other things to consider for a THOW: 


  • If it is on wheels, then it is considered a "mobile home" and it needs to meet the requirements of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) - essentially making sure the structure is safe enough to be transported on the highway.

  • Your tiny house on wheels will be inspected. The DMV and local building officials will be checking to see if there is an Engineer Of Record (EOR.) Only the EOR can make modifications and additions to the building.

  • In order to make it a permanent residence, you need to have a licensed mobile home contractor strap it down with hurricane straps to ensure it can withstand Florida's Building Code Hurricane Requirements.

  • You are required to register your "RV" annually with the Department of Motor Vehicles.


It's a lot of fun to imagine yourself living in a tiny home. We understand that this lifestyle enables people to declutter, free up resources, and get outdoors to enjoy life. However, fully understand that local communities throughout the United States limit the short and long term placement and closely manage the construction of THOWs.  


Bottom Line - Your THOW is not a permanent home because it doesn't meet Florida building codes.  

You should carefully plan ahead before you build a Tiny House On Wheels (THOW).  As an alternative, a properly zoned and permanently built tiny home or Accessory Dwelling Unit should be seriously considered.  For more information on such a structure, please contact Home Care Suites.  


Below is a photo of one of our Accessory Dwelling Units under contruction in North Tampa.  This tiny house was designed to meet local codes, properly permitted, and built to match the architectural design of the house.  


HomeCareSuites ADU Mackin Exterior


Home Care Suites





Thursday, 27 August 2015 09:39

She Sheds are the New Man Cave 

What type of "She Shed" will you build? 


We loved "Pure Wow's" article about how She Sheds are the New Man Caves. The gorgeous little sheds scattered across the country got our creative juices flowing.


Whether you want a rustic getaway or a shabby chic shack, Home Care Suites can help you create that girly getaway with our custom-built tiny homes – designed to suit your needs.


Busy women are turning their outdoor sheds into fabulous retreats. Conveniently located in the backyard; their personal private sanctuary is only steps away.


Are you dying to create your own private space, but don't know where to begin? Don't be overwhelmed -- we can help you with the layout, design, and structural engineering to make your "She Shed" the envy of the neighborhood.

Home Care Suites founder, and general contractor, Henry Moseley, will work with you to get an understanding for exactly what you are looking for. 

We can help you take your "She Shed" to the next level, with all of the amenities to create the comforts of home – in your own private backyard escape.     

Are you looking for an outdoor yoga studio?
A romantic getaway?
A cute little cottage?
A crafting corner?

A reading nook?

How will you decorate your "She Shed" will you incorporate crystal chandeliers and calla lillies? Will you perfectly organize all of your arts and crafts; with every item having it's own space? Will you set up an art studio with an inspiring nature view?

We want to help you create that special place that you've been dreaming about.

Enjoy these pictures that PureWow assembled, and tell us what you are looking for. We specialize in siting and zoning these accessory dwelling units, and can't wait to help you create the "She Shed" you've been dreaming about.



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Home Care Suites are an affordable alternative to an assisted living facility in the greater Tampa Bay area.
Home Care Suites serves the Central Florida Market including Tampa,  St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Largo, Dunedin, Seffner, Lakeland, Land O Lakes, New Port Richey, Riverview, Plant City, Town N Country, Spring Hill, Zephyrhills, Dade City, Clermont, Broooksville, Apopka, St. Cloud, Haines City, Winter Haven, Lake Wales & more.

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