With a little bit of property and a lot of good will, you can expand your interests, hospitality, and property value.
With a small footprint, you can expand your living or work space, host visitors, or make room for a boarder.
Image Source: Flickr
Extend Your Footprint
People build backyard cottages for many reasons. As reported in the Seattle Times, Seattle has been very active in supporting their construction, “Seeking to promote both affordable housing and a gentle, scarcely visible increase in density in single-family neighborhoods, the City Council in 2006 decided to allow what are officially called ‘detached accessory dwelling units’ in a limited part of the city.”
It took some push back by City Council to address the concerns of some citizens, but this led to clarification of limits on size, permits, and use. Once the issues were resolved, backyard cottages took off.
The cottages go up on properties where owners want to extend their lifestyle. The new space could be a cozy retreat, a quiet place to get away for reading or crafting. It could be a man cave where dad and buddies can catch a game, play a little pool, or host a card game. Or, it can give growing children a place to stretch their legs, play video games, or do their homework.
Cottages welcome guests and relatives. They might sleep visiting friends and relatives in privacy. They might house a live-at-home older teen, your college age son or daughter, or an adult child who has returned from school. But, many people build the spaces for the mother-in-law or senior parents.
Some cottages serve specific purposes like pool houses, equipment storage, quilting rooms, or home offices. Permit permitting, homeowners will use their cottages to rent to tenants. And, it’s all been made easier with backyard cottage kits. You can keep your new space pest-free by calling NJ exterminators when necessary.
Image Source: Flickr
Build to Taste
Regardless of your purpose, your backyard cottage can save money, optimize your lot, and enhance your property values. Consider the options:
Cape Cod Guest Room: You can go simple with a classic Cape Cod saltbox. Quaint and familiar with shutters and flower boxes, it provides a small but inviting space under a pitched ceiling.
Only 192 square feet, it still includes heating and air conditioning, a bathroom with shower, and a built-in wet bar.
Colonial Cottage: This cottage duplicates the exterior charm of the Cape Cod, but it offers more in its 240 square foot, 12’ by 20” footprint.
It includes a full bath, L-shaped kitchen area with wrap around wet bar, cabinetry, under-counter fridge, and sink. You’ll find built-ins like a desk/library area and closet. The comfortable living room becomes a bedroom with a foldout bed.
Craftsman Cottage: Designers put 240 square feet into a 20’ by 18’ space. Then they added another 120 square feet with its Craftsman Era porch.
An open beamed ceiling extends from inside the house to the porch. In addition to the main living/sleeping room, you’ll find a built-in desk and bookshelves. A closet with drawers hides a wet bar with sink and refrigerator and entrance to a full bath. A large window and windowed-door open the space to the ample porch.
And, Caribbean Cottage and Queen Anne Cottage designs build on the same footprint with different features on the exterior.
Building For a Future
According to North Carolina State University interests in sustainability, “Backyard cottages are a historical housing type currently enjoying a resurgence of interest in North America.” They note legislation and ordinance changes in Asheville, Aspen, Austin, Boulder, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Golden, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Seattle.
So, if your local law permits or may soon permit building backyard cottages, start thinking about your plans now.