It’s no secret that I’ve/we’ve been planning on buying a house in the “near future.” Unfortunately, that near future was further away than I had imagined. Yet, now I’m realistically looking at purchasing a house in 16-18 months from now – hey, at least I have a time frame instead of a hazy vision of the “future.” 

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]If you’re interested in building your own tiny home or guest cottage, check out the Tiny House Plans book. It has some great building plans.[/dropshadowbox]

But, with my budgeted house amount at $400K or under, I’m probably looking at a small 2 bedroom home which won’t give me a bedroom, office, AND guest room. One benefit of owning a home, and what I’ve been looking forward to, is having family visit me/us for a change instead of me/us visiting them. I’d like to be the one to host a Thanksgiving dinner or holiday celebration. But here I am again in a situation where I may not have a guest room to offer family members.

So, it’s time to get creative!

I’d almost rather have a house that’s under 1,200 square feet to have only 2 bedrooms instead of 3 dinky ones. Heck, if we ended up with a 3-bedroom home with tiny rooms, I’d probably want to tear down a wall and convert 2 of the rooms into one larger one. As long as the lot was large enough, my thinking is I’d add a guest cottage in the back yard! 

Who wouldn’t want their own, personal cottage with a bathroom detached from the house? Or maybe we’d convert the cottage into an office and still have the guest room inside the house instead of detached. Either way, adding a cottage to the back yard is less expensive than adding on to the house.

I’m not the only one thinking in this direction. Socal Cottages sells prefab cottage kits (similar to other brand names like TUFFShed) specifically created to solve the problems of not enough bedrooms. Their cottages start under $9,000 for a very basic model. However, I used their cottage calculator and upgraded a few options including insulation, drywall, skylight, french doors, and added a bathroom (to name a few options) and the cost came in at $18,380. Not too bad considering all the “extras” I added to my cottage. This is significantly less expensive than an addition and no where near as messy – no unsightly construction, torn down wall, or plastic sheets hanging over unfinished work. Socal Cottages also claims that the kit comes with easy to use instructions for DIY installation. I’m not so sure I’d want to do this myself, but they offer assistance in finding someone to put together the cottage.

It’s a creative way to add more room to a house without the expense or inconvenience of a construction crew modifying the existing house. This is definitely something I’ll consider once I purchase my first home.

Have you added a guest cottage or office to your property?


  1. Julie @ The Family CEO Reply

    Love those! So charming too. Wonder if there would be neighborhood covenants or restrictions?

    • @Julie – Good question on the restrictions in a neighborhood. I’m guessing if you live in an HOA community, there might be some restrictions, but if you don’t there really shouldn’t be any problems.

  2. daaaaamn… those “colonial” cottages are so cute!! I could totally use one for my office!!

    • @J Money – I love the idea of putting an office or guest house in a backyard and have found loads of adorable options. I like that Socal Cottages has a calculator that allows you to factor in all the “extras” on their website.

  3. Ray @ Squirrelers Reply

    That would be pretty cool to have one of those as an office. I can imagine teenagers wanting parents to have a guest cottage so that they can have freedom 🙂

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.