Small is the new green
Increasing environmental awareness along with economic and demographic trends favor smaller house sizes. Many cities are doing their part by updating zoning codes to allow cottage housing and small backyard cottages (detached ADU's) on residentially zoned lots. Seattle and Portland are two cities which allow backyard cottages up to 800 sq. ft. in size. These small houses provide opportunities for families, while increasing housing stock, density and affordability. Continue reading for more information about small house design and Seattle's backyard cottage ordinance or contact us to find out if your lot is eligible for a backyard cottage.
Tuesday, July 15
Wednesday, June 25
Would you like an opportunity to see inside a backyard cottage (DADU)?
Microhouse's newest backyard cottage has a footprint of 14 ft x 22 ft but features two full floors on three levels and has one bedroom, one bath a kitchen living room and sleeping loft. For this project we worked with the owner to create a cottage with a small footprint that would be simple to build and love the sun. The project will serve as a rental property for the owner and in Seattle's tight market was rented out before the construction was even completed. The tenant has graciously offered to host an open house on Tuesday July 15th from 4:00-8:00 pm. 3273 McClintock Ave S, Seattle, WA. Entrance is off of the alley west of McClintock.
Open houses are a unique opportunity to see inside a backyard cottage, meet the design and construction team, and others thinking about building backyard cottages. Please follow our blog or contact us for updates.
Considering building your own backyard cottage? Contact us with your address and your goals and we will run an preliminary analysis and talk you through the design and permitting process.
Friday, March 7
RSVP: email@example.com (206) 428-8599
Tuesday, March 4
Are you interested in simplifying your life, reducing costs, and a more sustainable lifestyle? Small houses can help achieve all of these goals. But how does house size stack up against a myriad of other green building technologies? A 2010 report by the Oregon Department of Environmental Equality examines the impacts of constructing, maintaining and operating a home over a 70 year occupancy. Key findings of the report include:
- Of 30 different material reduction and reuse practices evaluated, reducing home size and multi-family living achieved the largest greenhouse gas reductions along with significant reductions in other impact categories.
- Reducing home size by 50% results in a projected 36% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.
- Reducing home size is a significant leverage point for environmental impact reduction and may be a more effective measure than achieving minimum levels of "green" certification.
- New and existing homes can incorporate accessory dwelling units (ADU's) as an option to increase density and reduce the square foot/person ratio, provide flexible living spaces, and achieve the environmental benefits of both small and multi-family living.
To see some examples of our backyard cottages, small houses and multi-family projects check out our projects page and visit one of our upcoming open houses. To read more about the environmental benefits of small houses and the full report follow the link. DEQ smaller homes, smaller footprint, report
Wednesday, February 26
Wednesday, December 18
house size: 650 sq. ft.
Using a pantry wall allowed us to create efficient storage, made the kitchen seem larger and left more room for windows. A beautiful quartz countertop highlights the blue glass tile backsplash.
The bathroom is on the main floor off of the bedroom. It features in floor radiant heat. The walls have plywood backing to enable the addition of grab bars in the future.
A view through the kitchen into the bedroom.
Thursday, November 7
5200 55th Ave S -Lake Washington Cabin: Sunday December 15, 1:00-4:00 pm. The shape and form of this backyard cottage were carefully crafted to capture southern light and expansive views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainier. Vaulted ceilings and exposed joists make the cottage feel larger than its 650 sq. ft. size. The house features a one bedroom, bath, kitchen and living room on the main floor and a granddaughter loft. 650 Sq.Ft. 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath.