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.
Wednesday, August 24
Wednesday, August 10
If the appeal is successful, then the city must complete a full environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed changes. The EIS document is a collection of professional and expert studies and analysis, city department review and input, citizen review and input, multiple open and transparent public hearings, multiple drafts, and final approvals after public engagement.
If the appeal is not successful, then the legislation is anticipated to come to the Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee before the end of the year for discussion.
Tuesday, July 26
Thursday, July 21
Now that their children are grown, the cottage owners wanted to downsize from their beautiful but too large house but they didn't want to leave their neighborhood and friends. So they contacted Bruce Parker of microhouse to assist in the design of their new small dream home behind their current house. The lot is small, less than 4,000 sq ft and the cottage had to take advantage of every available square inch, of the allowable 800 sq. ft., and work with limited opportunities for light and views.
The stair is located on the south wall adjacent to the neighbors garage. High windows were used to let in natural light from up high above the garage. The kitchen is on the east wall facing the primary residence so no windows were placed on that wall the outside of which is now much needed storage for bikes, and garden tools.
A combination of wood soffit and exposed floor joists add richness and a feeling of openness to the living and dining rooms. These areas open directly onto the alley and parking pad so frosted glazing was used to provide privacy while allowing in the maximum amount of light. The primary heat source is radiant heat in the concrete floor.
The limited allowable height meant that we had to use vaulted ceilings with low perimeter walls which was done to dramatic effect.
The light filled study with its tree top views and large skylight is their favorite room in the house. A fold out sofa provides a place for guests to sleep.
Now that the cottage is complete the owner's are moving in and will rent out their lager primary residence.
Bike and garden storage is located to the back of the cottage facing the garden.
Monday, July 18
In the mean time, to find out how these changes might impact your specific plans feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing how you plan to use our cottage.
Monday, June 20
Drew, Jacob, Meredith and Elyse are building a backyard cottage and a muli-generational household. You can follow their progress at the following link.