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 diversity. 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, October 28

backyard cottage workshop, November 12th

Our workshops and open houses, are a great opportunity to more about and meet others thinking about building and living in small houses. 

backyard cottages for fun and profit   ThursdayNovember 12th,  from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, West Seattle Office Junction 6040, Sutie B, California Ave SW, 98136

Backyard cottages can be used for many things including housing a family member or as a short term rental. Join Microhouse and Ncompass Cottage Company to learn more about backyard cottage design, construction, and use. Bring your ideas, after the presentation we will have plenty of time to answer questions about the specifics of your project. 

so what is your backyard cottage worth?

Choosing to add a backyard cottage is an important long term decision. A good first question to ask when making that decision is, how will I establish a budget for a cottage? While it may be hard to put a value to how a well designed home makes you feel or the value of having a family member living nearby, some qualities are easier to asses.  If that family member is an aging parent who would otherwise be living in an assisted living facility it is relatively easy to look at the costs of local facilities.  For others building a new cottage may be less expensive than remodeling their existing house to more closely meet their needs. For example, new cottages can incorporate universal design components to assist those with mobility impairments.  Many people plan to use their cottages to generate rental income.  In this case,  a careful consideration of the rents in your area and anticipated costs can help you establish a budget range.  Having established a realistic budget based on your needs and values will guide the many decisions that make up design process.

Read read more

Real estate appraisers struggle with how to value backyard cottages and other ADU's primarily because there simply enough comparable sales to serve as a guide. This informative article by Martin John Brown and Taylor Watkins explains how traditional appraisals are done and some alternate methods that might be used for ADU's.


Saturday, October 3

madison valley backyard cottage preview

Downsizing with style,  this backyard cottage is a home for a seattle couple.