about us sustainability backyard cottages house plans pricing cottage housing our blog contact

tangent cottage magnolia cottage cottage housing capitol hill cottage portage bay cottage backyard cottage madison valley


Microhouse - Affordable small house design

At microhouse we specialize in the design and permitting of backyard cottages and other small houses.  Because we are specialists we are able to offer design services at affordable rates. To this end, we utilize standard designs as a starting point for design and work with top notch contractors to provide accurage project cost estimates and timelines. Contact us for a proposal for your project. 



Choosing to build a new house or 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? Like other choices we make about where we live, there are a great number of intangibles that need to be considered.  

While it may be hard to put a value to how a well designed home makes you feel or the value of being close to family, other considerations are easier to assess.  In addition to being enjoyable place to live, a home that efficiently meets your needs will cost less to build and operate. Backyard cottages provide a unique opportunity for aging family members to benefit from the support of their families while maintaining independence.  As an alternative to assisted living it is relatively easy to compare costs of local facilities to those of building and maintaining a backyard cottage.  For others building a new cottage may be less expensive than remodeling their existing house to more closely meet their needs.  Many people plan to use backyard 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.

Like the cost of building any new home, the cost of constructing a small house or a backyard cottage will vary considerably.  At microhouse we strive to design houses that are relatively simple and affordable to build. This allows our clients to allocate their resources to the things that they value most.  



Financing to build a small house can either be done out of pocket or with a construction loan. Backyard cottages because they share a lot with a principal structure, may also be funded through an equity line of credit behind a current 1st mortgage. We can recommend lenders to help you meet your specific needs.


Backyard Cottages -Invest where you live

Backyard cottages can be used as part of a downsizing strategy or to generate income. They may often be financed with an inexpensive equity line of credit and don’t have land costs, advantages over most investment property.  As a result, rental cottages can reasonably be expected to generate a higher net rate of return than most rental properties.



©2010 microhouse® 206.428.8599 info@microhousenw.com