Necessities of Small Cottage House Plans Necessities of Small Cottage House Plans

Small cottage house plans can be purchased through dozens of websites and home centers. Finding the perfect plan to suit your needs involves more than just liking the look of the cottage. The designation "small house plan" means houses with 1,600 square feet or less. House plans with 1,200 square feet or less are considered tiny house plans. Different advisers disagree on the exact range, so look at the square footage of the plan you are considering. You may find a plan designed "tiny" actually has the square footage you're looking for.

Zoning Regulations

Many fail to consider zoning regulations when looking at small house plans. Depending on the county or area you live in, there may be a regulation about the minimum size house you are allowed to build. Make sure you find out the minimum square footage you will have to build to meet local zoning regulations. There are different regulations for small or tiny structures used as "sheds," temporary or storage structures rather than dwellings. If you're still unsure, ask your local zoning officials.


If you're building a small house to reside in, make a list of the features you want to have. Necessities should include: the number of bathrooms, washer and dryer space, bathtubs or showers, full bath or half, full kitchen or half, number of bedrooms, living and dining spaces.

Ask yourself how much storage you will need as well as what kind of storage you want. Your list of must-haves may differ from someone else. Consider things like sleeping space, cooking, dining and living or working areas as basic necessities. Things like guest rooms, walk-in closets and dens may be nice, but they're not generally considered a necessity. Your zoning officials will have a list of must-have necessities, such as entrances and exits, number of windows, and bathrooms.

House Plans

When purchasing house plans for your small house you must have more than just a layout of the rooms and walls. When you purchase plans make sure they are plans that can be reversed or easily altered if you decide to make changes in the layout later. Buying plans through an architectural firm, or through an architect who can make approved changes is a good idea. You'll also need to buy up to eight copies, plus an original copy of the plans so various contractors will have a copy as they work on your home.

House plans should also have front and side elevation views, plumbing and electrical details and site and slope information. If you buy house plans designed for a flat, level site and you want to build on a hill-side, you're going to need additional plans, change in foundation type and other changes. So, pick a plan that suits your site. Consider such things as soil, foundation, slope and septic or water needs. Hire an architect to look at the plans and your site for a professional opinion of your plan if you're not sure if the plans will work on the site.

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