Often people think of these cottages as carriage houses or converted garages. And, they just might be that. Or they might be built from scratch. As parents age or adult children need a place to live nearby, we look for more and more innovative housing. Rental income to supplement the house payment also helps. The city of Seattle just passed the Backyard Cottage ordinance which allows these second dwellings throughout Seattle. They are also allowed in many places in the greater Seattle-Bellevue area.
One possibility is to change the garage so someone can live there. It is a matter of researching the land use code to make sure it meets those requirements, and then adding plumbing and electricity plus insulation, wall board, new floor surfaces and a cozy kitchen. Here’s another example–building a living space above the existing garage. Then storage is maintained while creating a second place to live. A third is to build an entirely new cottage in the backyard. How do you know if you can create a backyard cottage?
Each property is different, so it needs to be analyzed for your needs and desires; the land use code; daylight access; open space and so forth. In Seattle, lots that are larger than 4000 square feet are eligible for backyard cottages. You may want to make a list of the reasons you are considering a cottage, and a list of your priorities for it. Everyone wins with backyard cottages. There is plenty of togetherness and privacy, while living in community with extended family and friends.
Live work play promotes housing options and variety, and we would be glad to talk with you further about the possibilities for your backyard cottage in the Puget Sound Area. Please give us a call.