Serving Redmond, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Woodinville, Kirkland, Kenmore, Bothell, and Seattle
Serving Redmond, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Woodinville, Kirkland, Kenmore, Bothell, and Seattle

Are you looking for a new source of passive income? Do you need a place to house aging parents or an adult child that allows some independence? If so, a backyard cottage may be right for you.

Backyard cottages are a Western Washington tradition. Since they provide a naturally affordable housing option, backyard cottages can allow family members or renters who might not otherwise be able to afford your neighborhood to live in the community. 

What is a backyard cottage?

A backyard cottage is a small, detached home on the same lot as a larger single-family home. It has its own kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, making it physically independent from the owner’s primary home. Typically, a backyard cottage is no larger than 800 square feet.

These residential spaces are also known as mother-in-law apartments, granny flats, detached accessory units, and carriage houses.

Why should I build a backyard cottage?

There are many reasons why homeowners choose to build backyard cottages, from housing additional family members to adding a new rental revenue stream.

backyard cottageA backyard cottage is the perfect way to provide housing for family members who wish to remain close but maintain some independence. This could include aging parents, young adult relatives, or other family members. Since this residential option contains all the necessities, it can function as a completely separate home while making it easy to get together if residents choose.

Alternately, you could rent out your backyard cottage through AirBnB or another service. With this additional income, a backyard cottage can a wise investment over time.

Other homeowners use their backyard cottage as an office space or creative studio. If you need a space to get work done away from the distractions of family in your primary residence, a backyard cottage may be a great solution.

Backyard cottages have a number of additional environmental and financial advantages. They are good for the environment and help reduce urban sprawl. They also increase the resale value of the homeowner’s current property.

How much does it cost to build a backyard cottage?

Backyard cottages don’t need to be expensive. That being said, costs vary significantly depending on building design and site conditions. Contact the experts at SeattleStyleRemodel to get a quote.

Are backyard cottages allowed in my city?

Backyard cottages are allowed in many cities throughout the Puget Sound region. These include Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Bothell, Woodinville, Issaquah, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Newcastle, Mercer Island, Clyde Hill, Yarrow Point, and Sammamish. 

If you’re building a cottage in Seattle, regulations require that you provide at least one street parking space for residents. The cottage can only be 800 square feet in single-family zones or 650 square feet in lowrise zones. Additionally, lots in single-family zones must be 4,000 square feet to be eligible for backyard cottage development.

Check with your local city government to learn more about lot and cottage size restrictions in your area.

While building a new structure on your property can seem intimidating, there are plenty of resources available to help you understand your options. We at SeattleStyleRemodel pride ourselves on over 75 years of experience transforming customers’ visions into buildable projects. Our talented, dedicated team can help you with every stage of the process of building a backyard cottage, from concept to completion.


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