Building Plans for Cozy, Affordable Cottages

Plansbook and House Plan Sources

From a hideaway retreat in the mountains to a seaside villa, nothing says peace, tranquility, and relaxation better than a cottage. These great resources will help you plan and build your own dream cottage.

Plan #514-6 Katrina Cottage designed by Marianne Cusato
Plan #514-6 Katrina Cottage designed by Marianne Cusato. Illustration courtesy

After Hurricane Katrina destroyed homes and communities along America's Gulf Coast in 2005, architects and designers developed cheerful, inexpensive, energy-efficient emergency housing often called "Katrina Cottages." You can purchase floor plans for a variety of these affordable cottages from online vendor such as Architect Marianne Cusato provides some of her designs for, like the one shown here. The "Cusato Cottage" and other designs are also available on her own website. More »

If you don't subscribe to Fine Homebuilding magazine, you might want to try this paperback book for some ideas on living small. The "Small Spaces" in the title is definitely as relative a phrase as the "cottages" of Newport, Rhode Island. Nevertheless, this 2014 addition to the "modest home" building craze is a welcome addition. Taunton Press Publisher, 192 pages.

Enchanting Home Plans for Mountain, Sea or Sun. This collection has twenty-one different floor plans for three distinct venues—a coastal cottage with open shutters and wraparound porches, a rustic mountain cabin hideaway, and a Mediterranean-style villa. The book is created by the Florida-based Sater Design Collection. Sater Design Collection Publisher, 2001, 144 pages.

This short book is the companion volume to the popular Don Berg website of the same name, Subtitled Simple Country Designs of Cottages, Cabins, Barns, Stables, Garages and Garden Sheds with Sources for Blueprints, Kits, Building Accessories, Catalogs and Guide Books, the book includes designs for 22 cabins, 42 cottages, 22 traditional barns, and more, with info on construction plans, building kits and hard-to-find country building products. Self-published, 1999, 96 pages.

Another Dan Sater book. Most of the seaside homes in this 64-page paperback book by the Sater Design team were inspired by 19th-Century Caribbean, Charleston Row, and Key West island houses. Complete construction drawings are available for all 25 house plans, most of which are from 1,200 to 3,600 square feet, and are well-suited for the narrow lot restrictions in a waterfront community. Home Planners Publishers, 1998.

Also check out another Sater book, the 2004 Beautiful Cottages and Villas. 223 pages
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New Economy Home by Marianne Cusato
The New Economy Home. Builder Concept Home 2010 by Marianne Cusato

Architect Marianne Cusato combined simple, Folk Victorian details with state-of-the-art, energy-efficient systems for her New Economy Home cottages. In 2010, the New Economy Home was the featured Builder Concept Home at the International Builders' Show.

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Subtitled 25 Plans for Retreats, Cabins, and Beach Houses, author-architect-teacher Catherine Tredway presents 25 plans for a variety of cottages, each with details unique to a particular region of North America. Includes elevation views, floor plans, and close-up drawings and photographs of architectural details, plus a historical look at the background of each design. This 2001 book by Storey Publishing has received mixed reviews, yet it remains a favorite of many who dream of building their own cottage haven. 176 pages

We have some "tiny" homes in our list of Books to Help You Build a Smaller Home, but not this 2012 book by Dan Louche, who built his first tiny home for his Mom in 2009. How cozy is that? Tilt Development Publisher, 146 pages

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Maybe all you need is Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere. This popular book by Zach Klein, Steven Leckart, and Noah Kalina is the hands-on print companion of the website,  Go get your hands dirty. Little, Brown and Company, 336 pages, 2015.

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