Builders Cottage with wrap around porch to carport or garage

Started by JDsCPlansLogin, March 16, 2014, 10:40:54 PM

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Hello everyone,

I just recently joined the forum. I'm enjoying all the great info that is available and reading through everyone's experience's. It's awesome to have a resource like this!! This is my first time posting so thanks in advance.  ;D

I'm in the planning stages of building my own place. Currently, I'm leaning toward the 14 X 24 Builders Cottage. Of course, I'd like to make a few changes. I would appreciate any feedback before I purchase the Builders Cottage/Enchilada Plans set.

Oh, I will be building in Central OR. Roof snow load (minimum) is typically 30 psf and it can/does get really cold. It's in the high desert, so humidity is typically low.

Here are my comments/questions:

1) I will go with the 12 ft. high sidewalls to increase the useable loft space. From what I read, this detail is included in the plans and should be simple to do. Do you think the detail, shown in the plans, will be sufficient for my permit/building department? Will I need an engineers stamp? I'm assuming not?

2a) I may want to increase the total length by 10 or 12 ft which would allow me to: add a full, U-shaped staircase; increase the living room space; and increase the depth in one, or both, lofts. I should be able to modify the plans fairly easily to accommodate the increased length, correct? Could I use BHG 8.0 software to do this? (See question #9)

2b) Where would the best place be to put the full staircase? I'm thinking where the 'Window Seat/Bed' is shown. NOTE: In lieu of the full staircase, I wouldn't mind a 'pull down' attic staircase and connect the lofts with a cat walk. I've seen other members do that is it looks great. I would consider a spiral staircase too which I think might save some space?

3) From what I understand, the plans include a detail for a wrap around porch. I'd like to modify the 'porch' into a full length carport or even a single car garage. I would like the roof to 'wrap' from the existing porch into the carport/garage roof. I'd like the carport as wide as possible - I believe the plan detail wrap around porch is only 7 ft wide? I'd like the carport/garage to be 8 ft or even 10 ft if possible. Can this be done fairly easily?

4) Since I'm going with 12 ft sidewalls, and if I can incorporate the wrap around carport/garage, can I 'raise' the height where the the porch and carport attach to the building. I'm curious what the clearance height of the carport will be if I can raise it or what the 'standard' height would be 'per plan.' In other words, I'm curious what the approximate height would be from the ground to the carport framing, rim(?) joists? I understand ground height will vary some.

5) Doing an attached garage, instead of just a carport, would present many challenges and I don't know if I've thought through them all. Any input on this is appreciated. At the minimum I'd be fine with just a carport and could always build a detached garage/shop later.

6) I definitely want a washer and dryer - I'm thinking I could put a 'stack' washer/dryer under the full staircase if I go that route or place them where the 'Storage' area is shown on the plans? Thoughts?

7) For ease of construction and cost, I'd like to do a Post and Beam foundation but with the changes I'd like to make (increased wall height, possible garage or carport) would a standard stem wall/crawlspace foundation be better? Or, even slab on grade? I haven't compared these costs in detail and am open to suggestions.

8 ) What is the roof snow load rating for the Builders Cottage? As noted, I need a minimum 30 psf.

9) I read through the posts/pages about design software and am looking at buying Better Homes and Gardens 8.0 software. Anyone using this? Will this be compatible with the Country Plans designs?

I think that is all for now and hopefully it all makes sense? Sorry for the number of questions, but I'm sure I will have more.  ???   

Thanks everyone!



After looking at the Builder's Cottage plan more, I'm thinking instead of doing the 'Hip' style porch, it might be better to do a shed roof for the front porch that could wrap into the carport?? Shed roof slope could be 3:12 (+/-) and then deeper, say 8 ft. or so, under the front porch. I don't know if increasing the porch depth would make it easier to wrap around to the carport?

Thanks again.

John Raabe

I would not suggest you use the Builders Cottage (14' wide) for this project. It is too small for your program list.

If you have a design program, I would play around with some larger floor plans where you can accommodate the stair, laundry and other things you wish. You might also find that you don't want a stock plan at all and would then be better off working with a local home designer, engineer or architect. Some projects will end up being customized so extensively that you are best to start out that way in the beginning.
None of us are as smart as all of us.


Hi John,

Thanks for the reply and sorry for my delayed response. After thinking about it more, I agree with you. My 'wants' list would be better suited with another plan. In addition, I do need an attached garage. I noticed on your '' site you have a 2 car garage with apartment above. This might work well for me. Can you post or email a copy of floor plan layout for that one? I'd like to see how the upstairs apartment is configured and the overall dimensions. If I like it and want to order it, do I just sign up for a membership? Thanks again and have a great day! 

John Raabe

The PlanHelp file is a two-page 1/8" scale schematic design that does not have the drawings needed for permit or building. It has upper and lower floor plans, a general cross section and a front elevation. It is for design and preliminary planning.

You have probably seen the list of downloads at PlanHelp

These PDF and 3DHA files are for planning and visualization purposes. A few have details that may apply to certain plans you may develop.

I did that garage design with the idea that it might be the starter building that the owners lived in and later was used as a guest room or rental. The schematic is something a local home designer or builder could flesh out into working drawings.
None of us are as smart as all of us.