Victoria's Cottage &
Builder's Cottage combination project

Victoria's Cottage from below

This was the first home built using the Victoria Cottage plans. There are now several other versions of this home in the Owner-Builder Gallery

What follows is a narrative and progress photos of the house construction.

The front porch is taking shape and you can see the large picture window in the bedroom (on the far left). The french doors come out onto a bedroom deck. The builder has also extended the covered front porch to provide an open deck about 8' deep as an extension of the porch. Victoria has a lonesome rooster that followed me all around the site. Note: a full explanation of the project is in the older photos below.

Preliminary Budget note: Construction costs are closing in at around $100,000 or about $100/sf including both buildings, lofts and site infrastructure. The owner worked with a high quality local professional builder. 

victoria's cottage fireplace wall

A high-efficiency gas fireplace will provide much of the heat for this small house. The owner and builder are finishing this in a southwestern style with rounded drywall corners and a tapered chimney. The entry door on the left goes out onto the front porch.

victoria's cottage beam and deck loft floor

Here you can see how the windows on three sides of this small room opens it up. The curved stair on the right goes up to the loft rooms. Note the exposed beam and deck floor for the loft above. This uses inexpensive 2x6 tongue and groove decking that can be sanded and finished as the floor of the loft.

victoria's cottage kitchen

The kitchen and eating area from the stairway. The hardwood flooring has just been finished.

Here is the high ceiling in the 12' x 14' lower floor bedroom. This room can be built with a loft above as well. It would use the same exposed beam and 2x6 decking that is used in the main 16' wide section. Or, you can leave the high ceiling open and finish it with 1x boards as the builder did here. As a handsome low cost trim technique the drywall corners have been rounded and the wood wrap on the window sides and top eliminated. The wood sill is from a 2x6 finished with a clear poly varnish. The sturdy sill looks good with the soft round corners and gives the interior a southwest adobe feel.

cottage spiral stair

Spiral stair from below (older pic). The plans show an optional straight stair as well. The structure is 1/4" plywood bent to the curved stud layout and then covered with mesh and plaster.

cottage loft stair from above

Loft room at the top of the stair. The upper floor bedroom door is on the left. This loft room could be a home office.

victoria's loft bedroom

Here is the upper floor bedroom with the arched window looking out over the porch below. The photo on the right is the open room at the other end of the loft looking back at the Builder's cottage guest house.

loft room at top of stairs

Victoria has a wonderful sense of color! This high ceilinged loft room at the top of the stairs has a very inviting character.

lower bath

Here are two photos of the bathroom at various stages of completion.

Victoria's cottage bathroom

Nice tile and a trim of beach stones around the bathroom cabinets. This is the Victoria's cottage bathroom.

Builder's Cottage Photos - Victoria is using this
cottage as the Guest House behind the main house.

Builder's cottage kitchen or main level sleeping room

Here is the 14'x 24' Builder's Cottage with 10' sidewalls (per the Enchilada plans). This is the future kitchen (now used as sleeping room). Above is the beam and deck ceiling of the loft. You can see the square window at the back of the loft.

square cottage window

Square window set at 45

Builder's cottage loft

The builder has used a very simple SW indian type ladder to the loft.

Builder's cottage with high sidewall and collar ties

Here is the 14x24 cottage with the high walls and the double collar ties at the roof. The little cast iron propane stove will heat this small space nicely.

Looking from the loft of the builder's cottage

The view of the open area from the Builder's Cottage loft. The square window in this roof is still covered by the painting masking.

Builder's cottage interior

Interior of the 14' x 24' Builder's cottage with the 10' high sidewall (from the Enchilada kit plans). The bathroom is on the right and the kitchen on the left. Above is the beam and decking loft area. Note the double 2x4 collar ties. I now think that double 2x8s would scale better (even though the 2x4s are fine structurally).

Builder's cottage bath

(These photos and the ones below were taken earlier than those above.)

The bath in the Builder's cottage. The hole in the tile is for the vent fan.

          Builder's cottage from outside

Builder's cottage (14'x 24') from outside

side view of victoria's cottage and the builder's cottage

Looking down the side of Victoria's Cottage to the Builder's Cottage
guest house behind. (Taken 7-8-02)

The photos below were taken earlier...

Victoria's cottage w/ kitchen nook pop-out

Victoria's 16' wide cottage is being built as the "big" house and the 14'x24' Builder's cottage is the guest house behind (on the right here). They are connected by a covered breezeway (the ladder is leaning on the connecting roof). The front door is on the left (the front porch has not been built yet) and the eating nook and kitchen are in the pop-out section in the middle of the photo.

This owner is from the Dominican Republic and is bringing a touch of island color to the project. These are simple vinyl windows wrapped in 1x4 yellow painted trim, green painted plywood siding with black battens from 1x6s ripped in half. Your color scheme may vary. The builder is going to shingle the gable ends as you can see getting started on the builder's cottage.

Click HERE to see the floor plans and structure of Victoria's Cottage. 

Click HERE to order plans.

14 x 24 Builder's cottage, part of the Enchilada Plans

This is the 14'x 24' Builder's cottage used as the guest house. It has a small kitchen and a sleeping loft above with the gable end window you see here. Click for information on the Builder's Cottage that was built as the guest house here. (The Builder's Cottage is part of the Big Enchilada Plans Kit).

solar windows in Builder's cottage

Here you see the big view window in the Builder's cottage and looking further down to the kitchen corner of Victoria's cottage. The owner originally planned this house for slab on grade construction with heat coils running in the slab. After costing out the options, she decided to go with a wood floor over a crawlspace and gas fired wall heaters. This is relatively mild climate, the buildings get good sun (these are the sunny side windows) and it was a more economical solution to the heating issue.

Victoria's cottage from the rear of the bedroom wing

This is the view of the back of the bedroom wing of Victoria's cottage.  The high ceiling in this space and the windows on three sides give a very open feel.

BIBS - blown in batt insulation system   Spiral stair - note plywood wrap on wall

Here are two interior photos of Victoria's cottage. The one on the left is the upper floor loft looking out over the soon to be built porch. Notice how the ridge beam is supported by a large header and strapped down to the framing (this is in an earthquake zone). The white insulation is "blown-in batt" or BIBS insulation. It is a highly efficient insulation, well worth its additional cost where available. It is installed by a specialty contractor trained by Arkseal.

The photo on the right is of the spiral stair that the contractor is building to access the large loft above (they actually expanded the loft into two rooms as it almost completely covers the lower floor except for the opening to the ceiling you see here). Notice the curved plywood walls. This was done with two layers of 1/4" plywood and makes the curved wall very sturdy.

CountryPlans member projects that were posted to our free owner-builder forum:

• Mike T is building a hillside version in Oregon -
• Here is a very handsome version of the Victoria spiral stair that was posted to the forum (click image for photos and discussion).

handmade wooden sprial stair

Order plans HERE choose #P007

step by step cabin building photos

• Click to return to CountryPlans Home Page

• Click the Owner Builder Gallery to see stories of other projects.

• Click The Forum to ask questions about building cabins small houses.