- Add radiant floor heat.
- You could get a bedroom or two into a 400 square foot footprint and rent it out
- Add a basement bar
- Add a playroom for the kids
- An office
- Media room
- Music room
These are the architecture plans and the budget for completing a small backyard home in a landslide zone in Berkeley.
Anyone considering building on a steep lot and especially a landslide zone will get a wide range of potential costs. These costs vary by project and site of course. This is one point where you can mark down as accurate. We finished this project.
Frankly, it’s expensive. The full cost of just the excavation, concrete piers and foundation was close to $40,000.
For the full budget including every line item, see the attached pdf at the bottom.
This is the site plan for the backyard cottage.
This is the “elevation” of the front of the house.
This is a more detailed floor plan. Note how much counter space is in this relatively small kitchen. It’s better to have room to cook than room to watch TV:)
Click here for the full budget including architecture, structural engineering, surveyor, soils engineering (geo tech), permits, site work and all construction.
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This little cottage is all about bringing family together.
It is located on a quiet East Bay block that is lined with cute California bungalows. Susan, the owner, will initially use this as extra space when her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchild, are visiting from their home in Israel. Susan’s daughter is contemplating moving back to the Bay Area. If that is the case, this cottage may become Susan’s home while her daughter, son-in-law and grandchild move into the main home.
Susan has entertained renting her main home while she travels to Israel, but for now she is using her main home just as she always has. Currently she’s running the cottage as a busy bed and breakfast that is generating up to $3,000 per month in rent!
This cottage was designed for two people. It has a separate loft and tons of built-in storage. It was oriented to face a shared backyard patio for outdoor dining, and it’s just a few steps from the big kitchen in the main home. Most importantly, there is an area that can hold a big enough table for weekly dinners that have been a tradition for the family and the family’s friends for decades.