Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Homesteading Cottage Dream

I’m a firm believer in declaring your dreams and releasing them into the world. Sometimes it’s so easy to hold tightly to the desires of our hearts, but never allow them to grow or become real. So today I’m releasing the dream of a homesteading cottage.

Over the years I've compiled lists, photos, ideas and goals, but decided it was time to keep everything in one place -"The Homesteading Cottage Notebook." While researching home plans and frugal building options, I came across some the most beautiful plans called Katrina Cottages and had to share them with you! (All of the photos in this post are specific to the KC 910 plan)

Marianne Cusato and a team of designers have partnered with Lowe’s to bring a collection of compact and efficiently planned designs along with material packages that are affordable and quick to build. Originally designed as an alternative to the FEMA trailer, the Katrina Cottage has evolved into a nationwide sensation finding popularity as affordable housing, guesthouses and small vacation homes hailed for their design, durability, versatility and affordability.

The cottages range in size from 308 to 1807 square feet and many of the designs have “grow options” that allow smaller cottages to be expanded over time as more funds are available. The plan I've selected costs around $45/sq ft, but the price for materials will vary depending upon size, style and current commodity prices.

I made a few tweaks to the plan above to make the living room and kitchen more open and windows were also added to break up the huge roof line. Below is the landscaping blueprint for the first phase in my "Homesteading Cottage Notebook." I'm visual and having a plan keeps the focus on the dream (:

The KC 910 plan starts out at 910 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath with the KC 1185 plan (the second phase) expanding the home to 1185 square feet with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a study. The KC 1807 plan converts the attic space into two more bedrooms and another bath for a total of 1807 square feet in the third phase.

The Katrina Cottage materials package from Lowe's includes all the products you'll need for the house from the foundation plate up. Studs, wall panels, insulation, fixtures, electrical, plumbing, even appliances are included. The homeowner need only supply the foundation, HVAC system and furniture...and of course a contractor to build the home if you're not a do-it-yourselfer.

This type of build allows the flexibility to pick and choose supplies which helps to keep costs low. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets come with the package, but let’s say you have some great trash-to-treasure finds and opt out of the cabinets included in the package. That’s a good chunk of money saved! Do this to enough and the savings can really add up!

The blueprints will run you $700, but purchase a minimum of $15,000 worth of materials from Lowe's and you'll receive a $700 gift card for additional materials to offset blueprint cost.

The Katrina Cottages caught my eye not only because of their versatility and frugal nature, but it was the way the square footage was embraced. Each and every nook and cranny has a purpose. I don't believe that living large really has anything to do with the space we's a state of mind.

My goal is to create a 10 acre homestead filled with fruit and nut trees, raised planting beds, solar panels, a rain water collection system and the studio of my dreams (: Going green isn't really the focus, but being a good steward of God's beautiful earth is. It just so happens, one thing blesses the other (:

I'm ready to get back to the basics my grandparents and parents held so off of the land and embracing the blessings that nature has to offer. I'm ready to be in a place of quietness where the crickets and frogs sing lullabies at night and the rain on a tin roof becomes a soothing whisper to the soul.

And so I cast my desires out into the world knowing that the time is coming closer...but until then, I'm happily living in my little homesteading apartment, preparing for the day when my dreams come true (:

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