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Typically, cottage house plans are considered "small" homes, with the word's origins coming from England. However, most cottages were formally found in rural or semi-rural locations, an old-fashioned term that conjures up images of a cozy, picturesque home.

Often, cottage-style homes were considered to have playful, whimsical, and storybook exterior features with charming details like elaborate gingerbread trim, window boxes lined with greenery and flowers, arched doorways, and some outdoor living space. 

Evoking images of Old-World charm, they were highlighted with cobblestone, asymmetrical shapes, and imaginative, mismatched doors, windows, and roof lines. Older cottage homes were modest homes often built with a basic square, boxy design featuring an efficient layout designed to maximize the space on the home's interior, highlighting comfortable family living. Various building materials were used to construct the homes, including brick and wood framing for a simple construction home.

What makes a house a cottage?

A cottage is a small, cozy, and often rustic home typically located in a rural or semi-rural setting. Here are some key characteristics that make a house a cottage:

  • Size. Cottages are typically smaller than traditional houses, focusing on creating a cozy and comfortable living space.
  • Location. Cottage house plans are often in rural or semi-rural settings, such as a forest or near water. This location provides a sense of seclusion and privacy.
  • Architecture. Cottage-style homes often have a charming and whimsical design, combining architectural styles and elements. For example, they may feature steeply pitched roofs, dormer windows, and decorative trim.
  • Natural materials. Cottages are often constructed from natural materials such as wood, stone, or brick. This gives the home a rustic and authentic feel.
  • Cozy interiors. The interior of a cottage is typically designed to feel cozy and inviting. This may include a wood-burning fireplace, warm colors, and comfortable furnishings.
  • Outdoor living spaces. Cottage house plans often feature outdoor living spaces like a porch or patio. These spaces are designed to take advantage of the natural surroundings and provide a comfortable outdoor living area.

What are cottage houses called?

Cottage houses are also called cottages, cabins, chalets, or camps. The term "cottage" is derived from the medieval word "cotter," which refers to a person who lived in a small, humble dwelling on a lord's estate.

What are the different cottage styles?

There are several different styles of cottages, each with unique features and characteristics. Here are some of the most common cottage styles:

  • English Cottage. English cottage house plans are inspired by the small, picturesque dwellings found in rural England. English cottages are typically constructed from natural materials such as stone or thatch and feature a mix of architectural styles and elements.
  • Cape Cod Cottage. These cottage home plans are characterized by their steeply pitched roof, dormer windows, and cedar shingle siding. Cape Cod cottages are typically found in coastal areas and are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.
  • French Country Cottage. French country cottage house plans are inspired by the rural homes found in the French countryside. They are typically constructed from natural materials such as stone or stucco and feature decorative shutters and wrought iron details.
  • Beach Cottage. This style of cottage is designed to embrace the natural surroundings of a coastal area. Beach cottages are often constructed from natural materials such as wood or stone and may feature large windows and outdoor living spaces to take advantage of the views.
  • Storybook Cottage. Inspired by the fairy tale homes found in storybooks, storybook cottages are typically designed to be whimsical and charming, with a mix of architectural styles and decorative details.
  • Craftsman Cottage. Craftsman cottage-style homes are inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century. Craftsman cottages are known for their attention to detail, with handcrafted woodwork, exposed beams, and decorative brackets.

How many rooms does a cottage have?

The number of rooms in a cottage can vary depending on the specific design and size of the home. However, cottage floor plans generally tend to be smaller than traditional houses, focusing on creating a cozy and comfortable living space.

A typical cottage may have one to three bedrooms with one or two bathrooms. Cottages often feature an open floor plan, which combines the living, dining, and kitchen areas into one cohesive space. This design creates a sense of spaciousness and flow and is ideal for entertaining and family gatherings.

What is the square footage of a cottage?

The square footage of a cottage can range from as little as 400 square feet to as much as 2,000 square feet or more. Small cottage house plans may have just one or two rooms, while a larger cottage may have three or four rooms, including bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas.

Despite their typically smaller size, cottage-style homes can be designed to feel spacious and inviting. High ceilings, large windows, and an open floor plan can create a sense of openness and comfort.

Are cottages a good investment?

Cottages can be a good investment for various reasons, but there are risks and factors to consider, like any investment. Here are some pros and cons to consider when deciding whether a cottage is a good investment.


  • Lifestyle benefits. Cottages offer a peaceful and tranquil living environment, making them an ideal choice for those looking to retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
  • Rental income. Cottages can be rented out as vacation homes, providing a source of rental income.
  • Appreciation potential. Cottages located in desirable areas may appreciate over time, providing a return on investment.
  • Tax benefits. Depending on the circumstances, owning a cottage may provide tax benefits such as deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes.


  • Maintenance costs. Cottages may require more maintenance than traditional homes, especially if they are in a rural area. This can include regular upkeep of the property and repairs and renovations.
  • Seasonal fluctuations. Rental income from a cottage may be seasonal, with peak demand during the summer months. This can make it difficult to generate consistent rental income throughout the year.
  • Limited resale value. Cottages may have limited resale value in some markets, as they are not as popular as other types of homes.
  • Accessibility limitations. Cottages located in remote areas may be more challenging to access, which can limit their appeal to potential renters or buyers.

What's the difference between a cabin and a cottage?

Cabins and cottages are popular styles of small, rustic homes often located in natural settings. While there are some similarities between the two, there are also some key differences:

  • Materials. Cabins are often constructed from natural materials such as logs or stone, while cottages may be built from various materials, including wood, brick, or stucco.
  • Design. Cabins are typically designed to be more rustic and practical, focusing on functionality over aesthetics. Cottages, on the other hand, often feature a charming and whimsical design with decorative elements.
  • Location. Cabins are often located in remote, natural settings such as a forest or mountains, while cottages may be in more developed or suburban areas.

How much does it cost to build a cottage house?

Building a cottage house can cost anywhere from $125 to $250 per square foot. This means that a small, 800-square-foot cottage could cost as little as $100,000 to build, while a larger, 2,000-square-foot cottage could cost as much as $500,000 or more.

Some of the factors that can impact the cost of building a cottage house include

  • Design and size. The design and size of the cottage can have a significant impact on the cost. A more complex design or larger size will typically cost more to build.
  • Location. The cost of building a cottage house can vary depending on the location. For example, building in a remote or rural area may be more expensive due to transportation costs and the need for specialized materials.
  • Materials. The materials used to build the cottage can impact the cost. For example, high-end materials such as stone or exotic wood can significantly increase the cost of construction.
  • Labor costs. The labor cost can vary depending on the construction team's location and skill level.
  • Permits and fees. Building permits and fees can also add to the overall cost of building a cottage house.

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