This active Oakland couple needed a guest-friendly, work-friendly space. This is what it cost and what it can do.
Travis and Kelly approached New Avenue to discuss adding a multipurpose casita/office/guest room/laundry room in the backyard of their Oakland, CA home. We created a 250-square-foot casita that is an absolute workhorse. On any given day, this casita serves three or more purposes: housing for a pet sitter or house sitter, a guest room, a laundry room, an office, and au-pair quarters.
Total costs and construction time
Construction time was 6 months. When you include custom design, permits, survey, engineering, tree removal, site work, utility upgrades, and finally, the actual construction, the cost was $116,700. The full detailed budget is here: 250 Square Foot Cottage Completed Budget
You can contact us for the full set of plans, too.
Projects like this tend to take six months to design, six months to permit, and five months to build, for a total of almost 18 months. You can read more about it here: Average Project Timeline
Some challenges to this project included poor access to the backyard, which meant hand-carrying everything in and out, a sloped lot with drops from the neighbor’s yard, and older utility lines that needed replacing.
Here’s how they use their new space
Just as the the work ended, Travis and Kelly adopted a baby. Now they take turns working from home two days a week in their backyard office so they can spend quality time with the newest member of their family.
When family and friends are in town to see the new baby, or if Travis and Kelly are entertaining and hosting a get-together, they offer their casita as a small home away from home for overnight guests. It has a fully functioning bathroom and a working washer/dryer. Whenever the family is away, it serves as a residence for their dog-sitter.
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