Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,380 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Blueberry Cottage
The Blueberry Cottage evolved from an affordable housing infill project in a Historic District. It's a small footprint three bedroom, two bath home with a large and open living area on the warm south side and the bedrooms on the cool north side. With the flexible garage placement on the lot, the home can be sited on a variety of lot types and sizes. The front of the home faces west which places the master bedroom and breakfast area on the sunny morning east end. The main living areas will be sunny all day.
Floor Plan
The front porch allows for connecting with the neighbors in the evening while viewing the sunsets. The east deck collects the sun for morning sunning. The back French Doors create a welcoming family entry from the parking area or garage without passing through a cluttered laundry space. Yet the laundry is nearby allowing for quick access to the clothes line. The central kitchen is open enough for connection to the living and dining while being partially hidden from the front spaces while a messy cook is preparing meals.
The long row of south windows is the focal point of the home. Stone, tile or brick pavers as well as polished or stamped concrete add character to the home while providing a collection area for the sun's rays striking the floors in winter. In high latitudes, the entire south floor will be in light all the way to the center wall in the late December. A proper orientation to true south and an adjusted overhang length for the latitude prevent the home from receiving too much sun in summer.
Optional Attic Apartment
A pull down set of attic stairs is standard allowing for a huge amount of storage above. However, the roof is steep enough to allow for an apartment above the entire length of the house. Constructed between attic style trusses, the apartment could be approximately 550 s.f. A door in the back center of the gable end allows for an exterior access from the back side of the house.
Detached Garage
The optional two-car garage is shown detached to the northeast of the house but could be attached with a covered walkway if moved west or directly to the house where the laundry is located. An expanded laundry/mudroom could be created in that case.
Construction Info
Economical roof trusses bear on 9'high walls. Flat ceilings are the most economical to build. Slab on grade construction aids with both winter heating and summer cooling. Thermal mass is in the slab on grade concrete floor that extends the entire length of the house. The wood framed walls can vary in thickness and R-value to accommodate insulation appropriate to the climate where the home will be constructed. The truss framed roof allows for the economical type of roof/ceiling insulation -- thick, loose fill cellulose that can be carried all the way out to above the wall with jacked up truss ends.
Modification Ideas
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Attach the garage to the back and enter through an added laundry/mudroom.
  • Enclose the area around the optional exterior attic stairs to allow the optional finished attic to be accessed from the main house
Construction Drawings
For this plan, the following are included for Construction Prints or CAD Files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Slab On Grade Foundation Plan
  • Floor Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
  • Detached Garage
Comments and Photos
The photos were taken from a similar home with many of the same features and before the home was occupied. From a construction detail standpoint, the home in the photos has 10' ceilings and 8' high doors as well as a crawlspace/pier foundation - all of which are typically more costly and not as energy efficient as the 9' ceilings and slab foundation of the Blueberry Cottage. See the floor plans and drawings or the specifics of the design of the Blueberry Cottage.