Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,236 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Katrina Cottage
The Katrina Cottage was designed to be a very simple to construct home. With its unique character, flexibility, and growth, the Katrina Cottage is equally suitable for a family building their first home as it is for the retired couple looking for less to maintain. Families who have a hard time affording a house in the first place should welcome the low energy bills. The back of the house is designed to face south.
Floor Plan
The quaint front porch is welcoming without being wasteful. It is just large enough for two on a hot summer evening. The larger southeast porch is a gathering area and shaded from the hot western sun. It welcomes the morning rays and wraps around to the south patio for cookouts and winter lounging. The angled entry welcomes you into the home and immediately shows that this 3 bedroom home has a lot to offer in a small footprint. The vaulted ceilings and unique walls add openness and character with little wasted square footage. The dining area will feel like a sunroom with its wrap-around corner windows. The east kitchen will be cool but sunny in the morning with the east window box. It's close proximity to the half bath and laundry keeps it close to the work area of the house. The wood stove, surrounding hearth, and adjacent entertainment center are the focal point of the home. The stone, brick, or tile adds visual warmth to the interior while simultaneously absorbing the stove and sun's heat in winter. A proper south orientation and overhang prevents the space from receiving too much sun in summer.
Expansion Options
The west side of the house is designed to be added onto with little disturbance of the existing house. A master bedroom with private bath, extra bedroom, and northwest porch can be added in 600 additional s.f.
The optional two-car garage has a small work area at one end. It can be detached to the east of the house and connected to the side porch with a covered walkway. With minor modifications and narrower lots, the garage can be attached to the front/north side of the house
Construction Info
The entire east half of the house - entry, living area, dining, kitchen, bedroom 3 and laundry - has vaulted scissors trusses that bear on 8'high walls. The western bedrooms have flat ceilings to allow for attic storage above. The hipped roof structure with the metal roof is more resistant to high winds, while the small gable vents assist with cooling. Slab on grade construction aids with both winter heating and summer cooling. The Katrina Cottage can be built in the regular passive solar version throughout the middle and northern locations in North America or in the sun-tempered version for those on the Gulf Coast.
Modification Ideas
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Move the laundry to the outside storage area to allow for a full second bath for the nearby third bedroom
  • For large families, make the northwest corner in the expansion, another bedroom.
Construction Drawings
For this plan, the following are included with Construction Prints and 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 Roof Framing 
  • Garage Plan
Comments and Photos
Thanks to Don and Cathleen for the photos of their Katrina Cottage home. They altered the design by adding a basement and a shallow deck across the south side that would not block too much sun to the basement at their latitude.
See other Katrina Cottage designs for other photos.