Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,500 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Katrina Cottage 2
The Katrina Cottage 2 is an economical to build three bedroom, two bath home with a unique sun room entry foyer. With its flexible character, the design is equally suitable for a family building their first home as it is for the retired home owner looking for less to maintain. A small footprint is the first step for both reducing construction costs and long-term costs of maintenance and energy. The front of the home faces east so the front sun room foyer will also be a sunny morning room.

I love it more every year, but the light is especially beautiful this time of year how it streams in. 
- Jennifer, November

Floor Plan
The large front porch is welcoming and cool on summer evenings. The south patio collects the sun for winter sunning while the optionally west patio is perfect for sky viewing while the sun is setting. The informal entry allows for two ways to enter the home -- directly to the kitchen while carrying groceries or to use the nearby bath for cleaning up from yard work, or to the sunny dining area which would be more appropriate for guests. The nearby laundry keeps the utilities all in one place and allows for quick access to outside for hanging out wet clothes. The vaulted ceilings over the south living areas add openness and character making a small home feel larger.
The wood stove and surrounding hearth 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.
The back side of the house is designed to be added onto with little disturbance of the existing house. The options are endless!
The optional two-car garage is extra large to allow for a work shop and plenty of storage. It is shown detached to the northeast of the house but could be attached with a covered walkway if moved west or attached to the house where the laundry is located. An expanded laundry/mudroom could be created in that case.
Construction Info
Vaulted scissors trusses that bear on 8'high walls allow for the kitchen, dining and living area to feel more spacious. The remaining flat ceilings allow for quite a bit of attic storage above accessed by a pull down staircase. 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. Thermal mass is in both the extensive slab on grade floors and in the thermal mass wall between the living room and master bedroom. Both can be covered in stone or brick pavers. Scored and polished concrete floors allow for creative, economical flooring.
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 north and enter through a redesigned extended laundry/mudroom
  • Expand the house through the center hallway to add bedrooms or other living spaces to the west
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 Plan
  • Schematic Roof Framing Plan
  • Garage Plans
Comments and Photos
Jennifer enthusiastically shared photos during construction and after she moved in.  Changes that she made during construction included creating a brick exterior, adding a study nook, and removing part of the wall between the dining and east sunroom/foyer. Most home owners make at least some minor changes during construction to tweak the home to their personal preferences.

"We love this house and this plan so much, everything is just so convenient and logical.  It's actually smaller than our other house but seems much roomier.  I really wanted most of all a house with lots of east and south light and this is it!  I did not realize how much we would love the front porch.  I am out there ALL THE TIME.  And it's the perfect size.  We had everyone over for Easter and set up a buffet table on the porch and there was plenty of room for everyone to eat and move around out there.  The house is a valley that has deciduous trees all to the south, but it actually seems that a lot of light still comes in in the winter.  The temp goes up in here several degrees above what the thermostat is set at on a chilly but sunny early spring day.  We have lots of dogs and cats and it seems like it was specifically made for them! Thank you very much!" - Jennifer

Jennifer and family built to a high level of energy efficiency. "We did 4" foam under the concrete and built with SIPs walls (8" foam).  Inside the SIPs is 2x4 framing that has cellulose insulation blown in.  We enlarged the house 1 foot in every direction to allow for the extra thick walls." 
In November after living in the home for several years, she wrote:  "I love it more every year, but the light is especially beautiful this time of year how it streams in."

Thank you for sharing photos and comments Jennifer!