Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,285 sf
Floor 2
744 sf
2,029 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Moorhaus Cottage 3

The compact Moorhaus Cottage 3 features clean-lined simplicity. The welcoming north-facing entry adds character with minimum costs. Its heavy timbers and craftsman-style knee braces are just one of many "quality over quantity" features of this passive solar home that can blend with the woods in rural areas as well as a smaller lot within a city neighborhood.

"Our electricity bills are always quite low, especially when compared to houses of similar size." - Matt

First Floor

The entry foyer has space for an abundance of coats, boots, custom-built cubbies and desks. A glass door that leads to the living areas creates an airlock entry for energy savings while adding character to transition to the south rooms. The large stone-covered wall with an optional wood stove creates the focal point of the living area that is balanced with an expansive view to the south and the creative staircase on the north.

The U-shaped kitchen features a pantry that takes advantage of the extra storage space beneath the stairs. A nearby door opens to a screened porch off the eating space which is convenient for outdoor dining. The south door off of the dining and living spaces aids flow through outdoor living areas during parties.

The master bedroom also shares the same expansive south view. The two walk-in closets and vanities in two different spaces allows for ease of use by those who like their areas separate. The north window of the master bath helps increase ventilation through the master bedroom.

Second Floor

The east and west bedrooms extend the full length of the home with a central study (optional bedroom) in-between that overlooks the stairs. The large walk-in attic can also become a bedroom, exercise room, entertainment room, etc.


The garage is detached for healthier living and can be located n various places based on the land or lot width. It has space for two vehicles, plus extra space at the south end that may be used as another vehicle space, workshop or greenhouse, with the multitude of southern windows to let in light.

Construction Info

Year-round comfort is maximized with a full concrete slab foundation and a south thermal mass wall that divides the living and sleeping areas. The increased thermal mass with the slab allows for a little more south glass for greater passive solar gain. Floors in south rooms can be covered with stone or tile as well as stained and polished. The 8' high first floor ceilings fit the cozy scale of this practical home. Upstairs ceilings are sloped for character and efficient use of space within the steep roof pitch. The walls are drawn at 6" and can be constructed several ways such as with studs and SIP panels. R-values can be increased with additional exterior insulation described in the Custom Energy Specs.

Modification Ideas

Since adaptations may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.

  • For drives that approach from the west (east if reversed), move the small front stoop to the west side of the entry
  • Attach the garage to the north side with the above entry change
  • Move the laundry to the opposite side of the entry for a direct connection to the master bath, then turn the laundry into an office with French doors that open to the foyer.
  • Thicken the walls to allow for more cavity wall insulation instead of adding extra rigid insulation to the outside walls
Construction Drawings

For this plan, the following are included with Construction Prints and CAD Files:

  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Slab-on-grade Foundation Plan
  • Floor Plans
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
  • Garage Plans
Comments and Photos

After they move in and get the home decorated and landscaped, clients often send photos as well as comments about their house. Thanks Matt for sharing the exterior photos of your home. For interiors, check out photos of other Moorhaus Cottage and the similar Roseburg Cottage designs that are similar in floor plan design. Many Sun Plans designs have a similar feel inside the home.

While we don't have solar, we did install a geothermal unit and a heat pump water tank. Our walls are 2x6 and insulated with cellulose, making it very quiet inside. Our electricity bills are always quite low, especially when compared to houses of similar size. - Matt

I love how the photos show the full sun on the south wall at mid-day around the summer solstice. That helps keep the home cool in summer. - Debbie Coleman