Does the thought of hosting a steady stream of overnight guests in your home leave you feeling exhausted?
Even if you look forward to those visits, they can definitely be disruptive to daily life. And unfortunately, a guest bedroom and shared bathroom down the hall doesn’t offer much privacy for you or them.
If you’re in the market for a new multi-purpose space, think about building a guest house. Sometimes called an in-law suite, a granny flat, or a carriage house, these self-contained accommodations are ideal for short-term or long-term stays, depending on the structure’s integrity.
A guest house, also known as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), is a second, smaller dwelling on a residential property. It doesn’t have to be massive and luxurious to be suitable, cozy, and welcoming. More than a soaker tub or a king-sized bed, your guests are sure to prize the added comfort and privacy a guest suite can offer.
As a noun, ‘dwelling’ can refer to any place that someone takes up residence. However, in most states, there are specific regulations assigned to the term. To be legally considered a dwelling, a structure should typically be equipped with cooking facilities, like a stovetop or oven, a fridge, cupboards, a countertop, and its own bathroom.
Keep in mind that there are ADU zoning ordinances and building codes that are specific to your area. You’ll need to consider these if you’re thinking about building on your property. Beyond that, take special care if you ever intend to use your guest home to turn a profit. It should be equipped with all the amenities needed for the resident to live independently, without ever having to enter the principal residence.
McDermott Remodeling has two contracting offices, located in Belleville, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri. As both states and their various municipalities have their own setbacks and ordinances, we recommend that you research your own city’s restrictions before solidifying your plan, or reach out to our design-build team for more information.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your guest house. Because it is fundamentally different from your primary residence, you can take a lot of stylistic liberties with the design. While you might want your guesthouse’s aesthetic to complement the main structure, there are ways to do this without it building an identical copy.
A rectangular structure is a safe, simple bet for any ADU as it is easily be adapted to any size or layout. For example, you might try a mid-century style flat roof. It’s a fun alternative to gabled roofs, which can appear a little dollhouse-y when built in miniature. However, gabled roofs are perfect if you’re going for that summer cottage look.
With the combination of rectangular structure and flat roof, try this visually appealing twist: use three-quarters of the rectangle for an enclosed sleeping area, and use the remaining space for a shaded patio. Keep it light and airy with vertical posts around the patio instead of a solid wall. It’s like an all-in-one getaway lodge and the perfect compact solution for limited space.
For elegance and some extra shade, try adding a pergola next to your guest house. To fully enjoy the summer breeze, incorporate a set of French or sliding-style doors.
Bring your own personal style into the guest home, or change things up with a completely different look that will wow your guests. You can choose from any number of interior styles, from cozy cabin to sleek and minimal, calming cottage to classical elegance.
For maximum relaxation and convenience, your ADU should include a bed, a bathroom, a storage area like a closet or pantry (or both), and a few chairs to lounge about in. If you have enough room, you can add a couch or a desk to give it hotel-suite-like vibe. But don’t feel that you have to limit it to just these options. Let your imagination run wild!
Here are a few more ideas: a reading nook, an entertainment center, a spa bathroom with a steam shower or soaking tub, an in-suite sauna – or anything else that strikes your fancy. Having a full-service kitchen in your guest house isn’t critical if your visitors are only staying short-term. If that’s the case, a minifridge, a coffee maker, and a microwave will probably do the trick.
When you’re ready to start thinking about a guest house or accessory dwelling unit, we’re here to help! Let the design-build team at McDermott take care of the details so you can enjoy the result. Connect with us today, and let’s get started.