The Beach-Shack-Turned-Fancy-House Plans: Decisions!

8:41 AM Katy 8 Comments

I scrutinized different house plans based on using my footprint the most efficiently, and what would cost the least amount of cash. Originally I wanted to use a house plan from Tumbleweed. I had several reasons for this, including:
#1. It was one of the few house plans I could find that was tiny enough (sq footage)
#2. The footprints were small enough. (This is NOT the same thing as tiny sq footage! This is an important distinction & really constrained my project big time.)
#3. The architecture is super cute
#4. The plans were cheap and I wanted to avoid having to hire an architect.

Now here are the reasons why this did not work out:

#1. The plans call for the ceiling height on the second floor to be too low. Building codes don't allow for this in my location. So the plans need to be altered anyway. Plus the building department requires drainage plans and engineering calculations to be submitted with the house plans. Plus FEMA requires that I build on a very high and deep foundation in this area.
#3. The floor plans are actually not the best use of space in my situation, since I need the staircase to take up less space, I need to cram 2 toilets into the house, and I am not a fan of being able to brush my teeth over the sink while sitting on the toilet.

So I was considering that Cottage Company in North Carolina, since they had floor plans that would work better, and they could deliver it to my coastal location.

This is their Slant model, which is what I based my original cost estimates on. (Plus the FEMA foundation)

They seem like a friendly, awesome group of guys and I would love to have gone that route. I can't say enough about them - if you live in North Carolina and want a tiny house, give them a call! But once we tried to work out all of the logistics of pulling permits with out-of-state companies & this very uncooperative building department, things started to look bleak.

So I had to hire an architect, design the house to fit my needs, and hire a local contractor to put up the shell. There's simply no way around it this time.

I know, I know. From the way that I had a flipping meltdown on my blog over this, you'd think he designed the palace of Versailles instead of the shack I asked for. It wasn't a big exaggeration in my eyes though. This is still a tiny house, but it is much more expensive than the Compact Cottage company's design.

And then he sent me this second option, which is even more expensive:

and although it is more square footage and even more fabulous, I will not be doing it. I want to build a house before the next century, and this one is a bridge too far.

Anyway. This is my long-winded explanation of how I got to this point. My meeting with the architect is this weekend, so hopefully I will have finished house plans to share very soon!

You Might Also Like


  1. I am truly excited for you. I can hardly wait to see your final plans! You will have to sit down with a bottle of cheers and celebrate very soon!

  2. i totally get why you've taken the path you have. those kind of setbacks can be frustrating, but i hope you hang in there. i can't wait to see what you decide on!

  3. I think the one you settled on (for now. . .) is lovely.

  4. Good luck with any architect. We fired ours after 7 designs of houses HE wanted to build and a lot of our $. So we designed our own house and then worked with a local structural engineer to ensure it was buildable and would pass county requirements. It was a huge cost savings and he was fantastic to work with because he wasn't concerned with expanding his "portfolio". Stick to your guns and get the house YOU want, not one to adorn his website and feature at his next conference on your nickel.

  5. Good luck! Can't wait to hear more about the final design! = ) LOVE that little cottage at the top. So cute.

  6. How is that you tell the architect one thing and he designs another... I truly that the third time is a charm and you finally get what you are after! Stick to you guns and remember you are the client!
    Go girl and I can't wait to see what you get!
    dee dee

  7. so, maybe a pendant that says "Because Beach House"?!! (still have "One False Move and You Have a Horse" on the burner for you.) looking forward to what happens next.

  8. Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks
    I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you
    have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this
    web site.


Welcome to my three ring circus. thanks for stopping by!