What To Know Before Designing Your Custom Cottage

Since 2010, CottageClub has been a thriving, family-oriented, recreation-based community near Calgary, Alberta and it is easy to see why so many people love living there. The breathtaking mountain views, the private access to Ghost Lake, the extensive trail system, the amazing amenities, and the abundance of open space to explore. This fantastic community has it all!

One of the most unique aspects of CottageClub, though, are the cottages themselves. These charming, western alpine-styled, one-of-a-kind homes promote the long-standing cottage tradition of Canada. The developers of CottageClub sought to create a harmonious, attractive, and desirable neighborhood for its residents to enjoy and have been able to do so through carefully considered architectural guidelines that each cottage must follow.

If you are thinking about building a home at CottageClub it is important to be aware of these guidelines and what they could mean for the design of your new home. That’s why today we are diving into a few of the essential things to keep in mind before designing your custom cottage.

How Big Is Too Big?

One of the most misunderstood architectural guidelines of the community is the limitation on how big of a home you can build. How big of a cottage is too big? In sum all cottages must have a maximum interior square footage of 603 sq/ft on the main floor and a maximum total interior square footage of 950 sq/ft above grade. Every home within CottageClub must follows these size requirements, which can make the design of a new home tricky. However, we find that there are three types of layouts that generally work well for new cottages.

1. Bungalow

The first type of home to consider is a single-story bungalow. The square footage of this type of a home is still limited by the same guidelines, so the maximum size for the main floor is 603 sq/ft. However, its limited square footage also makes it the most economical option for those considering building a new home at CottageClub.

A perfect example of a single-story bungalow is the Barnsdale, which fits a living area, modest dining area, kitchen, bedroom, and a full bathroom all onto the main floor.

The single-story bungalow is a great option for individuals or couples who are looking for a cozy home or weekend getaway and for empty-nesters or retirees who are planning for the future.

2. Two-Story

Upon driving through CottageClub, one of the most common types of homes you will see are two-story cottages. With this type of cottage, you will typically find a living area, dining room, kitchen, and half-bath on the main floor. Upstairs there is generally either one large bedroom with its own ensuite and walk-in closet or two smaller bedrooms with a shared bathroom.

A good example of a two-story cottage is the Birchwood, which has a square footage of 550 sq/ft on the main floor and 332 sq/ft on the upper floor.

The two-story layout is a great option for those looking to capitalize on views of the lake or mountains from both the main and upper floors. It also provides the opportunity to design a main floor with an open-to-above and two-story windows, making it feel much more open and spacious throughout.

3. Split-Bungalow

Last, but certainly not least, a type of home gaining a lot of traction with those building at CottageClub is the split-bungalow design and it is no surprise why! This creative spin on a traditional two-story layout still follows the same square footage restrictions, but the main and upper floors are separated by just a few steps, giving those who are interested in a bungalow-styled home much more space for both their common living areas and bedroom.

A great example of the split-bungalow is the Clearwater, which fits a generously sized kitchen, living area, dining room and a shared bathroom all onto the “main floor” and a flex room along with a primary bedroom (complete with its own ensuite and walk-in closet) onto the “upper floor”.

One thing to note is that because of the expanded footprint of the split-bungalow design, this type of home is generally the most expensive type to build. However, if you are looking to maximize the potential square footage of your new cottage, you may want to consider a split-bungalow design.

Need More Space? No Problem.

For some, these size limitations may seem a bit daunting. However, there a few methods commonly used in the design that will give you a few extra square feet of living space for your new cottage.

The first method is to expand the basement underneath the main floor decks. A standard-sized basement can typically fit one bedroom, one full bathroom and a modest common area into the layout. However, this option to expand the basement under the main floor decks can give you the space you need to fit one or two additional bedrooms into the basement as well, which is great for those looking for some extra space for family or guests.

Another way to gain a bit more space in the design for your new home is to build an accessory building. Accessory buildings (such as a shed or garage) are totally optional but they can be a great place to store vehicles or other personal items. Many people choose to also design a loft space above the garage, which can be a great place for an office or for visiting guests. As with the cottage, though, there are size restrictions to keep in mind for the accessory building. The main floor of the accessory building can only be a maximum of 400 interior square feet and the total interior square footage can only be a maximum of 650 sq/ft.

Design Made Simple

The size requirements are just one aspect of the architectural guidelines at CottageClub to be aware of, but they are essential to keep in mind when designing your new home. That being said, knowing how to make those size requirements work for you and your new cottage can also be a challenge.

Looking for ideas, but don’t know where to start? Our Portfolio or CottageClub’s Cottage Ideas Page can be wonderful sources of inspiration as you begin your journey of discovering what size and type of home will work best for you!

Another great option is to custom design your new cottage. One of the best parts about designing a custom cottage is that it is… well… custom! This means that you get to create a layout for your home that is right for you, your lot, and your lifestyle.

We do this by first taking an in-depth look at your preferences for your new home and coming up with some initial layout ideas. We will also present you with a preliminary cost estimate so you can make informed decisions about the design along the way. Once the general design and layout have been fine-tuned, we will work with a draftsperson to create floor plans and exterior elevations and construction drawings for your new cottage. Yes, designing a custom cottage can really be that simple!

About Us

Ready to bring your new cottage to life? Braemyn Homes has served the CottageClub community since 2015, designing and building beautiful custom cottages for our clients. From concept to completion, our clients can expect the highest standard of excellence delivered with exceptional craftsmanship and superb customer care. Call us at (403) 606-2923 or fill out our contact form to see how we can help you make your dream cottage happen.

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