Haggerty Hill – Guesthouse Ground-up Construction
new building projectsApril 4 2017
The owners bought the 15-acre parcel with the intention of building a 4000 square foot main house and a 900 square foot guest cottage, but decided to build the guest cottage first so as to shorten the timeline before they could start enjoying their property. This created an interesting design challenge: to master plan the entire site and build the infrastructure for the whole property. This involved determining the best site for the (yet non-existent) main house and then determining a secondary site suitable for the guest cottage and then putting in a driveway, electric service, a well, a buried 1000-gallon propane tank and generator to serve both buildings. Careful attention was paid to keeping the guest cottage subordinate to the main house. Lasers were used to ensure the front door of the guest cottage was lower than that of the main house and to determine how to put parking behind a rock outcropping so as to hide cars from view. A complex soil and fill plan was implemented to use excess soil produced by the septic field to fill in a swale near the guest cottage so as to avoid costly carting of soil off the property.
As for the cottage itself, code requires that an “detached accessory dwelling” be no bigger than 900 square feet. But since the family of four planned on living in the guest cottage for as long as two years before the main house was done, there was an importance to create a the greatest feeling of space possible. Though only on a 30-foot square footprint, the steep roof creates a 25-foot cathedral ceiling that gives a feeling of vastness. An austere front facade was designed for maximum privacy from the main house and huge bays of windows facing the back give the house an openness and airiness that is not expected as you walk through the solid ash front door. To make the space seem bigger and brighter, interiors are largely monochromatic, with white walls, trim, tile and cabinetry and a whitewashed oak floor. Exposed wood collar ties, an ash front door and a leather bench make for the subtlest splashes of color in the white space.