Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Picture of Small Sun-Filled Cottage


Square Footage

Total Above-ground living area 1741
  Main Level 1296
  Upper Level 445
Lower level living area  
The dimensions shown are for the house only (indicating the smallest area needed to build). They do not include the garage, porches, or decks, unless they are an integral part of the design.
36 W x 36 D


Above-ground bedrooms 2
Above-ground bathrooms 2.5
Master suite
Lower-level bedrooms 0
Lower-level bathrooms 0


Stories 2
Parking garage
Number of stalls 2
House height    
Traditionally, the overall height of a house is determined by measuring from the top of the finished floor on the main level, to the highest peak of the roof.
Ceiling heights    
Raising or lowering the height of the ceilings on one or more floors of a house is often a simple change that can be made by your builder. However, if you want to raise the ceiling of the main floor of a two-story home, there has to be room to add steps to the existing staircase.
  Main level 8
Vaulted ceilings    
We consider a room to be vaulted if the ceiling - whether flat, angled, or curved - is above 10 feet at its highest point. If you prefer that one or more rooms not be vaulted in your new home, this is a very simple change that your builder can make for you.


LR = Living Room/Great Room
DR = Dining Room
FAM = Family Room
FOY = Foyer
STU = Study/Library/Den
KIT = Kitchen
SUN = Sunroom
MBR = Master Bedroom
MB = Master Bath
LOF = Loft
OFF = Office/Guest Room
REC = Recreation/Game Room
ALL = Entire Level
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Main Level Floor Plans For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Main Level Floor Plans For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Upper Level Floor Plans For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Upper Level Floor Plans For Small Sun-Filled Cottage
Picture 1 of Small Sun-Filled Cottage
Picture 2 of Small Sun-Filled Cottage

This unique 2–bedroom home features an atrium in the center of the house. Using the operable windows at the top (or a small fan), hot air is literally sucked up and out of the house on hot days, which can dramatically lower your electrical bills in the summer. The atrium also allows natural light to pour into the center of the house. The outline of the house is a perfect square (36' on a side), and the roof is a fairly simple to construct hipped design, so this house can be quite inexpensive to build. It can be a passive solar house if it faces northwest.

A 12'–wide screened porch and open deck runs from the front to the rear of the house, and the covered front porch is also quite large, so this home was clearly designed for a family that likes to spend a lot of time outdoors. As you approach the house, the roof over the front porch is supported by four 10" tapered columns. The porch is 8' deep and 24' wide, so there's plenty of room for furniture.

As you step into the foyer, there's a powder room on the left, and a little further into the house, a coat closet on the right. Across from the closet a wide door opens to a large laundry room that provides access to the garage (garage details appear below). When you reach the center atrium area there's one hall that leads to the master suite and another that passes the kitchen on the way to the living spaces of the house.

The kitchen has a pair of windows that bump out slightly to accommodate a lovely window box. The sinks are located beneath the windows, which look out to the front porch. There's a good–sized pantry, plenty of counter space and cabinets, and a peninsula counter between the kitchen and the dining area with a raised bar for casual dining and/or serving. The living room, dining room, and the sunroom all sit below a ceiling that vaults all the way to the hipped roof. The dining room has views to the front and side, and a wide glass door opens to a screened porch – making outdoor dining or entertaining easy. A door on the porch opens to a wide deck that runs to the rear wall of the house.

The living room has windows along one wall that look out to the deck and the views beyond. Next to it is a sunroom that is wrapped with windows on two walls. This room also has a wide glass door that opens to the screened side deck. The original homeowners wanted a wood–burning stove in the sunroom so that they could use it even on cold days and nights.

Just beyond the stairs to the upper level there's a door that opens to the master suite. On the right there's a deep linen closet, while across from it double doors open to a walk–in closet. The master bedroom enjoys views to the rear of the house through a trio of windows that fill the far wall. The bath area has two vanities, both a soaking tub and a separate shower, another linen closet built under the stairs, and views to the rear.

The stairs are positioned inside the atrium space, which pops up above the roofline, filling the stairway with light during the day. There are eight 36"x30" windows in the atrium – three facing the rear, three to the right side, and one each facing the front and left side. You have the option of having these windows be operable, or installing a fan in the single window facing the side. At the top of the stairs, a door on the right opens to bedroom 2. This room has a view to the rear, a walk–in closet, and a door in the closet that opens to eave storage. There's a study across from the stairs that can be enclosed with a pair of French pocket doors, or left open. And there's a full bath that you enter after passing a railing that looks down into the center of the house as well as the living room.

Garage Option
The detached garage can house two vehicles and a workshop space, or it can be modified for a third car or tractor. It could even be attached via the laundry room if the layout of the land allowed, and if the master closet window could be sacrificed.

Construction Info
The first floor has 8' ceilings. They can be raised by your builder, but an additional foot in height will require adding two risers (stairs), which will reduce the cabinets in the living area by 10".

Modification Ideas
Place a large second floor bath in the study area and turn the bath area into a study overlooking the great room and atrium.

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Front Elevation For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Front Elevation For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Rear Elevation For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Rear Elevation For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Side 1 Elevation For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Side 1 Elevation For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Side 2 Elevation For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Side 2 Elevation For Small Sun-Filled Cottage

Brief Description

This unique cottage features a clerestory atrium that allows sunlight to flood into the center of the house, while providing a natural cooling system through its operable windows. It is designed to have either two bedrooms with a sunroom, or three bedrooms. It features a wide front porch, and a 12′-deep porch connected to a screened porch that runs along the entire side of the house. All the living spaces have vaulted ceilings that follow the roofline.

Select One Plan Set Option


5 Set Package:

Printed on Bond paper; may be modified, but not duplicated


Printed on Mylar; may be modified right on the plans, which can then be duplicated locally. Includes extra copy printed on Bond paper


Highly Recommended
By far the most popular option! Instant, cost-free delivery via email; can be emailed to builder(s) and others; comes with license to modify & duplicate


For use by design professionals to make substantial changes; may be printed locally after modifications are made; cost-free delivery via email
Clear selection

Select Optional Add-ons


Sometimes the house you want will only work on your property if it is built in the reverse of the original design. The plans for this particular design can be reversed by the architect, with right-reading (not mirror-reverse) words and measurements. The fee will only be added to your original order. If you wish to order more reverse copies of the plans later, please call us toll-free at 1-888-388-5735.


If you need more than 5 sets, you can add them to your initial order, or order them (by phone) at a later date.

This option is only available to folks ordering the 5-Set Package.

$50 each

Often views or site characteristics make it either advantageous or necessary to build a house in the reverse of the way the plans were originally drawn. When reversed, the front of the house continues to face in the same direction, but rooms that were on the right side of the house as you face it will now be on the left, and vice versa. The lettering and numbers will appear as they would if you held the plans up to a mirror, but this will not present a problem for your builders, as they are quite familiar with this process.

We recommend that your order include both right-reading and mirror-reverse copies, since permit officials and lenders will need to see a right-reading version. There is a one-time cost of $50 to reverse the plans, whether you buy them all in your initial purchase, or a follow up order. The number you will need of each version is something your builder should advise you on.

Please note: If a right-reading reverse version of the plans is offered, this is definitely the version you should purchase, whether you're interested in bonds, vellums, or electronic files (when available).

SKU: DC-018
Or order by phone by calling 888-388-5735

Debra Coleman – Passive Solar Architect

To learn about this architect or firm, and/or to view all of their other plans, just click on the name above.

Plan ID #


Click on any item below to see full explanation

  • What is bond paper?

    Bond paper

    Printers stopped using blue ink many years ago - it was very difficult to read, and the fumes were dangerous to inhale. So what we used to refer to as blueprints are now called bond copies (black ink printed on white bond paper).
  • 5-Set Construction or Bid Set

    5-Set Construction or Bid Set

    If you are building in an area that requires very few copies to construct a house, all you might need is the 5-Set Package. It's also best for folks wanting either a quick bid process, or bids from more than one builder. In either case, you can always purchase more bond copies later on if you need them, or upgrade to a Mylar, PDF or CAD version (your original cost will be deducted from the price of the upgrade). Bond copies cannot be duplicated, but they come with a formal Copyright License that gives you the legal right to construct the house, and to modify the plans beforehand to suit your needs. If allowed in your area, modifications can be "marked up" (some people refer it as "red-lining") right on the plans.
  • What is mylar?


    Vellum paper is no longer being manufactured, so we've switched to a vastly superior product called Mylar. These semi-transparent sheets are actually a thin-film composite that was designed for plan modification, using a simple electric eraser. The ink that is printed on them sits on the surface (instead of sinking into a coated vellum sheet), so lines and dimensions can be erased and redrawn quite easily by any design professional.
  • Plans printed on Mylar

    Plans printed on Mylar

    If you - like the vast majority of our other customers - intend to modify the plans before construction, and you are building in an area where plans can't simply be "marked up" with a red pen, the Mylar copy is definitely what you should order (unless of course you prefer the PDF version). After the changes have been made to this "master" copy, you or your builder can then print as many copies as you need, whenever you need them, on regular bond paper. That way everyone - you, your builder, his or her subcontractors, local permit officials, and your lender - will have the final version of the plans to work with. Even though they cost a bit more initially, they will definitely save you time and money later on. Mylar copies come with a formal Copyright Release giving you the legal right to modify them in any way you wish, and to make as many copies of the plans as you need to successfully build one house. Mylar copies are shipped with a free bond copy of the plans, so that you have something to look over and mark up before making final decisions about the changes you want made to the "master" set.
  • What are PDF electronic files?

    PDF electronic files

    The acronym PDF stands for Portable Document Format. These are electronic files that can be emailed from computer to computer. You can open them on your own computer as well as email them to others, and the Copyright Release you receive with them allows you to make as many copies as you need before and after modifications are made.
  • Plans in PDF format

    Plans in PDF format

    THE most popular way to purchase plans these days is in PDF format. It's no more expensive than the Mylar version, plus you save $30 in shipping fees because the plans are emailed to you. But the biggest reason why they're so popular is because they can be passed along to others via email. The builder can zip them to their sub-contractors, truss manufacturers, and (if needed) an engineer; you can open them on your own computer to view at your home or office; and you can zip them to your builder (or builders), lender, and anyone needing to approve the plans before construction. If you'd still like to make modifications on Mylar sheets, your Copyright Release allows you (or your builder) to do this locally, and you'll only need to print a handful of the most important sheets.
  • What are CAD files?

    CAD files

    The acronym CAD stands for Computer-Aided Design. Design software from AutoCAD and numerous other companies - ArchiCAD, SoftPlan, VectorWorks, etc. - is used to draw plans in a format (DWG - short for drawing) that can be easily manipulated and modified on a computer. This can speed up the process of modification dramatically - for example, a change in one part of the plans creates an automatic change throughout the drawings -- potentially saving the person making the changes quite a bit of time, and thus saving you quite a bit of money!
  • Plans in CAD format

    Plans in CAD format

    Plans purchased in this electronic format are emailed, so you get them right away, and there's no shipping fee. Like the Mylar and PDF options, these plans come with a formal Copyright Release giving you the legal right to modify them in any way you wish, and to make as many copies of the plans as you need to successfully build one house. If the changes you wish to make to our plans are rather extensive, or structural in nature (including changing exterior wall systems), purchasing the plans in CAD format will almost certainly be your best option. Design professionals charge by the hour, and making changes to electronic files is much faster and easier than erasing and redrawing lines and dimensions on a Mylar copy. So purchasing an electronic version of the plans can save you both time and money. The files you receive will provide the drawings in at least two formats: .DWG files that will enable the person modifying your plans to do so using AutoCAD software (the standard for the entire construction and engineering communities); and .PDF files that will enable you to view the plans on your home or office computer. If the plans were originally drawn with a design software program other than AutoCAD (eg. SoftPlan, ArchiCAD, VectorWorks, etc.), this will be noted at the end of the Description of this house, and the email will include these files along with the .DWG and .PDF formats.

We highly recommend that you click on two boxes – the number of bedrooms you know you need, and one less bedroom. For example, if you need 4 bedrooms, click on the boxes next to 4 and next to 3. Otherwise you will not see homes where existing rooms on the lower, main, or upper levels might work perfectly well as a bedroom instead of as an office, study, etc.