Can I build a cottage in my backyard?

A backyard cottage, is a great way to add space to your home. Before you decide to start building a DADU, there are a few things you’ll need to know to determine if you can build on your property. You can find more details about Seattle’s laws regarding backyard cottages here but here’s a quick list of things to consider:

  1. Are you in an area that’s zoned for DADUs? You can read more about zoning for DADU’s here.  
  2. What is your lot size? The minimum lot size required for a DADU is 3,200 square feet in single-family zones. Your lot’s width and depth must also be over 25×70 feet. 
  3. How much of your lot will your DADU cover? DADU’s can be 1,000 square feet. They are allowed to cover up to 35% of your property. 

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How do I start building my backyard cottage?

Before you start building your backyard cottage, it’s important to know what you want the space to accomplish. At HD Seattle, we work with clients to help prioritize their needs and wants so that we can create a fully-customized DADU that meets both your needs and wants. To help us do this, we ask a lot of questions upfront. Here are some questions to help you get started: 

1. What do you want to use the space for?

Are you hoping to add extra income by creating a rental unit? Do you have an aging parent you’d like to accommodate? Do you work from home and need an office or studio space? 

2. What’s your budget?

When you know your budget upfront, you can make decisions about where to invest your money in the project, so you get the space you want without breaking the bank. At HD Seattle, we use this method, called value engineering, to help our clients get the space they want, without breaking the bank. 

3. What’s your timeline?

Backyard cottages aren’t built overnight. Designing your custom space takes between 1-3 months, permits can take 3-6 months, and the build time can be between 6-9 months. At HD Seattle we put relationships first, which means we communicate clearly and frequently with our clients to make sure they are always up-to-date on where the project is at. We pride ourselves in sticking to timelines so that your backyard cottage is finished on time and on budget.

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