“Shawn Dehner of THE small HOUSE CATALOG has sent us photos of the recently completed Beekeeper’s Bungalow, named for his beekeeping wife Jamie. Shawn and Jamie built the cottage themselves, doing all the work other than the concrete foundation and roof shingling.
Being a bungalow, the floor plan is set up for single-level living with a ground floor bedroom and bathroom. As such, the design supports aging in place. However there is also an attic bedroom large enough to be shared by two or three small children, making it a viable plan for young families as well. The centrally-located stair divides the upper level into two areas, allowing part of it to be used for a separate sitting room, home office, nursery, etc.
The cottage features handcrafted details inside and out. The exterior is dressed up with brackets supporting the roof eaves, and there are Doric-style columns on the front porch. The galley kitchen, the stairs and the hearth for the propane stove were all site-built from solid wood by Shawn and Jamie. They also handmade the interior doors from solid wood then added salvaged hardware to complete the traditional look.
The ground floor is 576 ft2 (53.5 m2) and the upper floor is a bit less. However with the low ceiling areas where the roof comes down to the upstairs floor, the property tax assessor deems it to have a total of just 765 ft2 (71.1 m2). The usable floor space looks quite a bit larger than that though, so it seems that there may be tax advantages to building a one-and-a-half story design in some jurisdictions. If the floor area is the primary means of assessing property taxes, it may be worth finding out exactly how the taxable floor area is calculated before commencing a new build.”