Heading into September we continue to be bowled over by the interest in coach houses and tiny houses. They are so obviously striking a chord with so many of you!
The options for creating income generation, expanding home living space, establishing a studio/home office, or providing an in-law suite right within the grounds of your existing home all appeal.
In-law suite or extended family living
Creating an in-law suite for a parent or parents who can enjoy their own space but also be more readily supported is very appealing. The same is true for an adult child or family member who may need the benefit of close proximity to supporting family members.
Everyone gets their own space, but access couldn’t be easier and the cost has a lot to recommend it.
Did you know that some of our coach house models come with an extra bedroom or den? These bonus rooms truly make these coach houses worth considering.
Taking advantage of the coach house regulations in Ottawa to build a small, dedicated space for a home office has so much to recommend it.
An art or music studio/recording space are additional related uses. Our two-storey model with a three-car garage would make a fabulous workshop for any auto enthusiast.
With a separate entrance and dedicated space, you’ll increase your ability to concentrate, avoid interruption, and – of course – the professional impression for any visitors.
You’ll also retain the flexibility to use the space in other ways in future.
Airbnb or other income generating unit
If your primary residence isn’t suited to an income generating unit, but your lot meets the City of Ottawa’s coach house requirements, you could consider a low-cost coach house.
A dedicated unit with a completely separate entrance will also allow you to continue to enjoy full privacy within your main residence.
Find out more
Eager to learn more? Make sure you check out these essential resources:
After a month of intense activity at some great shows where we met a lot of great folks, it’s time to get back to the topics that you’ve asked to hear more about. Chief among those is coach homes and tiny homes, and there is definitely an intersection between our energy efficient coach house plans and anyone interested in living small.
Many of you have already familiarized yourselves with the essentials of our coach house offering, so in this post we’re enhancing that information for those of you who are clearly entertaining the notion of building to this scale. Here are the questions we get most frequently:
Are the plans customizable?
EkoBuilt’s Mooneys Pad tiny house plan
Indeed they are! While we currently offer 8 coach house plans, we can modify any of them or create new plans from scratch.
We are a complete design/build firm and love the challenge of finding the best design for each client’s particular needs and preferences.
What can I build on my property?
This is definitely a question for a City of Ottawa development officer, reachable at 613-580-2424. A call to the City will help to clarify any specific limitations or considerations for your property. We can also help with interpreting the information you receive from the City, as we deal with this regularly.
How do your costs compare?
EkoBuilt’s costs appear to be approximately 10 – 12% higher than some of our competition, which results in an additional $20,000 on average by project. But consider this:
Building codes are becoming stricter every year and adopting the most energy efficient build that you can afford now is well worth it. It’s wise to protect your coach house investment by building to the passive house standard in order to keep pace with changing codes (in fact, you’ll stay ahead of codes and recoup your costs and more over time).
EkoBuilt is quite unique in its approach and can work with you to build to the standard that best fits your current budget while protecting your investment for the long run.
Solar panels can be used for additional economic benefit, offsetting Hydro bills, but they are not required. In our design and construction we are mainly focused on saving money through a focus on super energy efficiency.
For those interested in solar panels, one of the greatest benefits of our coach homes is they are easily net zero (able to produce as much energy as they use) which results in a complete offset of your utility bills. An approximate $10,000 investment in solar panels is a good baseline.
Ottawa Coach House Essentials
Make sure you review everything in our Coach House section, and please reach out to us if you’re thinking about:
simply living small
a home office or home studio
a secondary dwelling
an in-law suite
a rental unit / Air B&B
We can help you to consider all of the angles and to come up with the smartest plan for you.
Please note: as of March 2019 base pricing for coach house plans and basic shell installation have increased. The cost scenarios here will be affected in terms of total pricing as a result.
We have been receiving a tremendous amount of interest in our Coach House offering for the 2018 build season. We thought it would be appropriate to talk about future possibilities for everyone we haven’t heard from yet.
The new coach house regulations in Ottawa create a great opportunity for additional income in the form of a rental property and potentially even more income from an Airbnb format. It can also make for an economical in-law suite or starter home for a son or daughter.
Unlike most builders out in the marketplace, EkoBuilt is focused on building a style of home that is future-proof, something that will actually appreciate over time. Most builders design to today’s building code, and the real problem with this approach is that codes are starting to change dramatically.
This means that a home built to code standard today will be sub-standard come the next code change just four years from now.
Current building code is solid from a safety perspective, but the energy efficiency of most homes built to this code has not kept pace with drastically rising utility costs.
It doesn’t cost much extra to build ahead of code, so why not build to the future code standard? This is our approach and it just makes sense for anything truly designed to be a 21st century home.
To help in showing how possible it is to build to future code, we have prepared a cost analysis documentation for a couple of our designs.
Cost Analysis: Tiny Canuck
Tiny Canuck 499 sq.ft.
Size: 1 bedroom, 499 sq.ft.
Finished for $132,375:
that’s a $694 mortgage payment
rental $1250+ (including utilities), that’s a 56% ROI, beats the stock market.
Including utilities would make these units really attractive to anyone in the market. Since the homes are ‘future proof’, they can be heated and cooled inexpensively with electricity (no gas/propane) which will be the fuel of the future.
Alternatively, if a coach house is built to current code standards, your mortgage rates may be slightly less (5%) but with substantially higher utilities, overall cost of living would be more expensive.
Coach House Plans: CodePlus & Passive House
Make sure you visit our Coach House Plans page and review the kit pricing for our coach house plans based on CodePlus and on the Passive House standard. Questions? We’d be happy to answer them!
The Ottawa Home and Remodeling Show 2017 Coach House Village was a huge success and we were pleased to be a part. We were blown away with the amount of interest, from the general public as well as the Ottawa Citizen, CBC and CTV (the latter both broadcast from the Coach House pavilion).
We are attracted to the new Ottawa Coach House regulations because intensification of the city is an amazing example of sustainability! We heard lots of great ideas from visitors to our booth who are exploring putting a coach house on their property for the following kinds of reasons:
Granny or in-law suite: save $2-3k per month moving from a $3000 – $4000 monthly payment (retirement home) to a $1000 / month coach house
Rental unit: homeowners could make 12 to 15% return on investment per year (no more stock market speculation!)
Starter home: alternative for kids moving out or starting families instead of moving into an expensive apartment or condo
Air B&B: for those homeowner entrepreneurs out there
Apart from urban Coach House interest, there were also a number of visitors interested in tiny house communities run like a condominium and with a shared access road. There were retirees looking to truly downsize and those just looking to start small.
Listening to all these ideas was very energizing and inspiring and we look forward to seeing where the Ottawa Coach House trend will take us.