Some Tiny House Blog readers might remember the backyard guesthouse project I was working on last fall. Well, the Tiny Guesthouse Challenge is complete and my mother’s backyard guesthouse now has a new bathroom and a few other additions. A 5 foot by 7 foot addition was added onto the existing building by a local builder who lives right up the street. The bathroom contains a shower, sink and cabinet, and a low-flow toilet.
We bit the bullet and decided to have a 300 gallon septic tank and leach field put in behind the house. We do not have any neighbors or facilities within 5 miles from the back of the house and the property is adjacent to a county wilderness area. The water for the shower and sinks was run from our pump house, which is right next door to the guest house. Because the addition was so small, and we live in an unincorporated area, we did not need to get a permit.
The sink and cabinet were custom made by a local cabinet maker, and I was able to get the slate tiles for free from a man up the street who used to own a tile shop. Our builder’s partner was able to procure me a 7-gallon hot water heater from an RV he was renovating and a free mirror from a torn down house. Another neighbor was hired to put in new double pane windows. I also had a cement patio built in front of the house and will have a back deck constructed this winter. I purchased the outdoor table and chair from Craigslist.
The home now has a small kitchenette by Avanti that contains a dorm-sized refrigerator, some storage space, a two-burner stove and a sink. The gray water from the sink currently runs out to the side of the house, but I will put in a high-desert garden next to the house to use that water.
The furniture was purchased from IKEA. There is a small dining table and three folding chairs, a wardrobe, a small couch that folds out to a queen sized bed, some kitchen shelves and a new rug. The curtains and footstool came from Target.
The approximate cost for all the labor, materials, machinery and new furniture came to about $8,000. The building is now fully functional as a full-time living space and we are interested in putting it on Airbnb as a vacation rental. I have already had a few people interested in renting the house as a silent retreat space, but I’m hoping to have the garden and some landscaping in before that.
Photos by Christina Nellemann