Katrina Cottages

by Kent Griswold on July 1st, 2008. 27 Comments
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The Katrina Cottage has been a favorite of mine for sometime but somehow I have not highlighted it here at the Tiny House Blog.

Originally designed as a dignified alternative to the FEMA trailer, the Katrina Cottage has evolved into a nationwide sensation that is finding popularity as affordable housing, guesthouses, resorts and camps. Marianne Cusato and a team of designer have partnered with Lowes to bring the Katrina Cottages to market as plans and material packages. Cottages in the Lowes series range from 308 ft. up to 1800 sq. ft. Several of the cottages have grow options that allow the smaller cottages to be expanded over time.

Katrina II

The Katrina Cottage was the idea of Andres Duany, first developed at the Mississippi Renewal Forum in October 2005. The premise of the Katrina Cottage is to create a house that is safe, affordable and can be built quickly – yet at the same time looks nice. Katrina Cottage 1 debuted at the 2006 International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida.

There are several sites dedicated to the Katrina Cottage:

  1. The New Urban Guild and Katrina Cottages sites provide plans and access to manufacturers.
  2. Cusato Cottages: provides materials packages and plans by a variety of designers and architects with Lowes.
  3. Unabridged Architecture: provides modernist design.
  4. Katrina Cottage Group: website features Cottage Square, a parcel in Ocean Springs, MS that displays built models.
  5. Lowes: Material packages for constructing a variety of Katrina Cottage designs by several architects and designers.
  6. Moser Design Group

Katrina I

Katrina I Floor Plan


Living Room

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July 1st, 2008and filed in Stick Built
Tags: Stick Built

27 Responses to “Katrina Cottages”

  1. Jill & Mike says:

    What is the cost to owner-build the Karina I?
    I only find the cost for the plans, what about materials?

  2. Kent says:

    Hi Jill & Mike,

    Per the Cusato Cottage site:

    Prices for materials packages average $55 a square foot, but specific prices will vary by region. Visit the Commercial Sales Desk at your local Lowe’s for specific pricing of Katrina Cottage packages in your area. When you purchase a full materials package from Lowe’s, you will recieve a rebate for the $700, the price of the plans.

    Hope that helps!


  3. doctorj says:

    I see a number of these on the MS Gulf Coast, but not in LA. (The feds only gave the grants to MS.)

  4. Pat says:

    take a look at http://www.parkmodelauctions.com for plans on units with 400sq ft of living space PLUS LOFT space. great 2nd / vacations homes. Pat

  5. Bonnie Oulla says:

    I want to purchase the Katrina Cottage model 888, but can’t seem to find a photo. Do you know if that model has ever actually ever been constructed?

    • Kent Griswold says:

      Hi Bonnie – I did a search also and could not find any photos of the exact model. My guess is it has not been built yet and if it has there are no photos on the internet…Kent

  6. betty says:


    • Kent Griswold says:

      Hi Betty – I have no idea as I live in California. If you could find out it would be wonderful if you would let me know…Kent

  7. Lauren says:

    What is Rigid Foam Insulation and How is it Used ?

  8. emouse says:

    I want to know about Rigid Foam Insulation too.

    Reason being I am chemically sensitive and cannot endure off gassing from a lot of modern products.

    I did google and found out Rigid Foam Insulation does have chemicals that depleat the ozone. So maybe it would bother me.

    Here’s the url…


  9. emouse says:

    One last comment. For what it is worth, I am looking to build a small home for cost considerations.

    But also because I’m concerned about buying a home that may have been used for a meth lab. And it is very costly to get quality testing done on a home to find out.

    Anyone else ever had that same concern?

  10. my son was here when katrina hit the ocean springs area and he never recieved any kind of housing but he does have a fema number. can he still have or buy a cottage?

  11. I have tried to find out how a person could purchase a Fema cottage. Please let me know if this is possible. Thank you. Nitha Johmnson

    • Kevin Shea says:

      People that received these were not allowed to sell them till 3/11/11. That was part of the deal they signed with MEMA. As well as required ins. and ect. ect.
      There is info floating around the Internet that they are going auction off 175 used units on June 1 2011.
      Me I would look in to that and I saw 1 on craigslist for 15,000.
      Good luck

      • StevieSmith says:

        hey can you tell me where on craiglist you saw that cottage for 15,000 me and my boyfriend are in the market for one! Where did you get your information about the 175 unit auction and where can I find more information? Thank you so much!!!

      • Tresa says:

        Can you tell me where I can find info on the cottage auction? Did it happen?

  12. James says:

    I’ve actually seen 4 of these on craigslist, Jackson, MS for about 23,900$ in good condition for the two bedroom

  13. Barrie says:

    Does anyone know anything about buying one of these, such as James described in Jackson?

  14. Heather says:

    I’ve seen a few of these on ebay recently. Google searches have also brought up a few on craigslist. I wonder how long they last? They were made to be permanent housing so would I be stupid to buy one as a permanent home (hoping to live in it for 10-20 years or more)?

  15. Heather says:

    *they were made to be temp housing. My bad. :)

  16. Barbara says:

    The kitchen is too small. It needs a little counter space to work with. The stove is too close to the window.

  17. ArtistAtWork says:

    FYI – Lowes no longer offers Katrina cottages.

  18. Debra K Raffield says:

    Love these houses for women otherwise unable to afford a home if their own. I want to have one as soon as I find land to build.



  19. [...] it so cute??Source: Tiny House BlogI just think it would make the most wonderful sewing studio ever! I could open the floor plan and [...]

  20. AL Conerly says:

    I would like to learn more about the plans and cost of building this type of home.

    • Ira Herrington says:

      You cannot get them any more here on the coast and good luck at 55.00 per/square/foot. The actual costs to complete one is more like $85.00 a square foot. There is a guy that builds them in Ocean Springs, Ms. but only when he has 5 or more to do. He builds them in a plant with a 4 week lead time but will also do some custom work once in a while. I think he recently put up a web site katrinacottages.net Once one of these is on site and appraised your talking between $79,000 to 129,000.00. Katrina homes are not cheap due to the design and materials used in such a small floor plan. Without the government to subsidize them forget about all the deals……most of them are long gone. We were lucky to get the one we had used but still cost us $38,000.00 used.

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