Is It Time To Build a Guesthouse?

It has been widely reported that the pandemic brought about a surge in home improvement spending. The initial increase came in the early days of the pandemic with primarily small, DIY projects. With stay-at-home orders in place, families needed to find ways to create space for work and distance learning, often without the help of an outside contractor. Sales at Home Depot and Lowe’s skyrocketed nationwide.

There were immediate effects on the local level, as well. No longer tied to urban areas by work and school, homes on Cape Cod that typically only occupied in the summer months were opened up well before Memorial Day of 2020. In some cases, it was multiple generations who sought out the relative solitude of their family’s Cape house.

After weeks of spending virtually every moment at home, people’s interest in undertaking larger renovation projects spiked as the weather warmed, with the need for more space and added privacy a driving factor for clients of our Cape Cod custom building firm.

cape cod custom builder

A charming little ancillary dwelling we found on The Spruce.

Repurposing existing rooms – turning a little-used dining room into an office; partitioning off a portion of an open floor plan – can be an efficient way of creating added privacy. But if your needs will be more long term, whether because you’re now able to work from home permanently or your family is expanding, opting for an ancillary building is a smart investment.

With a carefully considered design, an ancillary dwelling – a freestanding building on the grounds of your home – can be the ultimate problem solver, for both your current and future needs, especially if it includes a full bath and a kitchenette.

If a dedicated home office is your immediate requirement, you likely don’t see the see need for a bathroom that includes a shower. And sure, you’d like to be able to have a snack or make a cup of coffee without leaving your office, but certainly a small refrigerator and Keurig will suffice.

All true…for now.

But what happens when your college-aged children get older and want to bring their spouses for a visit or, even further down the road, visit with their own children?

The difference between a kitchen and a kitchenette is typically that a kitchenette does not have a range.  Beyond that, the size and design are dictated only by your needs. Photo via HGTV.

By the time grandchildren are part of your life, you may be nearing, or at, retirement age. Because that freestanding office you had built 10-plus years ago has a full bath, rather than just a powder room, it can now function as a guesthouse for visiting family. And because you so wisely included a kitchenette in its design, your children can make their children breakfast while you enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.

Perhaps you plan on traveling extensively after retirement. In that case, you have the perfect place to house a caretaker who can be your eyes and ears while you’re seeing the world.

cape cod home addition

With a full bath and kitchenette, this Silvia & Silvia-built cabana is a multi-tasking marvel.

If your home includes more than enough space for friends and family to enjoy lengthy visits, consider positioning an ancillary building so that it can serve as the hub of outdoor living. Poolside, it becomes the place to grab a shower after a swim, and for little ones to nap or enjoy a snack during the day. Situated near an outdoor entertaining area, it allows to you to replenish refreshments without trekking back to the house.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Ready to get started? Please contact us with any questions or to arrange a consultation.