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440 Sq. Ft. Tiny Backyard Cottage Plans

Shawn Dehner over at The Small House Catalog released this 440 sq. ft. backyard cottage design (and plans). It’s called The Forest-Rose Cottage. And free framing plans are available if you’re interested.

So I wanted to be sure to share that with you right now. You can see the sketch and overall design below. And the link to download the full plans are also below.

It’s a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom house with two floors. The first floor is 240 sq. ft. and the upstairs has 200 sq. ft. The overall dimensions of the structure is 12′ x 20′. Please enjoy and re-share below. Thank you!

440 Sq. Ft. Tiny Backyard Cottage Plans


Images © The Small House Catalog



Images © The Small House Catalog

Learn more: http://www.thesmallhousecatalog.com/forest-rose/

Download the plans: (1) Click the link above, (2) scroll down towards the bottom, and (3) click download button.

If you enjoyed these 440 sq. ft. tiny backyard cottage plans you’ll absolutely LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more! Thank you!

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

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{ 45 comments… add one }
  • Cahow January 13, 2015, 5:50 pm

    Nice plans. If anyone wants to see them LARGER, visit the link and then click on each floor plan image. It expands to a size much easier to read.

    On a Botanical Note: Cottage should have been called “Prairie Rose”. Rose’s don’t grow in the “forest”. ;) And it is a Prairie-esque/Bungalow style cottage, both of which are evocative of the bright, sunny Heartland.

    • mountaingypsy January 13, 2015, 7:36 pm

      I am curious what ‘forest’ you are mentioning? I am sure the very high or non USA mountain forests do not have roses, but many CO ‘forests’ have small wild roses! (had some in my yard) But saying no forests have roses in not quite correct. The cottage is another loose term, like cabin. This is a sweet TH. Different locations, the ‘terms’ vary! The names used for any product are made up to sound intriguing and special! (advertising) :)

      • Cahow January 13, 2015, 7:52 pm

        Hi, mountaingypsy. Well, you got me there, regarding “which” forests I’m talking about. LOL My experience lies within the deep, dark, gloomy confines of the arboreal forests of Minnesota and Michigan. Beech, Oak, and Moss are ALL that grow in these primordial forests that escaped all logging. I’m familiar with prairie roses, as my Grandparent’s dairy farm was located on virgin mesic prairie that they used to pasture their herd.

        Seeing roses within a forest would be a delight. :D

        • mountaingypsy January 13, 2015, 10:01 pm

          Cahow, HI! Sorry, had to re-comment! There are many foreign writers online, that it is hard to comment, not knowing the location, culture, and normal to each of us!
          So, you are talking about the colder, north of me states! I guess, I did not realize those states had forests! My statewide foliage knowledge is lacking (except where I have lived). lol I wish we had oaks here. I have found wild roses several places, but loved finding them in CO. Wildflowers are wonderful too, when discovered in higher altitudes, or in the prairie grasses in western pastures! Very small, tough colorful flowers grow in the buffalo grass and also small cactus. Nature is great, (and the animal life) if one pays attention and enjoys. City people miss so much! ;))

        • Cahow January 14, 2015, 8:54 am

          Good Day, mountaingypsy! Your description of your surroundings sounds blissful; just my cuppa tea for the soul. We think that City Folks would miss out on what we cherish but the friends of mine who are passionate about City Living don’t appreciate what we do and I’m comfortable with that. When I have friends out to the country that have grown up in the city their entire lives, they become “twitchy” by EVERYTHING natural! Ever see a grown man scream and run away….because a butterfly landed on him???!!! To be fair, he just caught the motion out of the side of his eye, but he thought it was a “bee” and didn’t want to be stung. According to City Folks I know, EVERYTHING in the country is “Out to get them!” In their view, everything either bites, stings or is poisonous! Now, there are areas of the world where that is the case (usually the desert regions) but up North, the cold prevents the deadly stingers and biters from coming up here. I’ve had friend’s children (8 & 10 y.o.) refuse to go outside, in the day, because “bears might eat us!” Mind you, we live 1/4 mile from Lake Michigan on a cleared acre of land; last time a bear came through here had to be in the early 1900’s!

          But, to be fair, it’s the same when Country Folk head into the city. They live in terror that they will be beaten, raped and robbed within 1 minute of walking on Michigan Avenue. They are stymied by the traffic, wait lines and density of humans per square mile.

          I like BOTH city and country life and don’t try to view the one through the other’s lens. They both have pluses and both have minuses so I embrace the positive and don’t dwell on the negative.

          Nice talking to you and reading about your country and rose experiences. :D

        • mountaingypsy January 14, 2015, 11:42 pm

          Cahow, I really enjoyed your long response. You captured the feelings of city vs country loving folks! I have lived in big cities and the more rural now for over 15 years, in TX and CO. I am more ‘back to nature’ at heart, with the wildlife and foliage. We do have bears here, (your area, the 1900’s, ha) fox, etc. I do not fear the bears like I do the 2 legged beings/thugs in cities! I love the huge rocks here, and small rivers/ponds but loved the desert/cactus type areas too. I do not like beaches and oceans!
          I enjoyed your delightful description of your home area, and friends! I have never been up there, but grandparents families were from Wisconsin/Illinois, and I was born in KS. My grandma homesteaded, so I have a pioneer spirit, or rural leanings! She and her sister (both single teens) did that before women could vote! I wish I knew their stories…. Anyhow, so nice to visit with you and learn some new things! :) PS, this site is so interesting on the tiny homes. I do hope the ‘rules’ will be changed, so anyone can have a tiny home, or park it wherever. I can’t believe they are a problem in RV parks or mobile home parks! They are so superior in construction and looks to the ‘tin, plastic, and paper’ homes! A person should be able to live in whatever they choose, good grief. The TH’s are superior, for small, homey living. ( I want one or a tree house….lol)

        • wallace anderson April 10, 2016, 11:29 am

          that’s ok when i clicked the download it is called the desert rose (which is a real plant mr i know about forests rofl) so yeah they name it whatever sounds cool . like corvair, or falcon (when you know it aint got wings or feathers) or thrustmaster (my joystick hahahahaha absolutely nothing to do with thrust even the dirty kind) names are not always descriptors they are just names that sound cool .

    • SC January 14, 2015, 8:05 am

      according to the caption of the picture on the site, the future occupant’s parents were named FOREST and ROSE, hence “Forest Rose”
      I would say its well named.

      • Cahow January 14, 2015, 8:43 am

        Now knowing the background, the use of forest & rose is aptly named. :D (good thing the parent’s weren’t named Bernie & Myrtle!) LOL

    • Ms Betty January 14, 2015, 8:21 pm

      Sorry to disagree with you but this was named quite appropriately. You obviously didn’t read far enough. Their names were Forest and Rose hence “Forest Rose” the name of their cottage.

    • Susanne April 9, 2016, 1:29 pm

      Wild roses abound in the boreal forest in Northern and Northwestern Ontario and likely in many other forests.

    • Trish June 6, 2016, 12:44 pm

      Forest Rose doesn’t sound right. But a great house…

  • Shawn Dehner January 14, 2015, 3:38 pm

    Just to clarify…the Forest-Rose was named by the clients who allowed this plan to be circulated for free. It was named after two people, Forest and Rose, not after a nomenclature!

  • Shawn Dehner January 14, 2015, 3:39 pm

    Besides, if we’re talking roses, they often grow at forest edges as they do here in the PNW!

  • Marsha Cowan January 14, 2015, 3:55 pm

    I have always loved this little cottage! It is just the right size for full time living, and I can see where one could get two sleeping areas upstairs and still keep the bath…thanks!

  • Gloria January 14, 2015, 4:05 pm

    Hope someone builds this fast, Alex, and sends the photos so we can see it in real life! :)

  • n.miuccio January 15, 2015, 3:36 am

    I would love a tiny house.

  • debra January 15, 2015, 3:55 pm

    Love the Craftsman style exterior details. I’d be putting a lot of storage under those stair, which I like because I don’t want to climb a ladder. I’d put a pocket door in the bathroom instead of a swinging door. The bathroom vanity could then go on the exterior wall, over the kitchen sink, so the plumbing is stacked.

  • Mike January 17, 2015, 7:42 pm

    Joseph Holan is right. You could build a single-storey 20×20 or 24×20 for nearly the same money, you’d gain the square footage from deleting two staircase wells, and if the roof is pitched right, you’d have half again the same space for a guest loft and have the volume space above half the footprint as well. No stairs to climb either.

    It might work in a back corner of an existing homesite as a caretaker cottage or maybe a Granny flat, but Granny won’t want to be up and down those narrow stairs.

    • Lori May 5, 2015, 9:56 am

      I am only passing along what I have heard and don’t claim extensive knowledge, but here goes. The main savings from building a second vs. a single story with a larger footprint is in savings in the foundation. I’m not sure if the person was referencing a simple foundation or basement. I’ve also heard that square homes (not longer, thin homes) can give cost savings in building costs. I’m not sure which is right. I think you’d have to see a cost analysis before you could make a call on what was cheaper. It may even vary by area. Advantages for this home is, in the case of a small yard, you would have more space left over for gardening, or you would be able to buy a smaller plot of land. This would fit into a space between too houses perhaps where a house with a larger footprint would not. Also, some people like a bedroom being farther away from the living/kitchen areas. It would provide more separation if more than one person is living in the home. Someone would be able to be in the living room watching tv and one person would be able to sleep with less noise intruding. I would be tempted to put in a spiral staircase and have an outside staircase leading up to the bedroom from the outside to move in furniture and to act as an emergency exit in case of fire. I like the plan a lot.

  • Mary H. February 16, 2015, 6:29 pm

    How much does this cost to build?

  • Maria West May 5, 2015, 11:03 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this, it is adorable & the plans give us ideas on how to do ours when the time is right.

  • Kathy Wilkins May 5, 2015, 11:37 am

    I love all the tiny house plans. I went from a 3000 sq. foot home to a 1333 sq. foot townhome. I love the coziness. It is perfect for two. Now I’m wondering why we need all this space. LOL….I would love to go even smaller.

  • AL May 5, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Thank you, Alex & the designers. I greatly appreciate the plans! :)

  • Carole D. May 5, 2015, 1:15 pm

    This plan is very interesting for me. However, I would love to see pictures of the finished project. It is always hard for me to envision what a place make look like when finished.
    Please, please, Forest & Rose, send us pictures of the finished project.

  • Lera May 5, 2015, 2:33 pm

    I love this plan. It has everything I need and nothing more.
    For the people asking about cost-to-build, there is a free building cost estimator if you click on the link to the website for the plans. You can find out how much it would cost in your area with the materials you want to use.
    I did the estimator for the square footage all one level and for a two-story, and the one-story was $1000 cheaper.

  • deanna rinker May 5, 2015, 3:55 pm

    I love it, almost! I would reverse the levels and put an outside stair entry to the second level! I just don’t want the bath/bedroom upstairs! The kitchen and living would be so much fun upstairs for entertaining, and also my plan would have me using the stairs more often, good exercise! Lol

  • Suzanne May 5, 2015, 7:43 pm

    um… I fail to see how this is for a family? It’s 1 bedroom. I guess the couch could pull out to a bed but you can do that in any size tiny house. I’m trying to find plans for a family of 4 and this doesn’t really fit the bill. A 2 bedroom or even a 3 bedroom (we’re a family of 4 with a boy and a girl).
    That all being said I do like the layout of the bottom floor. I need to be able to see the kids in the main living area and most 2 or even 3 bedroom plans I have found do not have a kitchen that’s open.

  • Peggy Duran May 7, 2015, 11:48 pm

    Could you please sent me some paper work on the tiny house.
    Peggy Duran. P.o.box 161 rodanthe n.c.

  • rich anderson June 1, 2015, 10:20 pm

    seen the forest rose house fell in love with it i live in a 2000 sq. ft. house only me and my dogs my dream is subdividing my lot and building the forest rose on the other half thank-you tiny house friends for letting me reach out

  • David June 5, 2015, 11:28 am

    Great stuff.

  • Karen R June 5, 2015, 12:56 pm

    So pretty! Peggy, I used to live in Rodanthe. It was so torn up from the last storm, I hope it’s recovered now.

    Suzanne, perhaps you could add a master bedroom and bath (or just a half) downstairs and increase the square footage by 120 or so?

  • Mrs.Claus June 7, 2015, 7:41 am

    I’ve been avidly reading your Tiny House Newsletter for quite a while now. I love the Forest-Rose cottage plans and find them to be really spacious and well planned out……could a family live here? Oh my…..yes! My parents raised 4 children in a winterized summer cottage that was only 332 square feet of living space (no loft or upstairs–not even a back door!). We moved in when I was 7 — and sold the place after my mother’s death 54 years later. We (the 4 kids) lived there 24/7 until we each grew up and married. There were huge gatherings on holidays. I know how “living tiny” can be on a permanent basis. I am thrilled with the Tiny House newsletter and the information on new and updated ways to utilize precious space. Now that I’ve had my fill of huge houses — I want to go back to a tiny house that wraps it’s arms around me and keeps me warm. Keep up the good work–spreading the news about “living tiny”!!

  • Bummed July 12, 2015, 7:12 pm

    It’s such an awesome house. Can’t read the floor plans on this site or the link. Sucks the download links are no longer operational. Oh well.

  • Don Campbell November 26, 2015, 1:25 pm

    I would like to build a tiny house one bed, one bath, single level on 1/2 acre in Washington County KY. No building codes for county.
    Make be a 10′ x 30. Where can I find plans and who can help me build it?
    Thank you, Don

  • Mike December 7, 2015, 12:27 am

    Unfortunately the link now leads to plans for a building named Iris.

  • Mike December 7, 2015, 12:30 am

    Actually, booting around the site, looks like the plans have been compiled a bit and are listed under one space. This is for the Forest Rose:


  • Suzanne March 28, 2016, 5:32 pm

    Very well thought out layout; I would be interested in seeing an interior as well. I am coming from a 4,000 sq ft home to a tiny house. I am still compiling my thoughts and not certain on a THOW or a permanent one, but I do have land available.

    I’m very excited about this!

  • Ginger April 10, 2016, 9:46 am

    This plan is cute but I just can’t see having the bathroom on the second floor. I’m 66 and in the last few years have had several unexpected health issues. I just had open heart surgery. If you have the kitchen and bath on the ground floor, you can live in your house when sick or well. But when you are sick you may not be able to climb stairs to the bathroom. So this is a good house for young people.

  • Dick June 5, 2016, 8:04 pm

    This is a house I could live in, assuming it was just my wife and me. As a matter of fact, we have a second driveway (gravel) on our lot, and that section’s wide enough to build the Forest Rose on!

    Some have said that Forest Rose is too small. Go to smallhousecatalog.com and search for the Desert Rose plan; it’s just a tad bigger with a similar layout.

    While we’re on small house plans, check out Gerald Rowan’s book “Small House Plans”. These are not tiny homes, as they start at 800 sf or so, but the book has some good ideas.

  • Marty August 18, 2016, 2:55 am

    I love the layout ,but both the Mrs and myself are getting up in the years so stairs are a thing of the past for us. We might make it upstairs, but then have to live there forever and not come down..

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