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Rainier Valley Cottage – Cost-Efficient Design/Build

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This is the Rainier Valley Cottage by Bruce Parker of MicroHouseNW. It’s a small house designed to be simple to build to keep construction costs low. What do you think of this design/build?

This Rainier Valley backyard cottage takes advantage of solar access and territorial views. The design of this cottage was intentionally simple to keep construction costs down and to make it easier for the owner who operated as the general contractor for this project.

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Rainier Valley Cottage by MicroHouseNW

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Rainier Valley Cottage | MicrohouseNW | Seattle Backyard Cottage Blog

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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!
{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Jann Hand
    November 7, 2019, 6:08 pm

    What a very nice home. Great for a backyard or perhaps a weekender, out in the country. Please include a floor plan.

    • April 22, 2020, 9:50 am

      Also great for someone looking to downsize, like me.

    • Marsha Cowan
      November 15, 2021, 4:22 pm

      I think it’s a very nice house and lovely inside. I like the outside, too. Gives the impression of Greek tiles, and I love the loft windows. it is a really nice build.

      • Marsha Cowan
        September 24, 2022, 11:44 am

        But a micro house, it’s not.

        • James D.
          September 24, 2022, 5:12 pm

          Just the name of the company, they specialize in backyard cottage (DADU) designs…

        • Marsha Cowan
          September 24, 2022, 7:57 pm

          Oh! Ok. Thanks James. It is a really lovely house.

  • Beth Grant-DeRoos
    November 7, 2019, 9:43 pm

    Really love the simple style, use of light wood floors, lots of windows, and room to move about. Am also a bug fan of the slimmer refrigerator!

  • Nancy J Martin
    December 28, 2019, 10:34 pm

    The interior for “able bodied people” looks good. Not crazy about the exterior material….looks cheap to me. Unfortunately it seems that the preponderance of Tiny Houses and not so Tiny Houses have the upstairs lofts, frequently with stairs with no handrails which I cannot believe. That said for a younger person nice.

    • April 22, 2020, 9:48 am

      Handrail can be added after purchase.

    • Bryan O'Connor
      November 12, 2021, 12:12 pm

      Agreed, the exterior just looks cheap and patched together.

  • Jennifer
    December 30, 2019, 3:00 am

    So I didn’t see where it says sq footage or dimensions of this house. Quite a few times I’ve seen posts on a small or tiny house and it’s not mentioned. I would really appreciate knowing this information .

    • April 22, 2020, 9:53 am

      I think that’s because they design based on the location the structure will be built on; see the About page on the MicrohouseNW site.

  • Elaine
    April 15, 2020, 8:09 pm

    How do I get a floor plan?

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 16, 2020, 1:21 pm

      Hi Elaine, You could contact the builder here and ask if he has them for sale: [email protected]

  • sheebe
    April 21, 2020, 12:19 pm

    I love this!! Everything about this cottage. Kitchen, is perfect. Entire cottage is perfect. Saw the cat and at first it looked like it was hanging lol! Beautiful shot to the Photographer. Beautiful cat. Nothing I don’t like about this cottage. Am in awe right now. Breath taking.

  • David Criger
    April 21, 2020, 7:18 pm

    Like it! Sq feet?

  • April 22, 2020, 9:46 am

    Nice; I really like the layout of the upper level, but would prefer not having the raised area where the bed is located. I can’t tell from the picture if the bed could be placed on the other side.

  • Brenda Foster
    February 7, 2021, 6:07 pm

    The interior is exquisite and so well thought out. Not fond of stairs to a bedroom, but in this setup, it permits a nice view of the outside, and the stairs are minimal.

    I agree with the others, the outside is a real turnoff. I almost did not go any further. It looks like painted plywood, and I am sure it is not. The electrical should be tucked around the corner. It needs the same kind of creativity outside, that is found on the inside. Does not state the cost, or the sf, and that always makes the presentation complete. Very well done, and well worth looking at.

  • Amber
    February 15, 2021, 11:00 am

    I love this! I keep coming back to look at it – it’s a lot bigger than a lot of homes where hard choices would be worthwhile, but this one in the right spot would be a great forever home for us. I feel like the simplicity of the finishings in this home are hiding it’s potential but you can’t always do everything at once – all the little personalization changes could be done over time and that plain exterior wouldn’t take much to look a million dollars. I’m not sure why, but the little step ups, both downstairs and up, present little design highlights for me. And as I say on pretty much most of my comments, a good quality sleeper sofa downstairs means I wouldn’t have to do the stairs every night if I didn’t want to and I get a bedroom/schoolroom out of eye sight to coral the kid and her menagerie.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 16, 2021, 8:56 am

      Haha gotta have a spot to hide kids’ stuff!

  • Marsha Cowan
    July 14, 2021, 4:12 pm

    I like this. . .a lot!!! : )

  • Linda
    November 16, 2021, 9:52 am

    I love the simplicity of this tiny house. Doesn’t looked cramped at all. I’d like to know the size of it in square feet. Love everything about it, and I’m very fussy. This would make a great home for me and my dog and cats.

  • Linda Dust
    September 16, 2022, 5:58 pm

    The pictures show two different kitchens. The one that shows the entry shows a wooden table with chairs that have a light colored cusion. When you see the close up of the kitchen it has an old formica topped table with darker chairs and a different countertop. The first picture makes the kitchen look lots bigger. Also, I agree with the other comments. The outside is a real turn-off.

    • James D.
      September 17, 2022, 1:33 am

      No, only one kitchen. Photos are just taken at different times… Before and after someone moved in…

      • Linda Dust
        September 17, 2022, 11:48 am

        Ok, but that should have been mentioned.

        • James D.
          September 17, 2022, 1:04 pm

          Perhaps, but it’s fairly common to see photos taken at different time periods and it’s rarely pointed out. Since, the photos are usually just a collection and not always organized. Especially, when there’s a limited number of photos. Like if the owner wasn’t willing to have certain areas photographed then they would be filled in by previous shots and it would only be noticeable if there was overlap.

          While we are usually dependent on the source for what photos are available and can only post information provided by the source.

    September 19, 2022, 1:05 pm


  • Linda
    September 24, 2022, 8:43 pm

    I love this and would here in a heartbeat. So bright and cheery.

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