Casita means “cottage” or “little house” in Spanish. More formally, a Casita by definition is a small self-contained dwelling that is in addition to the main home on a property. It is sometimes attached to the main structure but more commonly it is unattached and is situated close by. The average size of a Casita can be anywhere between 500 to 1200 square feet.
Casitas have a lot in common with mother-in-law suites. Usually, a Casita is used as a guest house for visiting friends and family, but it can also be used as a residence – especially for elderly parents so they can be close to their children and grandchildren. Most recently we are seeing a growing trend of owners building a casita to use as an office, art studio, or workout room.
As demand for multigenerational housing continues to increase, so has interest in adding a casita to custom home plans. Like a mother-in-law suite, a casita is a wonderful option that lets homeowners welcome three generations into the same household in a way that honors everyone’s space and privacy.
Although you can find Casitas, also referred to as guest homes, scattered throughout the US, these second dwellings are most common in the American Southwest. One reason is that not all cities and/or counties allow for a secondary dwelling but, many southwest towns, especially rural areas, welcome these structures.
The layout of Casita floor plans.
Casitas often include the same amenities as a regular home but on a smaller scale. This provides visitors or live-in relatives their independence – an arrangement that respects everyone’s living-patterns and privacy.
The interior of a Casita typically balances two rooms: a living area and a bedroom. In between these two rooms fit all the spaces needed to make the Casita a self-contained dwelling. That includes a kitchen or kitchenette, a full bathroom, and even laundry units.
You’ll also find some Casitas with an open-concept floor plan that use partial partitions to define each area. This is an economical choice for many reasons, like being heated and cooled easily.
How to plan a Casita as part of your custom home!
If you’re thinking about adding a Casita to your custom home plans, make sure the designer and builder are aware of it from the beginning so they can plan the best placement of both structures on your home site. If they’re close, you might be able to connect them via a covered path or breezeway. This can be a beautiful design approach. If the Casita is further away, you may design a courtyard with connecting paths. The courtyard will be the communal space where the entire family can gather outside.
If conditions aren’t favorable for building a detached Casita, then connect it to the main home via a separate entrance, such as a walkway. Touches like a separate patio area or raised deck can give the space more definition as its own living quarters.
Casitas at Diamond Tail
At Diamond Tail, our large lot sizes provide ample room to include a Casita. The covenants allow for an attached or detached Casita that can be up to half of the heated square feet of the main residence, but cannot exceed 1600 square feet of heated space.
Whether you choose an attached or detached Casita to your custom build at Diamond Tail, it is a wonderful way to create extra space for yourself, your family, and your overnight guests.
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