LA couple builds backyard cottage, then moves-in from main home


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Paul and Yuki Gasiorkiewicz bought a nondescript 1930s bungalow in LA’s Echo Park

But rather than trying to convert it into something better suited to their tastes, they tore down the garage in the backyard and built their dream home in its place.

Wanting to preserve some backyard, they limited the home to a similar footprint as the garage, but built up. They also added substantial overhangs to the home so give added space to the upper floor.

Using large wood-framed windows across two walls of the lower floor, the home doesn’t need air conditioning and takes full advantage of its views of Los Angeles. Influenced by Japanese tradition, the couple built a wooden veranda, or “engawa”, around the home that they use for outdoor seating and “moon watching”.

What is an accessory dwelling unit and why are they becoming more popular in urban areas of the United States?

A growing trend in urban areas of the United States is the construction of accessory dwelling units, commonly referred to as backyard cottages. These structures offer a practical solution for homeowners seeking additional housing options for family members or renters. Recently, a couple in Los Angeles decided to build their own backyard cottage and make it their permanent residence.

The couple, who owned a traditional single-family home in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, wanted to downsize and simplify their living situation. Rather than sell their main home, they decided to turn their spacious backyard into a place they could call home. They hired an architect to design a 400-square-foot cottage that was both functional and stylish.

Construction on the cottage took about six months and cost around $200,000. The finished product features a spacious living area, kitchenette, bathroom, and bedroom with ample closet space. The couple chose to use energy-efficient materials and install solar panels to minimize their carbon footprint and lower their electricity bills.

Once construction was complete, the couple moved out of their main home and into their new backyard cottage. They now rent out their main home as a source of income. The couple says they love the simplicity and low-maintenance lifestyle that comes with living in a small space. They also enjoy the privacy and separate space the cottage provides for them.

The couple is pleased with their decision to construct a backyard cottage and is thrilled to be part of the growing trend of alternative housing options in urban areas. The cottage not only provides them with a comfortable living space but also serves as an investment in their property.

As more and more people seek affordable, sustainable, and practical housing options, backyard cottages are becoming a viable solution. While the construction process can be lengthy and costly, the long-term benefits of owning a backyard cottage are immense. For this Los Angeles couple, the decision to build a backyard cottage and move into it full-time was the perfect solution to their housing needs.

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