compact plans

Skillful Means has long promoted small buildings, whether they are "tiny houses" or simply cottages, they represent economy, efficiency and ease of living.

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Backyard cottage fit between trees and required setbacks, ready for permit.

planning and building your backyard cottage

California recently passed new regulations that gave California cities more flexibility and latitude for allowing homeowners to build ADUs.

Extensive information and a booklet are available on the State's website.

Individual cities and counties still have particular requirements for permitting and building ADU's that usually require the skills of experienced designers.

Skillful Means can work with you to adapt an ADU to your particular site with landscaping, setbacks, CC&R's, sun and shading, and neighbors. 

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cottage designs

Skillful Means is experienced in the design of small buildings and compact homes. Although standard plans are most economical, we favor designs that make best use of the site available, and take into account privacy, views, sunlight and landscaping.

Straw panel lifted into place.

Straw panel lifted into place.

efficient construction

Skillful Means has been developing systems using prefabricated strawbale panels which result in significant cost savings, faster construction--and also allow a building to be "lifted" into tight spaces.