Certainly, we didn't invent the idea of carefully-crafted, efficient 1,000 to 1,500-square foot homes. Many of our parents & grandparents grew up in homes of this size, and a growing number of people want them today. However, during the last few decades, inexpensive suburban land & cheap fuel contributed to the "McMansion" epidemic of over-blown homes & sprawling subdivisions.
Now, economic changes and environmental consciousness are reversing the tide. In fact, Washington was the first state in the nation to mandate managed growth by identifying and protecting critical areas, designating urban growth areas, preparing & implementing comprehensive plans through development regulations. The Washington Growth Management Act (GMA), in 1990, is still unique among states.
The Cottage Company has led by creating communities as models that demonstrate the shift in thinking to "quality vs. quantity," that embrace green building technologies, energy efficiency, sustainable building practices, and instill a genuine sense of community. Our pocket neighborhoods have become known as tangible models, winning a number of national awards. We take great pride in creating places where people can find not only a high-quality, artfully designed home, but also a place that nourishes the individual and creates a strong sense of community.
Back in the early '90s, Cottage Company co-founder Jim Soules and partner, Linda Pruitt, became aware of the newly passed Cottage Housing Code in Langley, Washington. This progressive code was the first in the nation designed to encourage smaller new homes as infill within already built single-family neighborhoods. Together with architect Ross Chapin, they developed the Third Street Cottages.
"It was a friends and family affair. My son and his high-school friend helped paint the cottage exteriors!" recalls Pruitt, who now leads the Cottage Company. "At the time, building smaller homes with the same high quality and architecture as custom-built new homes was an experiment. We really weren't sure if people would share our desire to live large but leave a small footprint on the earth."
The Third Street Cottages when completed in 1998, drew nationwide media and industry praise. The eight one-bedroom, single-family homes, all less than 1,000 square-feet & clustered around a lush garden courtyard sold out immediately, proving that home buyers could be not just satisfied with, but clamored for, quality solutions for smaller new single family living. That was the real birth of the Cottage Company.
The Cottage Company has been at the forefront of creating homes that give people quality and comfort, without wasted space and energy. Less can be more - more sustainable, as well as more style.
We've won many awards and are often cited in the press for our lush gardens, thoughtful architecture artfully crafted homes, with low environmental impact. And yet, we're constantly pushing for more. Maybe that's why we continue to be seen as industry leaders. While we build primarily in the Puget Sound area, developers and planners from around the country contact us for our consulting expertise.