Outbuildings Add Usable Living Space To Your Home

What are outbuildings?

Outbuildings are often thought of as a barn or shed, structures that you would find in the country side or on a ranch. However, the truth be told, you will likely see these accessory buildings in your own suburban neighborhood. Structures like gazebos, pergolas, playhouses, club houses, garages, and greenhouses all are considered to be outbuildings.

These accessory buildings are structures on a property that are detached from the main building or house. In contrast, they can be connected to the main building by a breeze-way or walled-in-porch. These structures may be as simple in design as a storage shed or something that is more indepth as a pool house or guest suite having its own electrical, plumbing and hvac system.

In the past outbuildings were built to be out of sight and out of mind. Primary uses included water closets (for toilets), animal shelter, kitchens, and slave quarters just to name a few. Today they are referred more to as accessory buildings and are designed to accompany the main house and usually act as a secondary or outdoor living space on the property.

Type and uses for accessory buildings

small foyer

Outbuildings are a way to modify and enhance your home's exterior plus they can come in many shapes and sizes for a number of different operations. They are considered subordinate in nature to the principal building which is the main living space on the house site. Typical uses include but are not limited to the following:

* Detached garage: This is the most common used outbuilding in residential applications. Usually a 1, 2, or 3 car garage with access to an apartment, studio, or office above.

* Pool house: Used in association with a home pool. Usually includes a bar and/ or small kitchen, bath with shower, gathering area and in some cases a sleeping quarters for guest.

* Workshop: A garage type building but used primarily as a shop for those who work on cars, motorcycles, boats, or any other type of motor vehicle. Also can be used as a woodworking shop, and welding shop just to name a few options.

* Office space/ Apartment/ in-law suite: Allows the option of running a full time business or maintain a steedy flow of income using it as an apartment. Also works well for in-laws who want to be close to family but still maintain a since of independence and a private domain.

These are some of the most common uses for accessory buildings and the options are many.

With an average size main house (up to about 3,000 square feet), outbuildings may range between 300 to 600 plus square feet. Any larger and it becomes a competing force in reference to the main house. They are a great solution for adding to your existing living space provided that you have the land to accommodate the building space. You can enhance your living quarters, your property value, and perhaps earn a decent income depending on the type and use of an accessory building. So if you are thinking about adding on to your existing home, give outbuildings some consideration.