40 Exterior House Small Home Design Photos And Ideas

An architect and construction engineer couple build a sustainable, 624-square-foot abode for $221,580 in their Southeast Portland backyard.
Choosing not to make a big to-do of itself, this cottage blends in with its surroundings. A wall of glass on one end allows a merger of the outdoors with the interiors, while white trim leaves the appearance of a snow-kissed façade year-round. Berlin, Germany. By Atelier st Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH

from the book Rock the Shack, Copyright Gestalten 2013.
According to Remijnse, since the only direction they could build on the small site was up, they decided to add height with a gabled roof.
In order to maximize space, the architects utilized a split-level design that includes the living areas on the main level, two upstairs bedrooms, and a walk-out basement beneath the dining room. The wood siding was salvaged and restored from the previous building on-site, in order to bring warmth to the gray, seamed metal and reference the neighborhood's past.
A strip of clerestory windows brings in lots of natural light to the living room, while their high sills encourage privacy from the lane.
The garage door was replaced with a new entry to the building, featuring a custom steel canopy over the front door. The door is painted Benjamin Moore Flamingo's Dream to better contrast with the black-stained, tight-knot vertical cedar siding.
The architects worked with the natural, six-foot slope of the site and built the Granny Pad into the hill to gain the needed interior height. The volume on the right is the original garage footprint, which now houses a kitchen and sitting room. The added volume on the left hosts the bedroom, as well as a bathroom beneath the loft space.
The architects expanded the building to a total of 571 square feet. The rear entry, shown here, accesses a loft space that is currently used for storage. In the future, the loft might become an office or additional sleeping quarters, depending on the homeowners' needs.
The Hive was completed in May 2015 for a total construction cost of $160,000.
Scott and Lauren’s compact backyard home is located in the back half of their 5,000-square-foot lot in the Richmond neighborhood of Southeast Portland.
Blackened, recycled wood slats define the front entry alcove. "The design of House A was originally intended to challenge the status quo of oversized and low-quality housing in Western Australia," say the architects.
Soft gray concrete, a polycarbonate screen, and metal roof bedeck the simple front facade of House A. Not immediately apparent? An underground water collection tank and solar panels. "We used a really high recycled content mix for our tilt-up concrete walls, which have 65-percent slag [a byproduct of steel production] instead of high-carbon emitting Portland cement," say the architects.
Because the studio does not have air-conditioning, it relies on natural ventilation for passive cooling. Its north orientation harnesses good solar gains.
Passive design principles were utilized in the siting of the highly-insulated cabin. Deep eaves protect the interior from hot summer sun, while a verandah overhang optimizes solar gains in winter.
The exterior combines recycled brick, radial sawn timber, and galvanized roof sheeting. "Materials were selected to meet the clients’ brief that the house fit within the cognitive idea of an old shed," explain the architects.
The clients requested the design of the cabin and shed to appear as if the buildings had been weathering over time with the site.
The chiflonera leads to the entrance of the cabin.
Exterior with wrap around deck
“The cabin is elevated from the ground, and has slopes on the terraces and two floors. The slopes blends with the natural terrain and help reduce costs in foundations. The roof also has a steep slope to protect it from snowfall in the winter,” explains Lagos.
The 500-square-foot cabin and adjacent shed are 100 percent off-grid, with water, sewer, and electrical systems in place to support these buildings and any future development.
The neighboring garden cottage originally was Randolph’s law office. This space shares a garden with the old carriage house.
The original carriage house was transformed into a bridal suite that now has three guest rooms.
exterior view of the house
View from outdoor garden to addition interior
Casa Effegi is located at the border of the Tuscan village of Trequanda, tucked between the town center and the surrounding hilly, rural landscape.
Scott and Lauren plan to track the energy use of their new-build’s electric equipment and appliances. The data will inform the size of their photovoltaic array they'll add to offset the energy costs of the ADU and the bungalow.
The FSC-certified Western Red Cedar siding, supplied by Sustainable Northwest Wood, was lightened and will develop a darkened patina over time.
The houses in this area are very isolated, with no visual contact between houses.
A-Frame Entrance and Facade
A basic box that’s as tall as it is wide (28 feet) and 16 feet long, this Portland, Oregon house consists of rooms stacked vertically: an unfinished basement on the bottom, a kitchen-living area and a bathroom in the middle, and a bedroom on top, with the stairwell hinged onto the front of the home. The only interior doors are those to the bathroom, basement, and root cellar, leaving the rest of the space open and unfettered. At just 704 square feet, Katherine Bovee and Matt Kirkpatrick's home is a great lesson in making the most out of every inch. Click here to see the interior.
Front Deck & Entry Door

Zoom out for a look at the modern exterior. From your dream house, to cozy cabins, to loft-like apartments, to repurposed shipping containers, these stellar projects promise something for everyone. Explore a variety of building types with metal roofs, wood siding, gables, and everything in between.