Important Guest House Design Ideas for Your Southern California Home

guest houseThe modern guest house is becoming integral to Southern California’s lifestyle. A beautiful and creative guest space will swiftly enhance the value of a property and provide owners with a separate area for a wide range of uses.

But it isn’t just a matter of building what is often called in the construction and remodeling industry, a second dwelling unit.

Guest house design is critical, as is knowing the by-laws in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. A professional design and remodeling company can help you navigate the many construction laws and codes as well as the actual build.

Here are some things to take into consideration when planning and designing your guest house.

1. Match the Main House

It might seem obvious, but your new guest house should almost always have the same exterior surface, color scheme and roofing as your main house. Continuity is easy on the eyes and helps your guests feel part of the same home. Matching structures will increase your property value more than mismatching ones. The guest house really should look like it was part of the original plan and not an afterthought. Even if the guest house must be different – perhaps due to budget constraints – rendering a matching surface over the new structure will help the continuity.

2. Invite the Light with Large Windows

Exterior Of Modern House With Extension If your guest house is small, or must be built small because of yard limitations, there is no need for people to feel that way. Solid walls all around will make it feel cramped inside, but floor-to-ceiling windows will open up the area and help guests feel connected with the outside. Plenty of natural light always enhances appeal. If floor-to-ceiling won’t work, the taller and wider the windows, the better. Bay windows are also a winner because they provide natural light, a sitting area and storage space under the seat.

3. Neutral Interior Tones are Flexible and Welcoming

In SoCal, we love to paint the interior of our homes in colors that express who we are. Guest house design may be a different proposition. Remember that you won’t be living in the space that much, so it’s good to appeal to a variety of tastes. More neutral shades, and those that match our homes’ exteriors, can be the way to go. Trims and smaller features can be given bolder shades for dramatic effect and to connect with the shades in your main house.

4. A Relaxing Haven Away from the Bedroom

Many guest homes have very limited space. But that’s no reason for visitors to be cramped and using their bed for sitting. Homeowners can have a love seat or couch designed and built into the space. Not only will this provide more living room charm and comfort, it can be a storage unit at the same time. Guest house designers might also add a wood table to the relaxation space to help guests enjoy their morning coffee in comfort.

5. Experts Who Know the Building Codes

Building PlansBuilding a guest house, or remodeling an existing one, is a simple and exciting idea. But some homeowners can become bogged down in L.A. County’s bylaws – or other counties’ bylaws – about guest houses. For instance, while ‘second dwelling unit’ is easy enough to understand, do you understand what ‘second dwelling unit per ZAI 120’ is about? (ZAI stands for Zoning Administrator’s Interpretation and ZAI 120 refers to the document that states you are allowed to build a guest house.)

Spare yourself the headache of diving in alone, and enlist trusted design and construction contractors in Southern California who know the ins and outs of the regulations. The worst thing is to build or remodel your guest home and find out too late that it doesn’t abide by the city’s regulations. It’s an expensive problem. Call the experts who can guide you through every step, from bylaws to design to construction.

Romney Tripp of RWT Design & Construction“Romney Tripp started construction in 1977 and formed RWT Design & Construction in 1992, eventually setting up the shop in Burbank. From the mid 1980’s Romney has been working on building recording studios as well as…” Read more.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to RWT Design & Construction.

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