How to Design Your Own Guest House


A guest house provides your visitors with a personal space they can call home during their stay. Separate housing quarters for the guests puts them at ease because they don't feel as if they are infringing on your home. Take time to thoroughly plan your needs and desires for the guest house before you break ground for the construction. Interior updates are possible down the road, but starting with a functional and sufficiently-sized structure saves money on future updates.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Grid paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Contact the local building department before designing the guest home. Determine the restrictions and codes that apply to the guest house construction. Determine which permits you will need and what requirements must be met for the permits.

  • Identify your purpose for the guest room. Decide if it will serve any other functions other than housing guests. This might include storage space, a hangout for your teens, an extra attached garage stall or entertaining space for parties.

  • Assess the typical number of guests you have in any given month. Use this to determine how much space and what features you need in the guest house.

  • Choose a location for the guest house. Consider nearby trees, shrubs, fences and other structures that might impact the location. Measure the area to determine how much space you have available. Determine the length and width of the guest house based on these measurements.

  • Decide what features and rooms you want inside the guest house. Include a bedroom, living space, bathroom and kitchenette for a basic guest house. Choose an open, studio-style layout or separate rooms depending on the available space. Add two or three bedrooms for a larger guest house.

  • Sketch a floor plan for the guest house. Determine the sizes of each room and use the measurements to make the floor plan to scale. Consult with an architect to ensure the floor plan is feasible and functional.

  • Add the mechanical aspects of the house into the floor plan. Sketch the electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures. Consider the overhead lighting needs and heating system. Consult with professionals in these fields if you're unsure how to add these items.

  • Plan the finishing touches in the house. Choose an overall decorating style for the guest house to guide the planning of the final touches. Consider the floor coverings, cabinets, countertops and bathroom fixtures.

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  • Photo Credit bauzeichnung image by DerSchmock from
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