Asheville’s Urban Cottage Movement

With buildable property for single family homes in the uptown district of Asheville becoming more and more scarce,  a new type of home construction seems to be the answer to that shortage. No longer do homes need to have large yards and expansive patios. The solution is to find a lot on a steep hillside that would not normally be practical for traditional construction, and build up, instead of out. 

Just across Charlotte Street from City Hall, a developer has taken one of those lots, and fitted four homes where normally one home might have stood. There’s even room for a fifth home. The designs are modern and green, and the urban experience is suddenly exciting and affordable.

Asheville urban cottagesDecks and screened porches, and rooftop decks replace traditional yards.

Asheville urban cottage livingEnvironmentally respectful aluminum roofs and siding make these multi-story wonders affordable and friendly. They are not pre-fabs, but are built entirely on site.

Asheville urban cottages spiral stairsThere is no wasted space.

Asheville urban cottages under constructionThe fourth cottage on this small, steep, piece of land nears completion. City Hall is just across the road…

Asheville urban cottage constructionThree stories facing Charlotte Street make for ample square footage with a minimal land footprint. The concrete wall is actually space for one more cottage on the small lot.

Asheville urban cottage facade

A local contractor named Compact Cottages advertises that it will work with buyers every step of the way, from finding a lot, to permitting, to individual design, to the completed structure, and below are examples of their work.

Compact Cottages Asheville home

Asheville compact Cottage Living room

Interiors are spacious with exposed beams and bamboo floors. Kitchens use IKEA cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

Asheville Compact Cottage- kitchen

The prices of these homes start at $107,000, much lower than traditional construction, and comparable to 400 sq. ft. “Tiny Houses”.  For the first time in years, people now have an affordable alternative to townhomes and condos, without the monthly maintenance fees, and Asheville is leading the way.

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