PREFAB FRIDAY: Cottage in a Day

by , 01/23/09

cottage in a day, cottage-in-a-day, michael fitzhugh, prefab, energy-efficient homes, structural insulated panels, SIP house, SIP home, SIP cottage, affordable housing, affordable homes

With a name like Cottage in a Day, it is easy to imagine relaxing in a serene, forested setting. And these factory-built homes designed by architect Michael Fitzhugh certainly seem to fit that role. With a rustic look that is characterized by structural insulated panels and natural wood finishes both on the interior and exterior, the home’s materials conserve resources while also being energy-efficient. Each structure is based on 14-square-foot-modules that can be arranged in various set-ups, making it possible to use this prefab system to create a shelter suitable for a weekend in the woods or as a more permanent home in a rural landscape.

cottage in a day, cottage-in-a-day, michael fitzhugh, prefab, energy-efficient homes, structural insulated panels, SIP house, SIP home, SIP cottage, affordable housing, affordable homes

The modules that make up the house are produced in a manufacturing facility in Traverse City, Michigan. Once the modules are complete, they are taken to their destination where they will only need to be set in place, insulated, and trimmed before they are ready for utilities to be connected. Like other prefabricated structures, all the plumbing, wiring, appliances, floor and wall coverings are already part of the modules leaving minimal labor and waste on site.

The cottages come in four models, from the 1414-S, which starts at $52,000 and provides basic shelter, to the 142814-L which starts at $152,400 and contains all the fixins’ for a home. All the cottages come with eco-friendly features such as Energy Star windows and bamboo flooring — and are placed on a precast concrete foundation created to cause minimal disturbance to the site.

+ Cottage in a Day

+ Michael Fitzhugh Architect

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  1. Paula Truex August 20, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Hey Olivia, we would once again like to thank you for featuring our product on your blog and for your support over the years (we can’t believe it’s been 5 years since you featured us!) New developments are taking place at Craven Construction and we want to make sure you are in the loop! Our team is excited to share that after a lot of hands on research, and miles under our boots, Cottage in a Day™ is being absorbed into Ready Structures™. A new name with a new focus, improved quality, and casting a wider net for incorporating new ideas. To hear the full story behind the name change head over to

    To best communicate all that is advancing at Ready Structures, we will be launching a newsletter! You can sign up and receive updates on our contact page

    Thank you for being apart of this exciting time with us!

    Paula Truex
    Ready Structures
    Communication Associate

  2. Suchart January 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    What happens if it rains.

  3. remylee May 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I have seen these first-hand, and I have to say the potential behind the units is huge. Part of my graduate research focuses on green residential prefab, and this is one of the most comprehensive ideas I\\\’ve seen. A lot of value in this product.

  4. nmich April 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I had a chance to recently tour the Cottage in a Day facility. The process of building these cottages seemed very comprehensive, and follows ‘no waste’ philosophies. All material waste is turned to sawdust, sorted for recycling, or sent out locally for reuse. The cutout for the wall plaque is even used to produce a key chain. It was obvious a lot of thought and design has been put into this product—I was thoroughly impressed!

  5. erikaoller March 17, 2010 at 12:22 am

    New tonight to this site….looking for an already built studio space/tiny house. Is this way off base? Any such thing out there for sale?

  6. Sarah Bearup-Neal March 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks for writing about Cottage in a Day on your blog. We certainly
    appreciate the attention to all of our hard work. In an effort to keep
    the record straight, Cottage in a Day is a business that hired architect
    Michael Fitzhugh “to draw” a previously determined design, arrived at
    through focus groups, design salons, and transportation limitations.
    While Michael is a talented young architect, which is why we selected him
    to be part of the team, he did not design the Cottage in a Day concept.
    Thanks, and keep watching us.

    Sarah Bearup-Neal
    Cottage in a Day
    Communications Associate

  7. drew January 29, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    rain screens for catching and re-using water are add-ons and are available for any models of Cottage in a Day. This client opted for gutters after this photo was taken.

  8. cdbaut January 26, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Good point! Nothing like going out to get the mail and being covered with roof sludge!

  9. On your left January 24, 2009 at 7:14 am

    The roof will dump all the rain water right in front of the entire entrance. Baaad idea! Especially in a snowy location, like Michigan.

  10. cdbaut January 23, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    isn’t, rather. Sorry, long day! 😛

  11. cdbaut January 23, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    it’s what I’d call “sustainable.”

  12. cdbaut January 23, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Very rustic yet modern design — really beautiful. like to envision it as a home though rather than a vacation house. It doesn’t seem terribly sustainable to be pitching all these things as extra homes. Sorry to say it, but having two homes, no matter how green and well designed they may be.

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