call us (206) 612-6657
call us (206) 612-6657

Seward Park Prefabrication

A Prefab BackYard Cottage

How the idea of building a DADU turned into a reality for Korina and Chris.

The Vision

Our clients, Christopher and Korina, have several ideas about using their DADU. A place for friends and family to stay when they visit is a top priority. They also envision their backyard cottage venture as an investment that will earn passive income by making it a part-time vacation rental.

The First Decisions

After they determined the location for the DADU, they hired an architect for drawings. They landed on an open studio design with a full kitchen, a ¾ bathroom, and a comfy living area with a sleeper sofa to easily convert into a bedroom. One of the more difficult decisions Korina says was picking the exterior color. Aesthetically they wanted their new backyard addition to blend into the landscape and feel like it had always been there! 

Construction Choice

Korina and Chris chose to have their mini home built off-site mainly to avoid the disruption that construction would cause in their lives and the neighborhood. So, they hired Carriage Houses NW to construct the main structure in their Marysville factory and, when completed, have it trucked down to Seattle.

The home they purchased was turnkey. Upon arrival, the structure included framing, walls, siding, doors, and windows. The inside was built out too and had finished floor and ceiling, drywall, and appliances installed. In addition, the house comes equipped with electricity and plumbing, ready to hook up to the foundation.

Carriage Houses NW reached out to Ballard Backyard Cottages to manage the onsite part of the project.

Essentially there are three main steps to prefab construction. The first two co-occur. The structure is built in a factory while the foundation and utility hookups are constructed on-site. The third step is taking care of every other aspect of the project post-arrival.

Our job was to ensure the site was prepared and engineered to accept the arrival of the house. The work we did included a demo of the land and the construction of the foundation. It was also necessary to coordinate the foundation’s plumbing and electrical hookups. 

After securing the house on top of the foundation, we built a storage unit. The storage unit transformed the rectangular shape of the unit into an el shape. Unfortunately, it would have been challenging to haul an el shape structure down the highway, so they opted to have us build the extra room on-site and obtain all the necessary permitting for the addition. 

The house sits on a hill in the backyard, which requires building steps. So we designed and built a deck and the steps leading up to the house. One of the most prominent landscaping elements we added was a curvey walkway that leads through Chris and Korina’s beautiful landscaping to the steps of the mini house. When it was all done, their DADU did indeed look like it always belonged!

The Journey

Stepping back to the day Korina and Chris’s DADU departed from the Marysville factory, neighbors gathered to welcome its arrival at their house, which was a spectacular event! Neighbors watched as the giant crane parked on the narrow tree-lined residential street, lifted the house off the trailer, over the next-door neighbor’s house, and then gently eased it down onto its precisely prepared foundation.

Chris describes this marriage between house and foundation, “the idea is a Lego, Plugin  Play Scenario.” he explains the structure gets placed onto the foundation while the utilities click into the electrical and plumbing hookups built into the foundation.

Chris points out that, like most things, nothing goes as exactly as planned but considering complex logistics and all the moving parts, everything went well, and he gave kudos to Michael for problem-solving skills!


Interested in a Prefab DADU

Ballard Backyard Cottages can help you with all aspects of onsite construction.

Foundations and Utility Hook Up

Additions and Landscaping

Site Management