Although no one has seen carriages that are drawn by horses roll down the street in recent times, architectures that housed them are still in existence today. This isn’t a surprise because homeowners are keen on preserving crown molding and other special architectural details. Today, most carriage houses are modified and restored for several uses.

From home offices to guest suites, a renovated carriage house can add so much value to any property. Oftentimes, sellers add it to their listings because it could be their selling point. Generally, modern carriage house plans offer additional space that buyers can convert into a spare bedroom, home office, or glam room. But what is a carriage house? What should you expect from carriage house designs? These and more we will be looking at shortly.


  1170 sq/ft     2 Bed     2 Bath


  650 sq/ft     2 Bed     1 Bath


880 sq/ft     2 Bed    1 Bath


910 sq/ft    2 Bed     1 Bath


1000 sq/ft     2 Bed     1 Bath


  1031 sq/ft     1 Bed     1 Bath

What are Cottage Home Plans Like?

Traditionally, it’s an outbuilding that is built close to a larger house. It was originally built to keep carriages that were drawn by horses and sometimes, it also housed the caretaker or coachman on its upper floor. Other names for it were cart shed or coach house.

Its origin relates closely to the period when there was an increase in the use of carts in Great Britain. Around the 1700, people who owned carts were regarded as upper-class citizens. Hence, they built structures within their property for operators of the carts and their necessary gear.

We can also trace the origin of carts in the US to the 1800s when roads became well-established. Around that time, more people started using carts. They were quite common in New England, the upper Northeast, and New York.

In modern society, homeowners repurpose the buildings into smaller second homes, tiny houses, studio spaces, home offices, suites for in-laws, detached garages, or guest houses. They can also serve as garage apartments, which are zoned as ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units).

The Basics of Carriage House Designs

Now that we have answered the question of “what is a carriage house”, let’s discuss the basics of carriage house designs. Generally, cart houses have these features:

Matching Design

The houses are structured to follow the style of the main building on the property. For instance, if the main building is Victorian style, the cart house will feature crown molding, thin shingles, dormer windows, and steep roofs. Also, if the style is craftsman-like, it will feature a roof with a low pitch and columns.


The buildings are structured like outbuildings. They are completely detached and do not share any wall with the main building or other buildings.

Small Living Space

Most traditional cart houses feature small living spaces for the horse groomsmen or drivers. This space is usually on the loft or second floor of the main building. The designs that do not feature these small living spaces are remodeled to have a minimum of 1 or 2 bedrooms, a half bath or one bathroom, and a little kitchen space.

Big Open Space

Because carriage house designs were originally meant for horse-drawn carts, they have a big open space on their first floor with a high ceiling. The space was big enough to house a cart. In contemporary carriage house floor plans, this space can serve as the living room, family room, great room, or a garage for 1 or 2 cars. It can also feature electric garage doors.

Sometimes, cart houses and homes may be used interchangeably. They are however different buildings. While we already know that cart houses are historical architectural styles, carriage homes are marketing terms that realtors use to describe a small family home. Below are other differences between both dwellings:

  1. Cart houses are freestanding whereas the homes share walls and landscaping with neighboring carriage homes.
  2. The houses are historical and designed to accommodate carts and horses while the homes are newly designed to accommodate single families.
  3. Cart houses are outbuildings on the main property, usually behind the manor house with an open space around it. On the other hand, the homes are erected on small lots in areas that permit “no lot line” structures. When several carriage homes are clustered, you will typically find a fitness center, pack space, or a communal backyard to compensate for the small space.
  4. Cart houses have ample spaces that were originally meant to accommodate a minimum of one cart and sometimes, they have an upper room. On the contrary, carriage homes have smaller square feet. They also consist of many smaller rooms as they were not designed for carriages.

A Breakdown of Carriage House Plans

The traditional carriage house plans from history are now modernized. They provide enough space according to the homeowner’s taste and you will typically find a variety of styles to choose from.

Exterior Details

The exterior details vary because potential owners have peculiar needs. Although the house is usually detached, you can add it to an enclosed courtyard or an existing structure. As mentioned earlier, the exterior copies the main building’s design. It includes similar features like:

  • Private entrances
  • Matching colors and shutters
  • Vinyl, wood, or brick exteriors
  • Flat or sloping roof

Interior Details

Usually, the interior floor space is between 200 to 3000 square feet. This allows you to customize the house in various ways. You can find plans that feature 3 full baths and 2 bedrooms above a garage that can contain 2 cars. This type of space can also have a deck attached to it and a pool. The interior of cart houses features the following:

  • A complete kitchen
  • A living area
  • Porches
  • Utility space

Like every other house design, carriage house designs comprise different natural materials like vinyl, wood, and red brick. However, the material you choose to use will depend on you and the builder. Due to the increase in modern architectural style, it’s common to see designs that feature the use of both artificial and natural materials.

Truoba Garage Apartment Plans

Truoba Mini 621 house plan

Truoba Mini 419 - 1200 sq ft house elevations
Truoba 2 bedroom house floor plan

Truoba Mini 419 house plan

Getting a Carriage Floor Plan

It’s important to know that the material you choose may increase your overall cost of construction. Also, you need the input of a builder and an architect who must be an expert in creating plans for cart houses. All these add up to the cost and time spent on planning the final look of the building.

However, you can get complete ready-made or pre-designed plans to reduce the planning time and save you some cost. It is possible to have these plans adjusted, if you so desire, to meet any specific requirements you may have. You also need to get an architectural drawing kit when constructing a custom building. It will give you insight into accurate floor plan dimensions, sections, element locations, the materials that will suit the structure, and other information related to construction.


Carriage houses are popular and unique across generations. They are quite affordable and offer comfort. With such designs, you can’t lack space as they feature wide floor plans and are usually multi- storied. Some plans even have spaces that can accommodate socialization areas and staff houses. So if you need a floor plan for multigenerational living, carriage houses will be an excellent choice.