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August 15, 2018

Payne Street Exterior

Windows in the gabled roof add extra light and a modern touch to the traditional cottage.

Steve Corwin found himself in a tight spot – on purpose.

The latest Mighty Small Homes project is a modified cottage on an infill lot in Louisville’s historic Irish Hill neighborhood with single family homes of shotgun and other cottage style houses.

The neighbors are excited to see a house going up on the long-vacant lot. While a next-door neighbor is sorry to lose the space they were using for parking, they’re glad something is going in there.

“They love it, they love it,” he said.

The home is a Mighty Small Homes kit using an envelope system that incorporates structural insulated panels. When completed, Corwin plans to sell it.

“We put up a 50-foot wall in 40 minutes.”
— Steve Corwin 

The modified cottage will have just under 1,000 square feet on the main level and an additional 300 square feet of loft space.

It will look similar to the other homes on the street, many of which are shotgun style frame houses, Corwin said.

>> Explore Other Mighty Small Homes Models

The one-story house is long and narrow. Unlike a shotgun-style home, though, the cottage’s open floor plan doesn’t make people walk through a bedroom to get to another part of the house.

There will be three bedrooms, one being in the loft. All have full on-suite bathrooms. The home also features an open kitchen, dining and living rooms. The loft has access to an outside,  attached deck.

Cottage Plans.

The modified cottage is built on a narrow infill lot in a historic Louisville neighborhood.

Key Features of the Modified Cottage

  • 900 square feet on the main floor
  • 300 square feet in the loft
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 3 full baths
  • Open floor plan
  • High efficiency
  • Deck accessible from loft
Cottage loft

The loft offers space for a third bedroom.

Making the Most of Space and Energy

The tough part about a small or tiny home is generally the limited storage available. Corwin says he’s tried to maximize that with storage above one of the bathrooms, which can be accessed from the loft.

In addition to bedroom closets, there’s also storage in the laundry room at the back of the house. He says there will be storage drawers underneath the stairs leading to the loft.

The efficient use of space matches the overall efficiency of the home.

The Mighty Small Homes envelope system seals out the elements and provides a level of durability higher than most of the homes in the neighborhood.

Corwin says he expects utilities to be a fraction of the monthly costs compared to a traditional stick-built home.

The sealed and insulated home has another benefit – it reduces the urban noise.

Open Concept Kitchen Living Room

The cottage features an open concept living room and kitchen.

Smart Solutions to Building Challenges

Corwin faced some challenges getting the house built. The weather slowed work. It was a very rainy spring, he said. On the flip side, one of the long walls of the house went up very quickly. “We put up a 50-foot wall in 40 minutes”, he said.

Infill lots are challenging for any type of construction, so adding the roof panels required a crane. Maneuvering in the narrow lot was difficult, and the ground was too soft for a forklift. The panels for the rear of the house took the most time to install.

Windows were installed along the long sides of the house. Because of the closeness of the homes on either side, fire code required an extra layer of outside drywall for protection.

The construction of the home kit helped mitigate a common building challenge in urban areas. The kit approach accelerates the build because the need for a carpentry crew is minimized.

Despite the minor hurdles, the home is expected to sell quickly.

A high-performance home in a hot neighborhood? Sounds like a mighty smart investment.

Contact Cyndi Masters about this project at or 502-548-1885.