When it comes to bunkies, size matters. More specifically, the footprint matters. In most Canadian jurisdictions, you do not need a building permit for a structure that has an exterior perimeter that’s 10 square meters (108 sq.ft.) or less. You should check with the local building department to find out the rules for your area.
The footprint only applies to the perimeter of the building. That usually means that you can build up and add a loft or second storey sleeping space above the ground floor living area. Again, check with your building department before you get started to confirm the local regulations.
When you’re designing a bunkie, you can replicate the look of the main cottage or go the opposite. If you always wanted a log structure, but you couldn’t afford the full-size version, bunkies have a lower price point. Or build an ultra-modern getaway next to your rustic-looking getaway. If you plan on using the bunkie year-round, you’ll want to insulate the walls, floor, and ceiling and include a heating source.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can start from scratch, designing the building yourself and sourcing all the materials. There are also a number of companies that sell detailed plans online.
The other option is to buy a pre-cut kit that you assemble on site, or buy a fully assembled bunkie and have it delivered right to your cottage.
Bunkies are generally designed to be small, so it’s important to make maximum use of the space you have. If the space is primarily intended for sleeping, consider a bunk bed, futon, or a Murphy bed that folds into the wall. Other space-saving options include folding tables that are hinged to the wall, floor-to-ceiling shelving, and a loft design.
Who doesn’t love watching a storm roll in across the lake? When designing your bunkie, consider incorporating a front porch seating area with a roofline that extends above to provide cover.