No. 36 - Manzanita Apartment Garage (Free Download)

Modern double garage with second floor guest apartment.

Mother-in-law Apartment

The Manzanita is a modern shed roof apartment & garage featuring a small kitchenette, 3/4 bathroom, one bedroom and a spacious living area with wraparound porch. 


A double car garage below with ample glazing for natural light. 

Download this house & garage combo plan for free.

The Manzanita Apartment Garage is a client-design now available as a free downloadable PDF plan.


  • Bedrooms: 1.
  • Bathrooms: 3/4
  • Floors: 2
  • Conditioned space: 1152 sq ft
  • Porch: 140 sq ft
  • Overall dimensions: 24' x 24' with 5' x 28' porch
  • Foundation type: Slab
  • Heating & Cooling: Optional
  • Print size: 24" x 36"
  • Immediate PDF download with license to build
  • Design criteria: International Residential Code; California Code
  • A modifiable SketchUp Model is available for this plan.

Shiplap Siding for a Small House!

1x5 cedar shiplap siding with rainscreen.

1x5 cedar shiplap siding with rainscreen.

The siding is a simple 5 inch facing cedar shiplap that we chose for its modern, natural, somewhat rugged appearance and straightforward application. So far it’s been really nice to work with. We’ve managed to nearly complete the front and back sides and the east and west sides are moved all the way up to the upper window lines. This weekend we have, at last, a length of sunny skies in the forecast and will finish our work then.

Making progress.

This is what we're aiming for...

This is what we're aiming for...

Once the siding is all the way to the top, we can complete the metal roofing trim and the outside will be essentially completed. We have used stainless steel nails for the siding to prevent nail bleeding. In terms of finish stains, many of the coatings for cedar available encourage a uniform yellow, brown or reddish look that doesn’t really capture the gorgeous variations that fresh new cedar has (right now the colors are like Southwestern mesas…lots of red and rich golden yellow…spectacular! Instead of trying a stain, we’re going to encourage the silver aging of the wood by using a natural product called Eco Wood, manufactured right on Salt Spring Island to the west of us. We briefly considered vinegar and steel wool, which is said to achieve a similar effect, but weren't confident we'd enjoy all the rubbing required to rub down an entire house! We’re pretty excited to try it out and will do a more thorough report on that when the time comes. 

Nearly done.

Our small house building project update and a tribute to our spunky jobsite cat!

Penny at work on the Beekeeper's Bungalow (Point Roberts, 2012)

Penny at work on the Beekeeper's Bungalow (Point Roberts, 2012)

Follow this project on INSTAGRAM

Saying goodbye to our job site cat.

Penny loved to climb ladders, both in our tiny house and on building projects. Watch her climb to her sleeping loft!

It’s been a very long time since an update and it’s time to catch up. August had a lot in store for us, both bitter and sweet, with the sudden loss of our amazing job site cat and all around beloved friend Penny comprising the bitter and the sweet covered by a great reunion with friends from far away and just getting caught up in the wonderful social season that is summer. In the midst of these other happenings, much work was accomplished on the house, too. We had many deliveries of material - windows, doors, siding, roofing, pergola material and insulation.  The metal roofing is also black but can’t really be seen from anywhere as the roof pitch is quite low. We installed the 32 foot lengths in a single day, getting some navigational, lifting and moral support from a great neighbor and friend, Robin Woods. We have yet to install the roofing trim pieces (have to wait to get the siding fully hung), but it is flashed and certainly doing its work shedding the rain that’s begun quite early this year!

Penny doing an inspection in 2012.

Penny doing an inspection in 2012.

Marvin Integrity Wood-Ultrex Windows & Doors

Once the roof was on, we moved on to the window and door installation. This went smoothly, for the most part, with the windows being a breeze and the doors being a bit more fussy but working out beautifully in the end. We went again with Marvin’s Integrity line and really like the large clear surfaces of glass and the smart looking black exteriors, especially now that the siding is going in and they can show to their advantage. 

Cedar Pergola (in progress)

Marvin Integrity black windows

The pergola material (rough cut 6 x 6 cedar) arrived along with the cedar shiplap siding and we were able to build up the simple structure quite easily, even lifting the 12 foot 6 x 6 material into place with no issues. The harder part was taking the measurements and cutting the posts down (in place) to their proper height, but even this wasn’t too great a challenge. We plan to in-fill between the posts to provide a light shading screen though we probably won't get to finish it until the rains taper off next spring. Until then it'll likely remain a bit messy!

(And, hey...we also starting siding!).