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High performance comfortable compact house plans

420 square foot tiny home exterior

The goal at Backyard Home is to design compact, high performance homes that are comfortable and inspiring whether built in the backyard or as the primary house. If you're intrigued by the tiny house movement but don't want to downsize to a trailer, you'll find our plans are designed around full size furniture with generously sized spaces that won't cramp your lifestyle. Our extra insulation and thermal mass floors keep you comfortable, cost less to heat and cool, and they tread lightly on the environment.

Come see me at the

Annapolis Homeowners Expo

Link to the Expo webpage

February 25-26, 2023
​Sat. 10 am-6PM, Sun. 12 noon-5PM 

2747 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401 ​​

$6.00 admission ($5.00 in advance)
​Kids 17 and under free.

Contact me for free tickets (2 max per person).

Try out my mockup alternating tread staircase or see my talk on Accessory Dwelling Units


Backyard Homes

The technical term for a backyard home in many areas is “Accessory Dwelling Unit”.  In the simplest terms, an ADU consists of finished living space with a separate entrance that includes a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.  These might be detached structures, garage conversions, or apartments within the main house.

Our Focus

The focus here is on detached cottages that are added to the backyard of an existing home, and there are many types of accessory apartments that may also be permittable on your lot.  Check out the new ADUs menu tab above to learn key details to keep in mind if you’re considering building a backyard home. 

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Adaptable Designs

Believe it or not, every single plan presented on this website can be permitted (under certain circumstances) within my home county as either an ADU, or as a primary dwelling.  I’m happy to help you find out what you can build on your lot, so have fun browsing the Plans page and happy house daydreaming!

Steve Layden, Founder

I’ve lived in tents, sailboats, and houses medium and small. My current home (top photo) may qualify as a tiny home, but that’s not my focus. I found that I did not like having “convert” one room into another, or to fold away one thing to make room for something else, so you won’t find anything like that here. My philosophy is to reduce duplication of space and inefficiencies while producing rooms that are functional and that work with everyday furniture. And all my houses are designed with the sun in mind; why not capture free energy through passive solar or PV panels? Please browse our plans, videos, and other information, and have fun dreaming!

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Copyright 2023

Dumb Home, LLC  dba Backyard Home

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