Perhaps you have land available on your property and you are wondering how to make the space usable. You could be dreaming of building the perfect guest house for your out of town family, or to rent out on the Airbnb market. Many homeowners are looking for ways to make a passive income from building guest houses.

Before you get out your hammer and nails, there are a few important things to consider. A guesthouse has many benefits, but it’s important to consider your build before you get started.

Things like what purpose you hope to use your guesthouse for, what type of materials you will use, and investigating your homeowners insurance policy are just a few things you need to think about. Let’s take a closer look at a few important things that you should consider before building a guesthouse on your property.


Bedroom interior of a wooden guest cabin
Photo by Hans Isaacson on Unsplash

If you are considering building a guesthouse, you probably already have a use in mind. If you are looking to create an opportunity for extra income, your guesthouse will be used as a rental property. If you have a big family, you may use your guesthouse to accommodate your family and friends, or you may have an aging parent or family member that you are getting ready to move in. Once you know the purpose of your guesthouse, it will help you figure out your design.

A guest house for your family may need to have multiple bedrooms or the ability to sleep more than two people. A rental guest house needs to be simple and comfortable for guests. A mother-in-law suite will need to include safety features to protect your senior parent.


The size of your guesthouse will largely depend on the amount of acreage you have and your budget. If you are looking to create a multi-room, multi-floor guest house, your square footage is going to be larger than a simple guest suite.

Take the time to measure out with spray paint or ropes on your lawn to get a physical idea of how large or small you want to make your guesthouse. Once you decide on a size, you can start to break ground.

Local Laws

Each country has different laws about building residential structures. Before you start your building project, you will need to check out the local laws. You may need to get building permits before you start your project.

Building Materials

Inside of a cosy guest cabin
Photo by Hans Isaacson on Unsplash

There are endless possibilities when it comes to choosing the materials for your guesthouse. From a prefab structure that comes in a kit and is largely made from recycled materials, to a shipping container that is customized to create a unique guesthouse, you will need to consider your building materials early in the process.


Your guesthouse project should begin by setting a firm budget. As with any building project, you may run into problems that will add more to your budget. Always plan for a bit of wiggle room in your project budget. Your budget will help you mandate your materials, the size of your guesthouse, and the design details.

If you are thinking about building a guesthouse on your property, you will have a big project on your hands. Follow these tips to help you make your plan for building a guesthouse.