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The Scoop on Building a Casita in Your Backyard

If you have guests that come to visit you frequently, or if you want a place on your property for some extra space and privacy, then a casita would definitely be an awesome addition to your home. Whether you use it as a guest house or a place to relax, a casita will offer a comfortable, quiet place in which to relax and have fun. To help you get started on building a casita in your backyard, this article includes what exactly a casita is, how much it costs to build one in your yard, what size to build, considerations for buying a casita trailer, and the pros and cons of a casita. I hope that this article inspires you to consider whether or not a casita would be a good addition to your backyard. Let's get started.

Home and Garden

What Is a Casita?

If you have never heard of a casita before, you may wonder what it is. Basically, a casita is a small house or building that is made for guests to stay in. In Spanish, the word casita means "little house." It is very similar to a shed, but is made for house guests. Casitas are very popular in the southwest part of the United States, but anyone from any part of the country can build one. The nice thing about a casita is that it is not attached to your home. This gives you and your guests privacy and allows your guests to have their own space. In addition to a bed, casitas usually have a bathroom and a small kitchen inside. On the outside, a casita may also have a deck or porch attached. A casita doesn't have to be for guests only. Some people use a casita as their home office, media room, music room, art studio, or special hobby room. It allows you to get away from household chores and distractions. For guests, it can feel like you are on vacation.

Not all casitas are houses built on solid ground. Some are actually small travel trailers. Some casitas are small RV trailers, an eggshell camper (egg trailer), and basically any form of camper trailers. However, the trailer must be small camping trailers with a bathroom and perhaps a small kitchen. The purpose of a casita is to offer guests their own space, so your casita trailer should have everything guests need inside (bathroom, kitchen, etc).

How Much Does a Casita Cost?

The price of a casita will depend on how you build it and what type it is. Usually, casita travel trailers cost less than casitas built on the ground (also known as modular guest houses). A modular guest house, which is basically a casita, can cost up to $70,000 for 1,000 square feet of space. 1,000 square feet is quite roomy for a guest house, so you may be able to get by with less space. So if you were to purchase or build a guest house with 700 square feet, you may spend approximately $40,000, not including the cost of installation and permits. Extra features like porches and decks will increase the amount of money you will spend. 700 square feet is still a comfortable space for a small guest house. Even then, you would probably spend about $100 to $500 per square foot. Some people prefer to go even smaller and will build a 200 square foot casita.

Casita travel trailers, on the other hand, can be much less expensive, depending on what type of trailer you decide to purchase. At Casita Travel Trailers, their cheapest casita trailer begins at $15,000. This is much cheaper compared to the $40,000 you would spend on a modular guest house. You may be able to find a casita trailer even cheaper by searching online for  trailers for sale near you.

Image Source: Tiny House Swoon

Average Size

Casitas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most casita houses are around 200 square feet. However, some may be as big as 500 square feet or more. You will basically need enough room for a bathroom, kitchen, and some sort of living space. Casita trailers are usually around 17 feet long, 7 feet high, and 8 feet wide. As you can see, casita travel trailers do not have as much room as guest houses do. While some people may assume that the bigger it is, the better it is, this is not always true. And if you are on a tight budget, you should consider using the smallest casita as possible. The smaller it is, the cheaper it is.

Casita Travel Trailers:  Which One Do You Buy?

If you have looked on the internet at casita trailers, you know how many different types and brands there are. If you haven't checked them out yet, prepare to be amazed. At first glance, all the types, sizes, brands, and models may seem overwhelming. But don't worry. The following types of casitas and where to purchase them are discussed below so that you can make an educated decision when and if you decide to purchase one. Let's get started.

Burro Travel Trailer

A Burro travel trailer is a small, lightweight camper that is durable and easy to tow. You can tell the difference between a Burro camper and other campers because the Burro camper has a large label on it that reads "Burro." To find out about where a used Burro trailer is for sale, search on the internet, "Burro travel trailer for sale." Many options should pop up. It may take some time to find one near you. If you can't find one nearby, you may want to check out local companies that sell campers. You can also purchase Burro kits that are available if you would like to take on a project and build one yourself.

Used Small Travel Trailers

Used small travel trailers are becoming more and more popular. When campers/trailers are used and newer models become available on the market, owners who want a newer model trade their old trailers in for a newer model, oftentimes at the company where it was bought originally. If the older model campers are in good shape, they are usually re-sold to others who don't mind buying a used trailer. While you may think that used small travel trailers do not function correctly, you may be surprised to find that most actually work quite well. Most are replaced because the owner wants a newer model that is available or the owner no longer wants their trailer. Some campers/trailers may have never really been used that much. If you are interested in buying a used casita travel trailer, you can check out Casita Travel Trailers. You can also find used trailers by searching on the internet, "used casita campers for sale."

Fiberglass Travel Trailers

Why are fiberglass travel trailers so popular? It's because they are lightweight. There are many advantages to having a lightweight casita trailer. Benefits include cheaper cost, smaller cars can pull them because they are lightweight, better gas mileage, and they are often smaller in size, which means they take up less space. If you want to find out more information about fiberglass casita trailers, you can check out casitatraveltrailers.com. Another option is to purchase a Burro camper. The Burro camper is made from fiberglass.

Image Source: RV Share

Casita vs Scamp - What's the Difference?

You may have heard of a Scamp before. If so, you are probably confused and wonder what it is and how it is different from the casita. Let's start off by explaining what the Scamp is. The Scamp is a trailer/camper that is very similar to a casita trailer. It has the same shape, and has the same purpose, which is to provide small living quarters for guests. Scamps are popular in Minnesota, so if you live in Minnesota you will be able to easily find a Scamp. The difference between a casita and a Scamp is that a Scamp is somewhat lighter than a casita trailer and it may be cheaper. However, usually, they are very comparable in price. Overall, Scamps and casita trailers are very similar.

Pros and Cons of a Casita

Let’s list the pros and cons of a casita. This will help you decide if you should install one in your yard. Here are the pros and cons of a casita:

  • Pro:  A casita is a great place for guests to stay.
  • Con:  A casita can be expensive to install.
  • Pro:  You can make money from a casita if you put it up for rent.
  • Con:  A casita takes up space. If you have a small backyard, it may not work well for you.
  • Pro:  A casita can be a great place to relax or work on crafts and hobbies.
  • Con:  If you have a small yard, the casita will be situated close to your house. This means that your guests may be able to hear you and that you can hear them. This may be annoying, especially if it is nighttime and you are trying to get some sleep.

In Summary

I hope that this article helped you understand more about casitas. As you can see, a casita can be a great addition to your home. Not only can it be used as a guest room, but it can also be used as a place for you to relax. In this article, I went over what a casita is, how much it costs, the average size of a casita, what you need to know about casita travel trailers, and the pros and cons of casitas. I hope that this article has inspired you and helped you understand the benefits of installing a casita in your yard. Your guests will be pleased and I'm sure you will be too.

Image Source: Curbed

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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