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The Scoop on Building a Casita in Your Backyard

If you have guests visit your place a lot, or if you are wanting a place to have some space and privacy, then a casita should definitely be an 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 to relax and have fun. To help you get started on building a casita in your backyard, I have included in this article what a casita is, how much it costs to have one built 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 have a casita built in your backyard.  Let's get started.

What Is a Casita?

If you have never heard of a casita before, you may be wondering 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 it does not contain all the tools and supplies that sheds have.  Instead, it is made for guests only.  Casitas are very popular in the Southwest, 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 some privacy, and allows your guests to have some space.  Casitas usually have a bathroom and a kitchen inside.  On the outside, a casita could have a deck or porch.  A casita doesn't have to be for guests only.  Some people have made a casita to be their home office, media room, music room, art studio, or special hobby room.  It allows you to get away from house chores and take your own mini 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 trailers must be small camping trailers with bathrooms and perhaps a kitchen.  The purpose of a casita is to offer guests their own space, so your casita trailer should have everything they need in it (bathroom, kitchen, etc).

How Much Does a Casita Cost?

The price of a casita will depend on how you build it and if it is a casita trailer. 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 a bit of room for a guest house, so you could get by with less space.  So if you were to get a guest house with 700 square feet, you may end up spending $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 feet is still a lot of space for a small guest house.  But still, you would probably spend about $100 to $500 per square foot.  Some people like to go small and build a 200 foot casita.

Casita travel trailers, on the other hand, can be much less expensive depending on what type of trailer you get.  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 some even cheaper by searching online for casita 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 could be 500 square feet or more.  You will basically need enough room for a bathroom, kitchen, and some sort of living space.  As for casita trailers, they 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 go with 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 a first glance, all the types, sizes, brands, and models may seem overwhelming.  But don't worry.  I am going to go over the different casita travel trailers and where to buy them.  Let's get started.

Burro Travel Trailer

The Burro travel trailer is a small lightweight camper.  You can tell the difference between the Burro camper and other campers because the Burro camper has a large label on it that reads "Burro".  To find out about a Burro trailer for sale, type in on the internet "Burro travel trailer for sale".  A lot of options should pop up.  It may take you a while to find one near you.  If you can't find one, you may want to check out local companies that sell campers.

Used Small Travel Trailers

Used small travel trailers are becoming more and more popular.  This is because as campers/trailers become older or when people take it in to replace it with a newer one, they need to be brought back to the company.  And if the campers are in good shape, they are usually sold again to those who don't mind buying a used trailer.  While you may think that used small travel trailers may not function correctly, most actually work quite well.  Some may have been replaced due to a newer model coming out, or the person no longer wanted a trailer.  If this is the case, they were not returned because they no longer worked.  Some may have never really been used too much.  If you are interested in buying a used casita travel trailer, you can check out Casita Travel Trailors at www.casitatraveltrailers.com.  You can also find used trailers by searching on the internet "used casita campers for sale".

Fiberglass Travel Trailers

You may wonder why fiberglass travel trailers are so popular.  There is a reason - it's because they are lightweight.  There are many advantages to having a lightweight casita trailer.  Benefits include that they are cheaper, smaller cars can pull them, they have better gas mileage, and they are often smaller in size, which means they take up less space.  If you are wanting a fiberglass casita trailer, you can check out casitatraveltrailers.com.  Another option is to purchase the 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 are wondering 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 the 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 should 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 can be cheaper.  However, they are very similar in price.  Overall, Scamps and casita trailers are very similar.

Pros and Cons of a Casita

Now it is time to go over 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 in.
  • Con:  A casita costs a lot of money to install.
  • Pro:  You can make money off a casita if you put it out for rent.
  • Con:  A casita takes up some space.  If you have a small backyard, it may not work well for you.
  • Pro:  A casita can be a great place to relax and work on crafts.
  • Con:  If you have a small yard, the casita will need to be close to your house.  This means that your guests may be able to hear you, and 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 a casita.  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 one, 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 how you can install 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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