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Cash In with a Backyard Guesthouse

How to Use a Metal Building as a Prefab Cottage Kit

There are many reasons to add a backyard guest house to your residential property.  Added income, convenience, family dynamics, and increased resale value all influence the decision to build a backyard cottage.

But what exactly is a “backyard guest house”?

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Technically, prefab guest houses fall under the category of an “accessory dwelling unit.”

According to the American Planning Association, an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a smaller, detached dwelling unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone single-family home.

Using a Metal Prefab Cottage as an Investment

For supplemental income, a metal building guesthouse is a terrific moneymaker. 

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Consider the following:

  • Renting a backyard cottage to short-term guests provides you with a side income.  If you live in an area that attracts tourists, such as near a beach or a popular vacation site, short-term guests can provide a steady income.
  • Leasing the guesthouse long-term to college students or young adults brings in a steady cash flow.
  • Renting out a backyard cottage appeals to many seniors.  Aging seniors appreciate knowing someone is nearby in case of emergency— and the increased income helps stretch the budget for seniors living on a fixed income. 
  • In fact, when caring for a large residence becomes overwhelming, some seniors choose to downsize by moving into their guest cottage.  Then they lease their larger main house for even higher returns.
  • According to Realty Times, a residential property with a separate backyard guesthouse garners a much higher sales price, too.

A Metal Building Accessory Dwelling Unit Provides Privacy for All

Whether your “company” comes to visit for a few days, a few weeks, or needs to stay indefinitely, both parties will fare better in separate quarters. 

Having time alone in your own space makes the time together more gratifying— for both you and your guests.

Many Uses for a Prefab Guesthouse

Is it any wonder that in today’s economy, many people are embracing the second home concept?

Here are just a few of the ways a small backyard guest house might serve your needs:

  • Visiting Friends and Family:  Do you often have overnight guests?  Having a comfortable, backyard prefab guest house allows your guests to visit and share planned activities or meals— without crowding your family and without staying in an expensive and impersonal hotel.
  • Aging Parents:   Families are finding that aging parents increasingly need additional assistance.  Parents may need help with driving, yard work, or other everyday chores.  However, seniors still cherish their independence.  A well-executed backyard cottage provides the perfect balance of independence and occasional assistance.
  • Adult Children:  Many empty nest couples are finding their fledging adult children boomeranging back to the nest.  College holidays and summer breaks, divorce, and unfortunate economic realities make returning home for an extended time both necessary and appealing.

A RHINO Backyard Guesthouse: Smarter, Stronger, Safer

RHINO steel structures provide security and peace of mind.  No other building system is stronger, more economical, or more practical than a prefabricated steel building.

Our metal buildings are custom fabricated for you.  Whether you prefer a DIY tiny house or a more elaborate home for your aging in-laws, you can design your own guesthouse kit with the RHINO system.

And you will not believe how flexible a RHINO design is.  Finish the outside of your RHINO prefab guesthouse kit as you wish.  Choose colorful steel cladding, stucco, brick, stone, or any other typical exterior building material.  Make your accessory dwelling unit match or complement your main home.

The Versatility of a RHINO Steel Building Guesthouse

Wood-framed structures require carefully positioned load-bearing walls.  That makes floor plan changes problematic. 

This is not the case with a RHINO clear span design.  Our completely unobstructed interior space makes floor plan layout easy.  In fact, you could literally draw your own floor plan on the slab with chalk, if you want.  You can build the walls wherever you like.

The lack of load-bearing walls may be important later, too. 

For example, you might decide later to change your prefab cottage into a backyard office or business.  If the structure’s use changes over time, renovations are simple to make. 

In addition, steel structures ship quickly, erect easily, and last longer than wood-framed structures.

Moreover, with a RHINO backyard guesthouse, you will never worry about termites, mold, rot, or foundation problems. 

As an added bonus, steel’s built-in strength means your RHINO prefab cottage kit provides greater resistance to damaging winds, snows, fires, lightning, and earthquakes than ordinary wood framing.

Better yet, a properly insulated backyard cottage or DIY tiny house saves 50% on heating and cooling

As a commercial-grade building material, a RHINO prefab cottage kit earns substantial discounts on insurance rates, too.


A backyard guesthouse is a great investment.  The best prefab cottage kit is a RHINO steel structure designed specifically for you.

Get Started on Your Own RHINO Guesthouse Kit Today

For more information on building a guest house, expert advice, and a fast quote, please speak with a RHINO metal building advisor now at 940.383.9566.

(Updated 2-26-2020.  Originally published 3-18-2014.)