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Hurricane Katrina was THE most costly natural disaster in the history of the United States at the time of this writing. It displaced thousands of residents of New Orleans and the surrounding region. There is a HUGE mess to clean up and a HUGE housing problem to solve.
That’s where the Cusato Cottage comes in, also known as the Katrina Cottage.
The Cusato Cottage was designed by Marianne Cusato, among other things, as a better alternative to a FEMA trailer. In fact, it is designed as a permanent dwelling that is built to last and actually made with the intention of the homeowner adding on to it as they are financially able to do so.
The original Katrina Cottage (Cusato Cottage 1) is 14 x 22 ft plus it comes with an 8-foot-deep porch with bench seating. It is the same size and price as a temporary FEMA trailer but offers permanent housing and dignity. It can be placed on a set of axles and hauled to wherever necessary in time of need and then used as a permanent dwelling from that point. What a concept!
It is quite an amazing little home that is engineered to withstand 140 mph winds. The Katrina Cottage steel frame and Hardiplank fiber cement siding also make it durable, termite-free, fire-resistant and mold-resistant with a metal roof to top it off.
The Katrina Cottage is also the winner of the 2006 Cooper-Hewitt People’s Design Award.
It almost became the best little house never built, although a home designed this great would not have gone unnoticed by the masses for long and eventually would have debuted somewhere, somehow. It was actually a replacement display at the International Builders Show in Orlando in January 2006. That’s all it took for what we all hope will be a hugely successful launch of the rebuilding of the Katrina-ravaged Gulf coast region. Obviously, there is much to do besides just providing housing in the devastated region but this is a humongous step forward towards getting things back to normal.
There are many different design variations already being made available for viewing by the public. The cottages are being made available for purchase as both blueprints and materials packages through Lowe’s, known as Lowe’s Katrina Cottage Series. They will be available very soon in the Mississippi and Louisiana region at select Lowe’s stores and nationwide by Spring 2007.
Prices range from $45-$55/sq.ft.. Everything is included. The homeowner only needs to provide the foundation, the HVAC system and their personal belongings.
What a Deal!!!
Everything You Need To Know About Katrina Cottages Can Be Found Right Here
I started as a home-stalker… visiting brand new homes under construction in the neighborhoods near my house. That inspired me to write about home building and home renovation projects — chronicling homes during different phases of construction from a consumer's point-of-view. Basically, the tips you'll find in my articles are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building or remodeling a quality home.