How Many Rooms Should a Guest House Have?

Last Updated on August 30, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

A guest house, as the name suggests, is a separate dwelling typically located on the grounds of a larger home. It’s designed to provide privacy and comfort for visitors, hence the term ‘guest house.’ However, it’s not only for guests; homeowners can use it for various purposes like a home office, rental property, or simply an extra space for relaxation.

Having a guest house has several benefits. For one, it provides a comfortable and private space for your guests, allowing them to feel more at home during their visit. It can also be a potential source of income if you decide to rent it out.

Furthermore, a well-designed guest house can significantly increase the value of your property. It offers additional living space, which can be useful for large families or those who often have visitors.

In today’s era of remote work and learning, having an extra space can serve as a quiet and dedicated workspace or study area.

Factors That Determine the Number of Rooms in a Guest House

Size of the Property

The size of your property is a significant determinant of the number of rooms in your guest house.

If you have a large piece of land, you can design a spacious guest house with multiple rooms. You could even include additional amenities like a separate living room, kitchen, and dining area.

On the other hand, if your property is relatively small, you may need to limit the number of rooms to avoid overcrowding the space.

In such cases, a guest house might consist of only one or two rooms that serve multipurpose functions. For instance, the living area could also be used as a sleeping space.

Purpose of the Guest House

The intended use of the guest house also plays a crucial role in determining the number of rooms. If you’re planning to use it as a rental property, for example, you might want to include multiple bedrooms to accommodate more tenants and increase potential revenue.

If the guest house is intended for your personal guests, the number of rooms might depend on how many guests you typically have at one time.

If the guest house will serve as a home office or studio, it might only need one or two rooms—a workspace and perhaps a bathroom or small kitchenette.


Your budget is another important factor. Building a guest house can be expensive, and the cost increases with each additional room. This includes not only the construction costs but also the costs of furnishing and maintaining each room.

Therefore, while you might desire a large guest house with several rooms, your budget could necessitate a smaller, more modest structure.

It’s essential to balance your needs and wants with what you can realistically afford. Remember, you can always start small and expand later if necessary and feasible.

Ideal Number of Rooms for a Guest House

guest house

1. Bedroom(s)

Every guesthouse should ideally have at least one bedroom. This provides a private space for guests to rest and store their belongings. The number of bedrooms you need can depend on several factors.

For instance, if you frequently have multiple guests or if the guest house will be used as a rental property, you may need more than one bedroom. Additionally, if the space allows, having multiple bedrooms can also increase the property’s value.

2. Bathroom(s)

A bathroom is another essential room in a guest house. It ensures that your guests have a private space for personal care without having to go back and forth to the main house.

If your guest house has multiple bedrooms or will accommodate more than two people at a time, you might want to consider adding a second bathroom. This can greatly enhance the comfort and convenience of your guest house.

3. Kitchen

Including a kitchen in your guest house design can make the space feel more like a home and provide your guests with the convenience of preparing their meals.

This is particularly beneficial if the guest house is being rented out or if your guests will be staying for an extended period.

The kitchen doesn’t have to be large; a small kitchenette with basic appliances and utensils can suffice.

4. Living Area

A living area provides a space where your guests can relax, entertain themselves, or socialize. It makes the guest house more comfortable and inviting.

The living area can include comfortable seating, a television, and perhaps a small dining table.

If space is limited, this area can be combined with the kitchen to create an open-plan living space. This not only saves space but also creates a more sociable environment.

Additional Rooms to Consider

5. Office/Study Room

In today’s era of remote work and learning, having a dedicated workspace in your guest house can be extremely beneficial.

This space can be used by guests who need to catch up on work during their stay, or by the homeowners themselves as a quiet place to focus away from the main house.

An office or study room can be equipped with a desk, comfortable chair, and good lighting. This addition not only increases the functionality of your guest house but could also make it more attractive to potential renters.

6. Utility Room

A utility room is a practical addition to any guest house. It provides a space for laundry facilities, which adds convenience for both guests and homeowners.

It can also be used for storage, providing a place to keep cleaning supplies, spare linens, and other items that support the functioning of the guest house.

While not necessarily a ‘must-have’, a utility room definitely enhances the usability of the space.

7. Extra Features

Depending on your budget and available space, you might also consider adding some extra features to your guest house.

A home gym, for instance, can be a great addition for fitness enthusiasts. A home theater or game room could provide entertainment for guests and make their stay more enjoyable.

These features can significantly enhance the appeal of your guest house, making it a truly unique and desirable space. However, these are considered luxuries rather than essentials, so they should only be considered if your budget and space allow.

Legal Restrictions and Permissions

Local Zoning Laws and Permits

Before you start building a guest house, it’s critical to familiarize yourself with local zoning laws and obtain all necessary permits.

Zoning laws dictate what can be built where, and they vary from place to place. Some areas may not allow secondary structures like guest houses at all, while others have specific restrictions on their size, location, and use.

Building without the appropriate permits can result in hefty fines, and you may even be ordered to tear down the structure.

Furthermore, having the proper permits ensures that your guest house is built to code, which safeguards the health and safety of anyone who stays there.

It’s always wise to consult with a local contractor or your city’s planning department to understand what is required before you begin construction.

Restrictions on Size and Number of Rooms

Zoning laws may also impact the size of your guest house and the number of rooms it can have. For instance, some jurisdictions limit the square footage of secondary dwellings, which would naturally limit the number of rooms you can include.

Others might specify that guest houses can only contain a certain number of bedrooms or that they must be single-story.

Again, these restrictions can vary widely, so it’s essential to check with your local authorities. By understanding and adhering to these regulations, you can ensure that your project is legal and avoid any potential roadblocks during construction.


The number of rooms in a guest house is determined by several factors, including the intended use of the space, the number of guests it will typically accommodate, local zoning laws and restrictions, and your budget.

A guest house should ideally have at least one bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living area. Additional rooms such as an office/study room, a utility room, or even luxury features like a home gym or theater, can enhance the functionality and appeal of the space. However, these additions should be carefully considered in light of available space, budget, and potential usage.

Before starting construction, it’s crucial to check with local authorities about zoning laws and necessary permits. These regulations can impact the size of your guest house and the number of rooms it can have. Building without the proper permissions can lead to fines and other legal complications.

When planning your guest house, take the time to consider your needs and resources carefully. By doing so, you can create a space that is not only compliant with local laws but also perfectly suited to your requirements. Remember, a well-planned guest house can provide a comfortable stay for your guests, serve as a potential source of income, and increase the overall value of your property.