Build a Cottage

CLICK HERE to download the PDF version and form.

Builder Incentives

On behalf of CVHN, we are grateful that you are willing to donate your time, resources and services to help CVHN raise funds to continue fulfilling its mission and commitment to the Okaloosa and Walton County communities. In return, we want to help promote your business as much as possible throughout the Cottages for Kids event this October. Below we have listed some opportunities for your business to be recognized and promoted to the community and we are happy to help in other ways if we can.

  • Company logo on CVHN website (+link to company website)
  • Company mentioned in event press release (if confirmed by 9/1/14)
  • Company logo on sign outside of your cottage throughout entire event
  • Company logo on event banner at event site in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin
  • Two full pages in event program including cottage artwork and rendering, company logo, cottage description and inspiration, special thanks to your builder team
  • Company mention though local media partnerships ( and others)
  • Company featured on CVHN’s Facebook page with company description and link to company website
  • Pictures of cottage on CVHN’s Facebook page (+plus description and link to website)
  • Pictures of cottage on Cottages for Kids Website
  • Pictures sent to local media in event follow up press release with photo cutline
    *not guaranteed to be published in media outlets
  • Company spotlight on with brief bio and Cottage plan

Children’s Volunteer Health Network is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the law. Federal Tax ID# 20-3276365. CVHN provides access to free medical, dental, vision and mental health care to uninsured and underinsured children in Okaloosa and Walton Counties.  Please visit or call 850-622-3200 for more information.



Builder & Architect Guidelines

I. Specifications & Requirements


A. Dimensions: 6’x6’ Modules- Your playhouse MUST be built in modular units, no larger than 6’x6’ EACH unit, with a maximum of 3 units combined. Each unit must be broken down individually to be placed on a trailer for transport. Per D.O.T. standards, the total height (structure plus height of trailer) should be no higher than 13’6”. It is critical that the units assemble & disassemble easily for shipping to its final destination. The pre-assembled cottage, or its modular units, must be on 4 X 4 skids under floor framing ability to be picked up by a sky lift and not to damage grass underneath. Doors/ openings must accommodate a child 5’ or taller, and said child must be able to stand up inside the structure.

B. Green Materials: CFK is focusing on teaching kids how playhouses can be built in a way that is friendly to their environment. We encourage each cottage to incorporate principles of green building. The materials used must also be safe and non-toxic for children. The U.S. Green Building Council web site ( and are great resources to steer you in design and material usage.

(See also attached “Green” Ideas)

C. Interior Finishes: Your playhouse should be fun and imaginative on the inside and on the outside. Working with an interior designer can help you create a fun-friendly environment, with learning and discovery in mind. Make it as detailed or simple as you like. All accessories in your cottage should be fun and engaging, but also safe. Loose items should be child-safe; if kids can pick it up and move it, it should not be: glass, sharp, small enough to swallow or be made of toxic materials.

D. Security: Locking doors are suggested, but not required. Keep in mind that the event will be surrounded by sand-fencing, with a locked gate. Although on-site personnel help us keep an eye on the cottages, they are not responsible for their contents.

E. Utilities: No plumbing or electricity may be installed; however, you may incorporate renewable energy cisterns and solar power. Electricity and water are not provided at the event.

F. Transportation: You will be responsible for transporting your playhouse (at a time and date to be determined, but in October) to Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. Please keep in mind that the winners of your playhouse also have to get it to its final designation, so disassembly and reassembly should be reasonably done in simple steps. Additionally, it is important that this process can be accomplished without damaging your placement site. The use of cordless/rechargeable tools or generators is encouraged for on-site work, once your playhouse is delivered. After the event, a representative from each team will need to be on site at a time coordinated with the purchaser, to provide assistance and direction. This will help ensure a smooth removal as well as provide a much needed overview for the purchaser.

G. Safety: Follow common sense safety guidelines when designing and building your playhouse. Would you let your 6+ year old child play on/ in it with limited supervision? Any stairs, steps, ladders or platforms more than 10” above ground level are required to have hand railings. Ladders to 2nd story interiors and/or exteriors must be at safe angles, and secured at both top and bottom landings. Guardrails at 2nd story balconies and walkways must include pickets spaced appropriately.

H. Plans & Renderings: Cottage plans are required to help us understand your concept, and make sure that it meets all the above requirements. A professional rendering is also required (due dates below) for your page in our event program; your rendering will be published and distributed in the program prior to and during the event.

Event Site Details


A. Signage: CFK will provide a sign per cottage, which will include the following: Cottage name, Builder’s name, Architect or Designer’s name. Any other signage at the exterior of the cottage must be approved. For marketing purposes, we recommend that you utilize the interior of your cottage to list and acknowledge any of your trades-people, donors of goods & materials, volunteers, etc. We recommend you list your “green” elements inside the cottage.

B. Landscaping: We encourage some green finishing touches to the exterior of your cottage (pavers, potted plants, etc.). You must provide us with these plans prior to your delivery date, as each cottage area is carefully mapped out, with a specific amount of space provided. Also, there is no direct water hook-up available at the event site, so other arrangements for watering plant material will need to be made.

C. Cottage Delivery/ Pickup: Prior to the event, we will work with you to determine your specific delivery date and time within a 3 day period. Once established, it is important that you meet the target for delivery. You will also be given a brief period (2-3 days) within which time you have to put some finishing touches on your playhouse. All additions, changes and improvements must be completed by the deadline, prior to the event opening. Builders are also asked to come back and disassemble their cottage to prep for transporting to winners home.

D. Media Day & Other Events: We would like to establish October 31, 2014, as the grand opening to the public. There will be a media preview and kick-off party on October 30. We recommend that you have a representative on-site on this day, and as many other event days as you can, to answer questions about your specific design, building techniques, etc. We will also notify you in advance of any other specific events, such as school field trips.

Timeline, Due Dates & Check Points

A. Event Dates: Cottages for Kids opens to the public on October 31st. The event will be open every day at designated times through Sunday, November 9, 2014.

B. Deadlines & Check Points: You will be contacted after certain deadlines, to meet with one of our committee members to go over your plans, and inspect your cottage prior to your delivery date. Please review key dates below:

Monday 8/25

Builder entry forms due

Monday 8/25

Cottage Renderings and Name Due

Monday 10/6

Program Information due (company logo, rendering, brief description of your company, list of contributors you would like to thank)

Monday 10/27 – Wednesday 10/29

Cottages delivered

Thursday 10/30

Cottages inspected by CVHN/Grand Boulevard for safety, etc.

Thursday 10/30

By 12pm: All cottages must be delivered, decorated, painted, etc.

4:30pm: Ribbon Cutting & Media Preview/Walkabout

Thursday 10/30 at 5:00pm

CFK 2014 Kickoff Party

Raffle Tickets go on sale (Kickoff Party & Online)

Location TBD

Friday 10/31

Gates open at 12 pm

Gates will be open the following dates & times (tentative):

  • Friday 10/31 12 pm – 8 pm (Trick or Treat event at Grand Boulevard, Time TBD)
  • Saturday 11/1 12 pm – 8 pm
  • Sunday 11/2 4 pm – 7 pm
  • Monday 11/3 4 pm – 7 pm
  • Tuesday 11/4 4 pm – 7 pm
  • Wednesday 11/5 4 pm – 7 pm
  • Thursday 11/6 4 pm – 7 pm
  • Friday 11/7 12 pm – 8 pm
  • Saturday 11/8 12 pm – 8 pm
  • Sunday 11/9 4 pm – 7 pm

Cottages Removed Monday 11/10 or Tuesday 11/11 between 9am-4pm


A Few Tips…

Work together to create the most unique & fun cottage!

Enlist sponsors, trade partners, volunteers….as many as you can.

If you need assistance finding an architect or builder to partner with please contact us, and we’ll help you round out your team.

Green List

What is Green Building?

Much publicity has surrounded commercial building due to the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system for commercial buildings. Because of this publicity, green building techniques and materials have captured the attention of residential homebuilders and homeowners alike.

Both the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) have launched separate national initiatives to establish construction and performance standards for residential construction and to move green building solidly into the mainstream.

Both use numerous criteria to determine a material’s impact on the environment, like global warming impact, resource efficiency, and recyclability. They define a green home as one that saves energy, water, and other natural resources; incorporates sustainable or recycled products and materials; and protects indoor air quality.

Building homes that last longer, use less energy and water, respect local conditions, and that are constructed with materials that are less toxic, renewable and locally-produced makes sense! These structures are more comfortable, healthier, more durable, and cost less to operate.

Why is this Important to Us?

Our mission at CVHN is to enhance the lives of children in Okaloosa and Walton Counties by facilitating free immediate access to health, dental and mental care for uninsured and underinsured children. By educating our community about the benefits of green building techniques, we are teaching and encouraging the community to work together to make the world we live in a healthier place for these children. And better health means fewer sick children.

What is your Role in This?

Instead of imposing rigid standards on how and what you should build, we’d like to see you get CREATIVE! Find innovative ways to “go green!” Make your fellow cottage builders Green with Envy!

Can we give you Some Ideas?

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recover, Recycle, Renew
  • Use products that meet the highest standards for performance, air quality and VOC emissions.
  • Consider the distance building materials must travel to the job site; look for local and regional materials that are transported shorter distances.
  • Avoid products containing PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
  • Avoid the use of tropical hardwoods; use domestic species of wood.
  • Look for opportunities to use leftover or salvaged materials.
  • Promote efficient use of materials through optimum value engineering—designing a structure to use the minimum amount of materials based on structural needs, standard dimensions of building materials, etc.
  • Design for passive cooling and heating to help maintain indoor comfort.
  • Landscaping should be easy to maintain with minimal inputs of irrigation and fertilizer; look for ways to incorporate passive cooling and edibles into landscaping.
  • Consider the health of children and construction staff when specifying materials; minimize or eliminate the use of toxic glues/paints/solvents and other toxic products; use mechanical fasteners rather than adhesives where appropriate.
  • Use low-toxicity paint/stain from natural, renewable sources instead of petroleum-based products.
  • Any lights, fans or other electrical devices should be directly powered by renewable sources only.
  • If water for irrigation is desired, rainwater harvesting should be the source.

 Contact Information

Kim Kelley, CVHN, Event Coordinator

Zach Billingsley, CVHN, Executive Director

Jon Kazek, Builder’s Liaison


CLICK HERE to download the PDF version and form.

Last Updated: August 10th, 2014 |

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