The term "cottage" may have different regional meanings and connotations. Usually a cottage is a relatively small structure, usually free standing with a yard or in the countryside. For children from urban areas, the term may have fairytale connotations. The term "cottage" or "summer cottage" is also used to refer to a smaller, vacation dwelling, which may be a second home or a rental property.
Because of this use of the term for a part-time or second home, some rather extensive or large homes are referred to as cottages. And in some cases, a structure used for family get-aways may be large and designed to hold extended family and guests, so it may be even larger than any one of the primary homes of the people who use it. When the term cottage is used to refer to a "family get-away" spot it may be a part-time place that has fewer appliances and is not designed for full-time use.
For instance these seasonally used "cottages" may not have some of the features found in a regular, full-time home. For instance some summer cottages are designed without insulation or heating. In these homes, the water supply may need to be turned off and the pipes emptied before winter since with the lack of insulation, if there was water in them it would freeze and damage the pipes. Some cottages could also be called ski or hunting lodges. They are used in winter and have heating capabilities, but be missing other supplies for full-time living, such as food storage or linens (assuming people will bring sleeping bags.
- apartment (or "flat")
- mobile home (or prefabricated)
- secondary suite
- regional differences in homes