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Do sellers of floorplans just live in another world? - Page 2

post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I really wanted to learn more, I even put the books on hold at the library, and then I took a look at the home plans they had for sale. 2000+ sqft!!! 3000+ with basement!! For a house with only 3 bedrooms! And the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms were labelled "Guest" and "Guest/office" like the house isn't even for a family. How on earth is that much space for two people "not so big"?
I thought about giving a warning/disclaimer in my blog about that little oddity. I also got her books from the library long ago...wanting to see cute tiny houses...only to be disappointed. But the one thing that she is known for is her USE of space. And the different design techniques...such as "having a light to walk toward". I love that. She talked a lot about her book Home By Design. She said it has all of those "principals" that you need to master...and they will work if your home is tiny or large.

She's also coming out with a book in May 2007 called "The Not So Big Life"...about downsizing your committments, and figuring out what your priorities are. There are so many self-help books like it...but I will certainly check it out in May!
post #22 of 43
Our 800 sf apartment condo is too small for us but we'll be here for atleast another year and another kid. It may be layout but I have worked really hard to maximize with shelving and everything. What I dislike the most is how difficult it is to have people over here. We basically never have anyone over and keeping it clean is really difficult. Using one table as an office and workspace for my business (I'm an artist), my dh's grading papers and his grad school homework, my dd's coloring, and cleaning off all projects (bringing all work to a complete stop) for meals 3 times a day - kind of sucks. : If it isn't used daily - it's not kept in our home but in my mother in law's basement. I packed up quite a few of my dd's toys (even favorites) because we don't have room for them. I'll rotate them out of storage and put away others. She's not too happy about that as her toys are really 'bare bones' now. This house is really hard to keep clean because I can't afford the cool organizers that would make things work here better and cramming a lot of essential items into small spaces means = a big jumbled mess. We have no floorspace and no yard and we're always ontop of each other, needing the same area at the same time.

I'm sure if our layout was better life here wouldn't be so lame, but a lot of days I just wish I had somewhere to keep my business supplies and my kid could have room to jump around a little.
post #23 of 43
In the author's defense, she calls it the "not-so-big" house, as opposed to the "small" house. I think her point is that an average-sized house can be more useful, and more attractive, than the big house that so many people think they need.

I've been really inspired by her ideas. We are building a house soon, and we've put a lot of thought into the design. Due to the layout of the lot, the dimensions of the 2-story house can't be any larger than 20" deep by 40" wide, so it's a bit challenging to fit our dream house into that footprint.
post #24 of 43
Like sophmama we are living in a tiny place right now that doesn't even have room for cool organizing things. Actually, the house is pretty organized; what we truly need is more space. Hopefully soon we can move to a home.

We would love to build a home based on the principles of the Not So Big House. I love the style of those homes with the natural colored woodwork. DH loves Japanese design and I think it works perfectly with that.

Anyway, someday when we can build, all we want is a rectangle; essentially a barn, really. We want the kitchen, dining, and living to be all one long room, maybe with a step down from dining to living. With a fire place at the end of the house in the LR. Stacked washer/dryer in the kitchen. At the other end of the house would be a staircase behind the kitchen wall with a master bedroom and bath on the other side of the staricase. Upstairs we would want 3 more BRs (one for each child, plus a guest room as we do often have my mother here) and a full bath. In the basement would be the mechanicals and a workshop for DH and studio for me.

It seems to me that is pretty simple to construct: just a rectangle with very few walls. Maybe one of you architects can explain to me why on Earth it is so expensive to build a house? Is it mostly just the clearing of the land and digging of the basement that is so costly? We don't neccesarily want a post and beam house, but that does seem to fit our simple rectangle style. Why is post and beam so expensive? We have also looked at http://www.shelter-kit.com/barnhouse.html We would do the 24' x 64' one and then just divide it up inside the way we want.
post #25 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorbinsMama View Post
It seems to me that is pretty simple to construct: just a rectangle with very few walls. Maybe one of you architects can explain to me why on Earth it is so expensive to build a house? Is it mostly just the clearing of the land and digging of the basement that is so costly? We don't neccesarily want a post and beam house, but that does seem to fit our simple rectangle style. Why is post and beam so expensive? We have also looked at http://www.shelter-kit.com/barnhouse.html We would do the 24' x 64' one and then just divide it up inside the way we want.
I was going to suggest that to you. Although it occurs to me I know about them because of a post you made earlier.
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I was reading through the "not so big house" website and it's talking about how better home design means you can have a smaller house and still have everything you like. Which I totally agree with, I think one of the reasons our 1200 sqft home feels too small for dh and I is it has a lousy floorplan--not the worst possible, but not designed for how we live. So I was really interested in the concepts the website was presenting, I really wanted to learn more, I even put the books on hold at the library, and then I took a look at the home plans they had for sale. 2000+ sqft!!! 3000+ with basement!! For a house with only 3 bedrooms! And the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms were labelled "Guest" and "Guest/office" like the house isn't even for a family. How on earth is that much space for two people "not so big"?

It's like the time I read an article on decorating small bathrooms that thought "small" was 15' by 15'. Sorry, but if I had room for an armchair in my bathroom, I wouldn't *need* help decorating.
I'm so with you. Not so big? My could be not so big if I lived alone! Even then space would be tight.

The only way I could fit an armchair in my bathroom wouild be if I put it in the tub. Not that it would fit! My bathroom is so small that two people can barely stand in it-unless one is in the tub. It's the only bathroom in the house too!

I'd love to see advice for people who live in really small spaces. Or who have 5 or more people sharing 1200 sq feet.
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeelise View Post

We live in a 1919 bungalow style home with 1156 square feet above ground and about 600 sf below ground. ... The family that owned our house prior raised 4 kids (6 people total) here (without a finished basement) and I am sure it was great for them. Americans have gotten way out of hand with the bigness of the things they have. Keeping up with the Joneses I guess!!

I've posted this before but we live in a 1200 sq ft Cape Cod with an unfinsihed basment. There are there not very big bedrooms, one medium sized LR, a dining room and a small kitchen (not quite big enough for a table. One of the families that lived her had 10 kids. The family who built the house had 4 kids so that shows the different expectations in 1955
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I was going to suggest that to you. Although it occurs to me I know about them because of a post you made earlier.
Hmmm... maybe so!

It's seems silly to me to have all kinds of crazy big rooms in a house. All I need is a decent size kitchen (I cook and bake a lot), and a place to eat and hang out together with friends and family. Who needs a big room just for sleeping?
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorbinsMama View Post
Hmmm... maybe so!

It's seems silly to me to have all kinds of crazy big rooms in a house. All I need is a decent size kitchen (I cook and bake a lot), and a place to eat and hang out together with friends and family. Who needs a big room just for sleeping?
Exactly! We're building a house right now, and I had to work HARD to talk dh out of a 2000 sf house. I cook & bake a lot, and we entertain a lot, so a big, open kitchen/dining/living room was really important to us. The other rooms are fairly small, which suits me just fine!
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
So I was really interested in the concepts the website was presenting, I really wanted to learn more, I even put the books on hold at the library, and then I took a look at the home plans they had for sale. 2000+ sqft!!! 3000+ with basement!! For a house with only 3 bedrooms! And the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms were labelled "Guest" and "Guest/office" like the house isn't even for a family. How on earth is that much space for two people "not so big"?

I thought the exact same thing when I looked through their books/website. I love the CONCEPT but wish they should actual small houses - under 1000 sq. ft., for example.

We live in a 2 bed/1 bath 960 sq.ft. house built in 1945. It's perfect for our three person family. When we have another child, it will still be a great size. Our room and our son's room are each about 120 sq. ft., plenty for us. Guests stay on an air mattress in the livingroom.

We're getting ready to remodel our kitchen and bathroom, both of which haven't been done in more than 30 years and have structural damage. I've been doing a LOT of planning to get the maximum storage out of the space, even planning which drawers and cabinets will hold what in the kitchen so I have the most efficient cooking space. That's what I've taken from NSBH - fitting things into the nooks and crannies, and making rooms work for you. The pictures sure are pretty, too. But a separate "away" room? Not in my square footage!
post #31 of 43
Ahh..so I'm NOT going insane? I just finished reading an article about the author/her books and thought, "Dang, if that's 'not so big" what the heck would she consider ours??" --For the record, 950 sq ft, 3 bedrooms. We LOVE our house!! To be honest, the basement is completely/professionally done so it almost doubles the living space. But still......1900 sq ft is NOT a small house.
My SIL just built/moved into a 3000 sq ft house and it is just ridiculous.
post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
"Up to" is fine. 1900 sq ft would be really small for a house that had 5 bedrooms for instance
We are buying our neighbor's apartment, which is 1500 sq feet + 250 sq foot balcony. It was originally a 5 bedroom apartment, but they took out 1 room to make 1 room 1.5 times the size of a normal room (prob. average by US standards) and teh living room a bit bigger, so it is a 4br (master, 2 smallish bedrooms, 1 bigger bedroom). Our apartment is 1076 sq feet (plus 100 sq foot balcony) and it is 3 bedrooms. No dining room in either place, and her kitchen has room for a small eat at counter, but mine doesn't (it could if you took a wall down, we just didn't). I think homes and apartments here are designed more pratically. The bedrooms are smallish, but if you use verticle space bunk / loft beds how big do they need to be, they are just for sleeping in . I usually don't see seperate dining areas. There is usually a main room, kitchen, and bedrooms. It's amazing what people think they "need" though. We are moving to the 1500 sq ft. apartment as our "forever home." We hope to have 5 - 6 kids total, so for us it seems perfect. My neighbors are moving into a 2600 sq foot house. The people looking at our apartment have 6 kids, and for them 3 bedrooms and a pretty small living / dining room is enough. I also have a storeroom on the top floor of the apartment building (maybe 100 sq feet? but you can use verticle space). It's not practicle to keep every day things there, but it works for clothes I want to hand down some day, off season clothes, etc.
post #33 of 43
My hubby and I have talked about building our own craftsman replica someday. You know, the kind they built circa 1915. I love looking at the old Sears catalog blueprints for home kits from that era-- you can find these online. They are small homes, most of them starter homes designed for what at the time was considered a small family-- not more than 3 or 4 kids. They look pretty good to me, we would probably start with one of those blueprints and just make some adjustments. I would add an extra toilet (but one bathroom works fine) and probably make the kitchen a little bigger since I also love to cook. But we could get rid of the dining room, don't need that. An extra room just for eating seems like such a waste to me!
post #34 of 43
Thread Starter 
Okay, got the first book "Making your House a Home" or something, and it's fabulous. Not so much as a practical idea book, but the pictures are just lovely. And there's a 600sqft home pictured that has the concepts she's presenting and it does look much larger than you'd expect 600sqft to look.

I'm really proud of me too, some of the changes I've made in our house: creating an entrance area, defining the kitchen as its own space with tile, turning a wall corner into a nook, are all mentioned in the book.
post #35 of 43
sapphire_chan, That book sounds wonderful! I'm going to give it a look.

Edited: I went to look for it on Amazon, but that title didn't come up. When you get a chance, could you post the title? No big hurry.
post #36 of 43
Thread Starter 
"Home by Design" The author is Susanka. Looks like Amazon lets you search inside the books so you might browse a bit.
post #37 of 43
Thanks!
post #38 of 43
Thread Starter 
got more of Susanka's books from the library and they're all utterly fabulous. (I meant to post this back when I changed the title of the thread.)

I love that she puts so many things into words that I'd felt but not been able to express. Like why my current house is so "pleh".
post #39 of 43
Great thread....

We bought an 800 sq foot house- two bedrooms- no basement, no garage.

It's essentially a cabin someone built, couldnt rent out, so they sold it.

I want to be content and not feel like we have to move- but sometimes its hard!

There are 5 of us in here, and we just want it to work better. We have no place to stowe bags, shoes, hats and jackets. Right now thats the bigest problem- the front door pile up. Nothing we bring in has anywhere to go!

I've checked out Not So Big house several times- looking for practical answers.

I'll check out Susankas book.
post #40 of 43
I agree! We have the smallest house in our neighborhood at 1700 sq feet. We only use two of the three bedrooms. The spare room is used as storage. When the IL's come for another long visit from India we will buy a bedroom set for it. Our girls share a room. The main area of the house is a large greatroom and that's where everything takes place. I like the "forced" togetherness it brings.

Our master bathroom is such a waste of space. We have a garden tub and a separate shower, and a separate toilet room, double sinks between a long counter. If we had the funds, I would convert that area to a home office. I know most people would drool over our bathroom but for me, it's just one more thing to clean. I mean, how many bathrooms/sinks/tubs do four people need? The kids bathroom is adequate size for all of us.
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