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Small house thread - Page 38

post #741 of 790
Our house is ~650sqft... it's me, dh, and 2yr old dd. We're on 16 acres, and the house was built by my grandfather and great-grandfather. Before we moved here, I had a 1300sqft apartment for just me, and dh had a 3000+ sqft house. Now we have storage in 3 different cities!! Hoping to find a way to consolidate soon.

Can't wait to read through all the pages of this thread!
post #742 of 790
I wrote WAY back in the thread somewhere too.. We have been in our 220 square foot fifth wheel for almost 2 years now, one plus of them we were travelling though. We are building a passive solar cob home and will be done enough to move in before winter YAHOO!!!!!! I am very excited to have a bigger space. Our new place is 1000 square feet interior, 1285 exterior cause our walls are 2 feet thick and we have an 1800 square foot roof to give overhangs to protect the cob. So depending on who asks I give them one of the three square footages People who understand smaller space living I say 1000. We have 4 kids and another due in December, our layout is awesome and we will have no problem in the size we have built. We have built no hallways or wasted space at all. In the future we will build another cob "recroom" when the kids get older!
post #743 of 790
Currently we live in a home that is 1850sq feet. DH, Me, and two little girls. A fairly traditional home of 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a living room, Kitchen/with a dining area and then a LARGE 600 sq foot area that we call the "family room" its where we spend the bulk of our time. We only use one bathroom as the one in the master bath is a postage stamp, poorly laid out and always forgotten about. DH and I look at our home and think our space is more than we need. We both grew up in home this size but with double the amount of ppl.

We will be selling our current home and moving to a 2 bedroom apartment. DH is taking a new job 4 hours from where we currently live. We hope to buy a new home with LAND in the next 18mo/2yrs. We'd like for our new home to be around 1000-1400sq feet.
post #744 of 790
I live in a 1050 sq foot place with 2 kids and another one here the end of September. I want to live in a small place for environmental reasons but sometimes it feels so cluttered and small and my dh is always complaining but the least willing to part with stuff. He doesn't think you can live in such a small place and I tell him that if the whole world tried to live in a typical American house there wouldn't be enough resources.

A big problem is layout. We have hallway that is wasted space and too much bathroom. The kitchen is tiny. I gladly sacrifice some living room for more kitchen. We have 2 bedrooms which work for now but since we have opposite sex children I don't know if it will work forever.

I was doing really good with decluttering then I got pregnant and slacked off. I feel I can't keep up on the house. I really wish I had family around here or someone who could watch the kids to get stuff done without a wrecking crew defeating the purpose.

We get lots of gifts too I don't know what to do with. My parents and his send lots of clothes and toys but I like a few quality second hand items from rather than a large amount of cheap stuff.

I go back and forth between wanting to be really minamalist and hanging on to things. I too feel bad when I purge stuff and fill up garbage bags but it not doing any good when it causes so much clutter. We have a storage room that is hepful but it needs a serious purge. We had mice and it needs to get cleaned out but my husband won't let me because of the mouse droppings.
post #745 of 790
We are in a 1000 sq ft apartment, and find that it has a lot of wasted space (long hallway, lots of poorly placed walls, etc.). I think the hardest thing is just keeping up with the clutter. I so hate to do that. I don't like piling everything in the same bin but on the other hand hate sorting things. Am I lazy or what? I wish I could afford a professional organizer.
Kimmom 100 square feet sounds cramped -- does that include the bathroom and closets? Or is there a bathroom?
post #746 of 790
Still reading back through this thread's pages... awesome to read about everybody's small houses! We're planning to rearrange, remodel and/or add on to our house, and my dh drew up the floor plan... thought I'd share: Floor Plan. There's a wood cook stove connected at an angle to chimney in the kitchen/dining that eats that whole corner and another wood stove for heat in the living room (also at an angle) that eats that whole corner. If anyone loves playing with floor plans I'd appreciate any ideas! I love looking at floor plans in magazines, but I've stared at our house plan so much, I'm having trouble seeing any new ideas!

The house was originally four square rooms inside a big square, but later a bathroom and expanded kitchen were added. My dad's family of 9 lived here, and usually they had two relatives that stayed with them during the summer... that was before the addition, so I guess they all 9+ lived comfortably (or so they tell me) and without a bathroom in about ~550sqft. Whenever I feel like I need more space, I remind myself of that.
post #747 of 790
Whew, just made it through all the pages of this thread. AWESOME stories, ideas, and pics!

One idea to add... a friend of mine used to have a very tiny bedroom. She had two dressers that she put side by side and then put her full-size mattress directly on top of the dressers. It worked great.

Has anybody read A Pattern Language? I stumbled across its suggestions for using alcoves and nooks, and love it ... especially for bed clusters for kids, so they each have their own bed/private space but not their own room. Here's a link: http://vasarhelyi.eu/books/A_pattern...e_book/apl.htm
post #748 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookietooth View Post
We are in a 1000 sq ft apartment, and find that it has a lot of wasted space (long hallway, lots of poorly placed walls, etc.). I think the hardest thing is just keeping up with the clutter. I so hate to do that. I don't like piling everything in the same bin but on the other hand hate sorting things. Am I lazy or what? I wish I could afford a professional organizer.
Kimmom 100 square feet sounds cramped -- does that include the bathroom and closets? Or is there a bathroom?
I meant to say 1000 square feet not 100
post #749 of 790
I have a fairly long hallway too.. I am thinking though that once babygirl is ready for a fullsize bed, and I have to move her from the nursery (which is too small) that I might make the long hallway into a walk in closet, and knock out the wall between the nursery and my bedroom. This would make my bedroom much bigger, give me a walk in closet, PLUS then I could knock out the wall between the existing walkin and my bathroom and remodel my bath into something bigger.. but that would take a whopping amount of money.
post #750 of 790
I am struggling with wanting to move to a larger space, or add on to our existing space. Our boys are getting older and I just want elbow room. I want them to have room to spread out, for them to have their friends over and have space to play and hang out. I want to be a house where their friends feel comfortable hanging out and just spending time. I want them to have a place that they feel is their own. I want to be able to have people over and not feel so cramped. Our house also has zero storage, and we spend a lot of time here because we homeschool, so I want to have space to store the things that we actually use, and to use them too. I really just want a bigger house, or at least a garage or attic, or just one extra room. But at the same time, I feel it is only for a short time. I want a bigger house now, but then my kids will be grown and then what would I do with a bigger house? Plus, we have such a reasonable mortgage, so it gives us money to do other things that I like about our life. I could go out and earn more money and buy a bigger house but then that would be money that we could spend on travel, college, or other things that enhance our lives. Although, I also feel that having a bit more space would enhance our lives too.

Just venting out loud here, because I've really been considering the possibility of adding on a room, and in the process I've thought, well maybe we should just move to a bigger house. DH thinks everything is fine here and we just have too much stuff. But he leaves and goes to work every day. For us it is more than just a place to eat dinner and sleep.

I absolutely am happy and grateful to have a home, in the market where we live! Just kind of struggling right now with whether or not to consider either moving, investing in our home to add on, or just staying with how things are.
post #751 of 790
Pinoikoi, that depends-- a sledgehammer doesn't cost much as long as you're not knocking out supporting walls, you can do all that wall work you described for very little cash and a big mess to clean up even trimming out the walls isn't that bad (this from a farm wife homeschool momma who is very, very seriously broke!). the bathroom redo could get costly, but you could do the other stuff and postpone the bath part, if you were really feelin' the call

momofmine, what about something temporary, like a cabin tent in the yard? or what about enlisting a friend to help you do a tremendous purge, then see how much stuff you have? what about more clever storage solutions, dual-purpose furnishings, going vertical with stuff? in other words, how far towards the space you want can you go without having to build more space? imho, better to reduce needs to the minimum before expanding unnecessarily, kwim?

I can't remember if it was this thread or the purge one, but someone recently posted a video of this guy's apartment... darnit, I can't remember the details. I *think* it was in tokyo but I'm not sure. anyway, it was super tiny, about 350 sq ft, but he had built these amazing rolling walls so rooms essentially collapsed away when not in use. I'm thinking of getting dh to build a double-sided bookshelf wall on wheels modeled after that idea. if it's done right so the shelves are adjustable, it can hold all kinds of things which can change as the kids' needs change, including lots of homeschool supplies, toys, collectibles, and obviously books. thinking of your boys possibly wanting a little more privacy, I wonder if something similar could work in your house? a rolling wall that might close off an area in a room where there's a tv or game console, for instance, where they could hang with their friends with a little extra privacy? have they asked for this privacy? maybe they have ideas about how it can work in the space you already have.

just brewing ideas along with my decaf
post #752 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by treehugz View Post
If anyone loves playing with floor plans I'd appreciate any ideas! I love looking at floor plans in magazines, but I've stared at our house plan so much, I'm having trouble seeing any new ideas!
treehugz, I take it this is the plan as it is now? what sort of changes do you think you want to make?
post #753 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmom View Post
In the future we will build another cob "recroom" when the kids get older!
I would LOOOOOVE a cob recroom! I think about doing that all. the. time. or maybe an earthbag studio just for me
post #754 of 790
hello,
i would try to search some information for you..
post #755 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by goddessjulia View Post
treehugz, I take it this is the plan as it is now? what sort of changes do you think you want to make?
Hah! What changes DON'T I want to make! That is the current plan of the house. Here are some of the main changes we want:
1. the living room only connects with the kitchen/dining through a small doorway... we'd like it more open to help the flow of traffic and make it possible to have guests.
2. the living room is very cramped, with three doors, two low windows, a wall heater, and a wood stove. We'd like to expand this area... I also have an antique wall piano that we'd like to create an alcove for in here (it's in the bedroom now).
3. stackable washer/dryer and water heater are now taking up real estate in the kitchen... they need their own space.
4. only one closet in the house and it's small and in the bathroom. We want to add closets for the bedrooms... perhaps adding another bath if we expand those rooms.
5. make better use of the south side of the house. We want to do some passive solar. Right now the south entry sun is blocked by a screened porch (currently our workshop for the renovations we've done so far)... we've talked about reconfiguring the main house layout or adding on to put the living room on the south side of the house.

The house has significant family historical value to us, so we don't want to make any radical changes that alter the original look and "feel" of the house... i.e. no huge two story additions that dwarf the house. We have TONS of wants and ideas, but can't seem to figure out how to make them actually work. We're only seeing the constraints right now... no solutions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
DH thinks everything is fine here and we just have too much stuff. But he leaves and goes to work every day. For us it is more than just a place to eat dinner and sleep.
... that's us. And yet most of the stuff is his and it's such a challenge to get him to get rid of anything!!
post #756 of 790
Haven't posted here in awhile! We are a family of 6 living in 800 sq ft. The layout is not good at all. It's 2 single apartment units combined. One tiny bedroom for 4 kids to share and we literally do not have enough bed space for them now. We have been eyeing our nextdoor neighbors apartment for a couple years and last month approached them with an offer to sell to us... and they were about to put it on the market! We signed papers today So now we will have 1200 sq ft. My mind is spinning on how to combine these units together to make it workable and look nice with certain walls having to stay put. We also have some stuff in storage so I'm now going through it all to see if we can get rid of our storage space. So exciting, but daunting at the same time.
post #757 of 790
We're still sanding drywall

I'm hoping that we'll be cleared by the code office and moved into the addition by Yule. I'd LOVE to have a holiday tree that can "use" the high ceiling! For now we're still a family of 5 (and a cat) in a two room cabin of roughly 850 sq/ft. Once the addition is done we'll be a family of 5 (and a cat) in a four room cabin of roughly 1100 sq/ft. So not exactly "tiny" but still "small".

For those looking for space... vertical space rocks! As does the space between wall studs. An interior wall (so no insulation) might have 12-18 or even 24 inches of space between the studs. Just open up the wall (check for wires as you go!) and install shelves. It's not a lot of space, but it adds up!
post #758 of 790
Hi there!
We are a family of five in 1460 s.f. I don't know who takes up more space: the 14-year-old or the two- and four-year-old?
This was supposed to be the two year house and it has been six years. And, now that we are looking seriously at a child in college, this might be it for us.
I regret that it is a townhouse and we have no yard, no playroom, no room for guests to stay over, little storage. However, we are in walking distance of downtown, we can pay our mortgage, we are always keeping an eye on the kids and spending time together, our yardwork is done for us.
I am trying to love this space. We moved in feeling like it is temporary, and we have treated it as temporary for six years. It is cluttered and not rationalized.
I am on this thread for inspiration! Help me take good care of this!
(If I can really love this house, we may not need to upgrade, and I can stay home with my babies longer!!!)

Thanks, mamas!!
post #759 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
I am struggling with wanting to move to a larger space, or add on to our existing space. Our boys are getting older and I just want elbow room. I want them to have room to spread out, for them to have their friends over and have space to play and hang out. I want to be a house where their friends feel comfortable hanging out and just spending time. I want them to have a place that they feel is their own. I want to be able to have people over and not feel so cramped. Our house also has zero storage, and we spend a lot of time here because we homeschool, so I want to have space to store the things that we actually use, and to use them too. I really just want a bigger house, or at least a garage or attic, or just one extra room. But at the same time, I feel it is only for a short time. I want a bigger house now, but then my kids will be grown and then what would I do with a bigger house? Plus, we have such a reasonable mortgage, so it gives us money to do other things that I like about our life. I could go out and earn more money and buy a bigger house but then that would be money that we could spend on travel, college, or other things that enhance our lives. Although, I also feel that having a bit more space would enhance our lives too.

Just venting out loud here, because I've really been considering the possibility of adding on a room, and in the process I've thought, well maybe we should just move to a bigger house. DH thinks everything is fine here and we just have too much stuff. But he leaves and goes to work every day. For us it is more than just a place to eat dinner and sleep.

I absolutely am happy and grateful to have a home, in the market where we live! Just kind of struggling right now with whether or not to consider either moving, investing in our home to add on, or just staying with how things are.
Basically, everything that she said! I am so grateful for what we have.. except when it seems overwhelming and miserable, blah blah. I think I need an attitude adjustment because it doesn't look like I will be getting more space anytime soon- lol!
post #760 of 790
I posted waaaaaaaaaaaay upthread. We have ~950 sq ft. It's a three bedroom/one bath 1950's tract house. I never wanted to move into this house because the layout sucks but I didn't bully my partner into selling before marrying him so now that the housing market crashed I'm probably stuck here forever. We like being in the bay area and we really can't afford a better house here. Like a year ago I refinanced to a 15 year mortgage and cut 8 years off the life of our mortgage and we are paying it down aggressively. I'm really hoping that we have our mortgage completely paid off before I'm 40 and my husband is 45.

I've done a lot to make our house better for me. I painted the walls super bright cheerful colors (PURPLE! BLUE! GREEN! RASPBERRY!) and I finished the two car garage with the help of a friend and turned it into a playroom/pantry. It has helped a lot in terms of making the house feel less crowded (so really I'm probably up to like 1200 sq ft of livable space). I declutter constantly. I'm always trying to get rid of stuff and find a way to make our house feel more cozy. I don't know what my next move will be, but I'm feeling discontent with the space again. I want something to change. I probably should hang out and wait a couple of years and save money but it's hard. I would really like to have more usable space in the backyard and I can't do most of that work by myself and my husband has zero interest in house improvement stuff. So I have to save up and pay for help. And we just had an expensive year because of the new baby. Money is the eternal limiting factor.
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