What is a reasonably sized house? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-14-2007, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
Juliacat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Left of center
Posts: 5,274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I firmly believe, as most people in this forum do, that the trend of giant houses even as families grow smaller is ridiculous. I firmly believe that a smaller house, a smaller mortgage or rent payment, less stuff, and more simplicity leads to a happier, more fulfilling life.

But I still think my house is too small.

I don't plan on moving, but if I could have whatever I wanted, I would want a bigger house. Our house is 680 square feet with three people living in it--sometimes four when my mom is here, and would be four if we were to have another kid. If I could have whatever I wanted, I would want a house similar to this one but at least 800 square feet. I even think 1500 wouldn't be completely unreasonable.

How many square feet per person do you think is reasonable for a house?

Mommy to eyesroll.gif (age 7) and mischievous.gif (age 3)

Juliacat is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-14-2007, 02:07 PM
 
pibblestiltskin@ma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 470
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are four of us in 1000 sq ft., 2 bedrooms 1 bath. This size would be fine if we could convert some space into a third bedroom (we have opposite sex kids and I am sure at some point they will want/need more privacy). I'd love to have a bit more space - not more than 1500 sq ft - since we do often have guests and like to entertain.

I like that we use all of our house everyday. I know too many people with big houses that have rooms that never get used. What a waste.
pibblestiltskin@ma is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 02:37 PM
 
klg47's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,551
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is something I struggle with. Our apartment is 750 square feet and we have 3 or 4 people living here (dh was a truck driver and is now living in another city for a job, so he doesn't really live here much), and another on the way. I definitely like that it's easy to clean up our place, but I also would like more space.
klg47 is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 03:45 PM
 
Leta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ishpeming, MI
Posts: 3,458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It depends on the number of people and their ages.

I think that, for an average family of 4 or 5 people, it would be difficult to live in 1000 sq. ft. or less.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
Leta is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 04:05 PM
 
PeacefulSeams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: My Zen state of mind
Posts: 1,980
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We are 3 people living in a 950 sq ft house and I want to go smaller. My DH disagrees with me. He wants a larger space. The way I see it, smaller = less stuff. less stuff=less cleaning=happier mom.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" --Leonardo Da Vinci
 blogging.jpg  780/2014 decluttered

PeacefulSeams is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 04:29 PM
 
Krystal323's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: In a world of dreams
Posts: 3,139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
sorry...but 680 square feet for three people sounds outrageously small to me! the house i used to live in was 1200, and that was okay for 4 of us. now i've moved into a 1000 sq ft apt, and baby makes 5, and it feels horribly tiny. i am all about minimal stuff, but i like to have empty floorspace and places to retreat to other than just *couch-bed-kitchentable*, yk? maybe i'm spoiled...?

Freethinking Earth-mama of five. uc.jpg

Krystal323 is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 04:39 PM
 
klg47's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,551
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenenlightened View Post
The way I see it, smaller = less stuff. less stuff=less cleaning=happier mom.
But for most clutter-impaired people, smaller = more stuff packed into less space = FAR more difficult to clean = insane mom!
klg47 is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 05:02 PM
 
mom0810's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,046
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I think 1500 is the bare minimum. But I might be in the minority. We have a 3500 sq foot home with a couple of acres of property, but it is really too much space. We can't bear to move though because what we bought it for 12 years ago would not even buy a shack here anymore! We would now pay the same price or more for something with 1200 sq feet, higher taxes, and no yard. So I guess it makes sense to stay.

I think 1500 is about right for 4, if you want the bare minimum and still to have storage space.

Mom to two beautiful boys, now in school to be a therapist and help other women with PPD.  
 

mom0810 is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 05:38 PM
 
momto l&a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Idaho
Posts: 13,100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Interesting.

We lived in a 1,000 sq ft home with 5 people and 2 dogs. It was too small. Much or our stuff I had in our storage shed so we wouldn't have clutter. It was only a 2 bedroom house.

We live now in a 1,700 sq ft house and its good. Though I feel the floor plan stinks.

I think floor plan makes a house livable. Some small house work due to great floor plans.

I am a person who just cant have stuff crammed into ever corner, I need bare space other wise its too claustrophobic for me.
momto l&a is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 05:49 PM
 
snv1492's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliacat View Post
How many square feet per person do you think is reasonable for a house?
How long is a piece of string?

If you are using the space, it is reasonable.

It is not less reasonable for a family of 4 to live in a 2500 sq foot home than it is to live in a 1000 sq ft if they have a grand piano and a pool table and regularly host 30 people for thanksgiving dinner.

Everyone has a different amount of stuff, and different scheduled. Maybe you can do with one hall bathroom if everyone doesn't use it at the same time. But if everyone needs to leave the house at the same time in the morning, you might need two or three bathrooms.

Depending on your climate, you can spend a lot of time living outdoors, but not everyone can do that.
snv1492 is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 05:56 PM
 
ani'smommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: co-housing
Posts: 3,190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We are moving here: www.newberryplace.org, where we'll have about 1000 sq ft for the (soon to be) four of us. I think it will be plenty of space since we'll have other common areas for us to hang out in if we get too cramped. I'm excited about downsizing.
ani'smommy is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 06:05 PM
 
Sihaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: In a brand new place all over again
Posts: 2,987
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ani'smommy View Post
We are moving here: www.newberryplace.org, where we'll have about 1000 sq ft for the (soon to be) four of us. I think it will be plenty of space since we'll have other common areas for us to hang out in if we get too cramped. I'm excited about downsizing.
Oooh, I'm jealous of you. If only I could convince DH to move to GR (I grew up there).

We just downsized from a 950sqft apt to a 650sqft one. We have an unconventional setup to make it work for us and I like it so much better in the smaller space. 1000sqft is way too much for just the two of us. Once this baby is two, the apt complex requires us to move to a 2br (about 1000sqft I think) which is where I intend on staying until we can get our own place. Ultimately, we'd like either a yurt or tiny house of no more than 700-800sqft. More than that just attracts clutter.

As for our setup, we don't have a dedicated bedroom, sleep on a mattress on the floor that rolls up during the day, our only table also folds up, our only "couch" is a futon. Because so much of our stuff can be folded up and tucked away, I never feel like we have "stuff crammed into every corner."

Mama to DS1 (12/07), DS2 (4/11), and DD (6/22/14)
Finally diagnosed with APS after 3 s (11/09, 3/10, 7/13)
Sihaya is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 06:33 PM
 
phatchristy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Controlled chaos...
Posts: 9,037
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Honestly, I think to be more accurate you have to include your basement size if you have one.

It makes a HUGE difference. I have a friend who "says" she has an 1800 square foot home. Well, in reality she has an 1800 square foot first floor and a 1800 square foot FULL basement.

Honestly, that's 3,600 square foot of space. She has her laundry room, a full pantry, a "bar area" and TONS of storage down there.

Compare that to our home. We have 1800 square feet total. No basement (here in FL it's a rarity...see it's a little swampy : ). The attic gets hot, so you can't really put anything, other than some Christmas stuff, in there.

So, in my book, down here in FL you can't keep a lot of stuff. But, for us, 1800 is just fine. I think, as we get older and my DS doesn't cosleep anymore it will work out just fine. Right now, our extra bedroom will be his when he's older.

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

phatchristy is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 06:37 PM
 
wannabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,691
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think that apart from floorspace, the division fo the space matters, too. I would hate 750 sq ft divided into six rooms, but into four (incl bathroom) it's great for three people.

We're in a 750 sq ft 2 bed apartment, and it's just a tad too small for us, and two kids. It's fine for us and one kid. I think we need another 100-150 sq ft room to be a second bedroom, and to house a couple of the bulkier kids toys (rocking horse, dollhouse). We currently have 2 x 150 sq ft bedrooms (one is a 'grownups room' and one for sleeping). Our kitchen and living space is all one (about 350 sq ft), and feels plenty big enough.

I like to have a space for the computer, bookshelves, craft box that's away from the main area, so I don't need to supervise closely while we're in our main living space. It also is our guest room, and since we have guests for a month at a time, we need the room! Actually, I'd also like the third room/second bedroom so that I can get away from people when we have guests.

So, my answer would be that I need about 600 sq ft in at least bedroom, kitchen/living and bathroom, plus another 100-200 sq ft room per extra person. If my kid/s were teenagers I'd like a bedroom per person (my husband and I would share, and we'd have a study/library). 1000 for 4 would be great.

Quote:
It is not less reasonable for a family of 4 to live in a 2500 sq foot home than it is to live in a 1000 sq ft if they have a grand piano and a pool table and regularly host 30 people for thanksgiving dinner.
Not if they're heating, cooling and cleaning the space those thirty people use once a year all year round. And it's not just the time but the resources that cleaning uses.
wannabe is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 06:46 PM
 
snv1492's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
Not if they're heating, cooling and cleaning the space those thirty people use once a year all year round. And it's not just the time but the resources that cleaning uses.
I didn't say that you needed to build specific rooms for entertaining and use them only for that purpose. But if you have the space and use it, then there is nothing wrong with it.
snv1492 is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 10:24 PM
 
Malva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,698
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think it depends on the layout. Bedrooms can be small. Entertainment rooms aren't needed. So you're left with needing a largish living room.

I personally feel like my 800 sqf place is really spacious for the 4 of us because we have a large living/dining room. The tv and computers are in a small room to the side, and the tiny kitchen is separate. The layout makes a big difference.
Malva is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 10:56 PM
 
Alkenny's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: ...life is beautiful all the time
Posts: 11,719
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We just moved from an 840 square foot mobile home to a 2600 square foot (I included the finished basement! We're 1500 up and 1100 down.) house.

Honestly, we could get by with just this 1500 up, maybe even less since this living room is huge and long. So 200-300 square foot per person is a good 'guesstimate' for me.
Alkenny is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 11:16 PM
 
vermontgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Northern Vermont
Posts: 2,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We just bought a 1700 square foot house. It is VERY reasonably sized. In fact, I consider it to be small and cozy.

Anything under 1000 square feet for a family sounds unreasonably small to me. We are moving from a 750 square foot apartment to our new house. It will be quite the change. I have been feeling a bit cramped.

Joyful mama of 3.
vermontgirl is offline  
Old 07-14-2007, 11:29 PM
 
tamagotchi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,062
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We just bought and moved into a 1200 sq.ft. house and it seems huge for the three of us (two adults and a toddler). We are still not using one of the rooms at all. However, we do have a baby on the way. I think this house will be a good size for a family of four when the kids are a little older. In the meantime we'll need some extra room for my mom (who wants to come stay for a few months and help with the new baby), and it will be nice to have room for other guests, too.
tamagotchi is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 12:01 AM
 
AlexisT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central PA
Posts: 2,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by klg47 View Post
But for most clutter-impaired people, smaller = more stuff packed into less space = FAR more difficult to clean = insane mom!
:
Our current flat is maybe 750 square feet (good sized by London standards). it's too small. I need at least 1500, I think. Enough for a nice big kitchen and, oh yes, dream on, a utility space with washer and dryer! I'm a pack rat--we've got hundreds of books crammed in here. (DH isn't much better: when we moved from our old flat there were stacks of Star Trek magazines and boxes of Amiga bits under the bed.) I can't live without books; giving them away/selling them is not an option. When I was in my early teens I decided I was too "grown up" for all my kids books and put them in the basement. Eventually, of course, they got dumped. When I got older I realised how monumentally stupid that was and as a consequence I now hoard.

I don't need one of those 4000 square foot monstrosities, especially since they seem to have so much wasted space (some of the rooms are pointlessly large and the space just doesn't seem to be efficiently used in general). But I need some space.

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

AlexisT is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 12:27 AM
 
gottaknit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,776
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We downsized from a 1400 sq ft house (2200 if you include the leaky basement) to 720 sq ft (no basement or attic) nine months ago. Our old house felt empty since we didn't have "enough" furniture or use all the space.

The new house is fine in the summer, since we spend a lot of time outside, but I felt a little crazy in the winter. Main problems are the pets and toys - they are always underfoot.

We are expecting a baby girl now, and we know the kids (one boy one girl) will want their own rooms eventually, so we'll either be adding on or moving. We only have one functioning bedroom, the other is only 8x7ft with no closet, and we use it mainly as a walk-in storage closet/office and away-room for the dogs.

I think it all depends on floor plan for the most part. This house would be fine if we had just one kid or two same-sex kids, and no indoor pets. I think anything over 1500 sq ft is just unneccessary, unless you have a big family (more than 4 kids?). Once you get over 1500, you're looking at little-used, formal rooms like "dining rooms" and "living rooms" that sit empty or just store furniture most the year.
gottaknit is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 01:14 AM
 
Nikki Christina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SC
Posts: 3,056
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we just moved from 1000 sq ft. size being the main reason

now were in 1550.. its great
i wouldnt call it perfect..Idealy we'd have a 4th bedroom, my kids rooms would be just a tad bit bigger & their bath just a bit bigger.
all other rooms are perfect size i think
Nikki Christina is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 01:40 AM
 
fruitful womb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Fort Worth TX
Posts: 2,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our family of 6 lives in a 1 and a half bd 1 bath house. It sits on an acre of land, 1700 sq ft and paid 52k for it. The three kids sleep in the half bedroom while we co-sleep with our newest baby. We lived here for 4 years.

We've gotten rid of A LOT of clutter. Life is simple and it works for us. Although I wish we had a bigger place sometimes.

Dh and I want to take courses on sustainable energy efficient homes at
Cedar Valley College. We'll start our own business and promote energy saving homes.

I do not envy my friends who have 2000+ sq ft homes because they're always complaining about how high their utility bills are.

We ultimately want to build a straw bale house and harvest rainwater.
fruitful womb is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 01:58 AM
 
liam's mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: in utter disbelief
Posts: 1,552
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
our house is 1700 square feet--4 people and two dogs live here. quite honestly, we could use one more bedroom, but the size is just fine.

mostly WAHM, sometimes WOHM to my : two boys.
liam's mom is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 01:59 AM
 
artgoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Suburban hell
Posts: 12,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
much depends on lay out, but I think 250 to 300 sq feet per person is good size.
artgoddess is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 02:02 AM
 
Snowdrift's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,959
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have 1500 sq ft and it is way too big. We figure that in coming years we will grow into it though.
Snowdrift is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 02:07 AM
 
mightymoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Mass. Confusion
Posts: 10,291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm pretty happy with 1700 square feet. We could lose a bit and still be okay, I mean if DS's room was a little smaller, our room could be smaller. If it wasn't so broken up, we could lose a bit downstairs too.

I feel this is pretty reasonable sized. I prefer larger sparsely furnished rooms in general - I don't think extra space is bad, if you don't fill it up with stuff.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
mightymoo is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 02:16 AM
 
lucyem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,254
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think layout is very important, as is your clutter and lifestyle, more so then the actual square footage. What is reasonable to me is not necessarily going to be reasonable to you. We have 2 home offices for example as both my husband and I work out of the home. Thus we need more space then the average family where people work outside of the home. I do agree that houses seem to get bigger and bigger these days with a lot of wasted and/or unused space which eventually gets filled with stuff.
lucyem is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 02:27 AM
 
koofie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We are in a 2 br condo with 1400 sq ft and it is a great space. I would be more satisfied if we had a yard though. It is a pain to have to walk up and down just to take the dog out (poor thing is 15 yo with arthritis) and there is nowhere for a garden. We'd also like some workspace for tools and such - ideally a detached garage. We could easily get by with 1500 - 1800 sq ft, but with the other things we want (like land, a large wraparound porch, a playroom, a basement or cellar for storage, and a house with history) we haven't found what we like for much less than 2000 sq ft, and we can't afford it now anyway
koofie is offline  
Old 07-15-2007, 04:13 AM
 
KMK_Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,232
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Our house is just over 2,000 sq ft. If we had one more bedroom it would be perfect.

: Robyn : Increasingly crunchy Mama to Kya (8) , Makena (7) , and Keegan (4) :
KMK_Mama is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off