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We are planning to buy land, build a (FAST) temporary home, probably a winterized cabin, to live in, and then over time we will build a "regular" house...bigger than the cabin but still modest and energy-efficient.<br><br>
DH will be working fulltime while we build the regular house, and we want to do as much as possible ourselves to save money, so it's likely we'll be in the cabin for 1-3 years or thereabouts.<br><br>
What do you think the minimum square footage and layout would be for a family with four homeschooled kids to be minimally comfortable for that length of time? We were originally thinking one large room and a sleeping loft but I'm wondering if this will be enough for my sanity, especially in the winter. Cost is a huge factor as is building time. It needs to go up cheap and fast but be sturdy enough for a Vermont winter. I was thinking maybe a second room on the first floor would be a good idea, but I can't envision it very well.<br><br>
Any thoughts? The kids will likely be approx. ages five through ten or so.<br><br>
I'm thinking more about how this adventure will go and how much stuff we will need to NOT have. LOL. So any thoughts on how little we could get by with for three years would be appreciated as well. My decluttering is at a good place for our current house (2400 sf!) but the idea of going from this to a tiny cabin means a whole other kind of decluttering.
 

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I actually think the one big room with a loft sounds like it would work in this situation. I would get rid of pretty much everything except essentials prior to this and have a great organizational system for your homeschooling stuff. I am not sure exactly on the square footage necessary, but I would build as big as you can comfortable afford to do right now. We have looked into doing something similar so I've pondered these things too.
 

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Greetings, I watched a show on tv a few months ago about how a large home schooling family lived .. and one of the best ideas I saw was a "family closet"... their laundry room was oversized but it also housed all the clothing and linen for the house .... so it saved a huge amount of time and there was no need for closets in the bedrooms and hallways etc.<br><br>
just a thought - maybe even for the bigger home being built<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Some say that 500 square feet per adult and 200 per child is just about right.<br><br>
ooh, I really like the family closet idea! That could really simplify things for me!
 

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When I was a kid our family cabin had a main floor and a sleeping loft.<br>
Us kids (4 in my family and up to 20 cousins at a time in the summer) had the loft and there was a teeny, tiny room in one of the corners downstairs (I'm talking only as big as the bed, and the bed was built in!) for whatever adult(s) was in charge of us. We had a woodstove, a little table, and a wall of built-in shelving. There was a cabinet for food and dishes.<br>
Other than that, we also had a propane fridge and stove outside on the covered deck, and an enormous picnic table there as well. There was also ample outside play space ... fire pit, hammock, forest, and then the lake itself. This was in the Cariboo region of BC, so major winters.<br>
The whole cabin was probably 1000 sq feet?<br><br>
My sister and her husband homeschool now with three kids in about a 1000 sq ft cottage. They've been there since the first kid and have no intention of moving. They love it!<br><br>
Happy building!<br><br>
ps. This is what we're hoping to build. Great layout for the size. We don't have children yet, but will raise them in this house when we do:<br><br><a href="http://www.bcmountainhomes.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3_60" target="_blank">http://www.bcmountainhomes.com/catal...dex&cPath=3_60</a>
 

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We live in about 900 sq. ft. My oldest is homeschooled. I guess the middles are too. We have two bedrooms and and full bath upstairs and a living room, kitchen/dining room, and 1/2 bath downstairs. If I decluttered we could be perfectly comfortable. We all sleep in one room and use the second room as a playroom. Our school table is in the living room. I could consolidate the eating table and the school table to make more space. But we were given a counter height dining set and it didn't work for school since my kids are so young. I also need the playroom. Dh works odd hours and often sleeps during the day. I rotate who is in the playroom and who I am teaching.<br><br>
The loft idea concerns me slightly because it would be hard to make a loft dark and quiet while other family members were awake. Your kids are older than mine so maybe this wouldn't be a big deal for you. Also, not having a TV would make this easier. (DH is a late night TV nut.)<br><br>
***LOVE*** the family closet idea!<br><br>
i would suggest thinking through the spaces that you really need. You must have a table for eating and hopefully can use that same table for school. How big will it need to be? Do you usually do a lot of cooking? How much kitchen/counter space is needed to continue to cook like you do now? Are everones' sleep habits similiar enough that you could share a sleep space? My DH ends up on the couch often b/c her snores. If someone is sick will there be a couch they can lie on? When you are relaxing where will everyone sit? couch, chair? How much space do these things take? Is there any way to consolidate?<br><br>
Really get a good picture in you mind of the spaces you need and how they need to function. Then start thinking of creative ways to consolidate. Then make a floor plan using measurements. this should give you a good idea.<br><br>
Good Luck! Sounds like a fun adventure and a great bonding experience.
 

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I think it sounds like a good plan <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. Are you planning on dividing the sleeping area upstairs? I might consider dividing off an area downstairs for the boys, just so you have another area, and so they can have some privacy if the others are driving them nuts. I know how things go with building and sometimes what is 1 - 3 years can quickly turn into 5+ years so I would like to have seperate areas at least.<br><br>
We are very comfortable now in 1050 sq. feet, but we do have 3 bedrooms so the girls can play in their room, and if I need a break while dh is home I can go in my room and shut the door and read, etc. I think I would have a hard time with only one room, but I'm thinking that's a personal choice. Esp. in winter when you can't just send them out to play for hours at a time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TopazBlueMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10330145"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Some say that 500 square feet per adult and 200 per child is just about right.<br><br>
ooh, I really like the family closet idea! That could really simplify things for me!</div>
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I love the idea too - I can imagine just washing everything and putting it away in the same room.<br><br>
The one that I saw on tv was a huge room and she had 2 washers and 2 dryers along one wall(she had many kids - trust me she needed them).... she had it all organized beautifully with one spot for for linens etc and a spot for all the folded sweaters, pj's etc ..... racks for clothing. So all the white shirts were hung together and all the dresses together (grouped by size) .. actually it almost looked like a department store! LOL .. big bins where she had socks and underwear etc<br><br>
In the morning everyone went down and chose what they wanted to wear. She also had a laundry shute so that all dirty laundry just landed in the laundry room !! It was really awsome. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TopazBlueMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10330145"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Some say that 500 square feet per adult and 200 per child is just about right.<br></div>
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I think that figure is a bit excessive. We are a family of 6 in 1100 square feet and I think it'd be perfect if the layout was a little better. It's not so much the footage, but what you do with it!<br><br>
But if we were doing a cabin, I could probably go down to 600 - 700 ft and be okay.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Decluttering Nut</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10330882"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I love the idea too - I can imagine just washing everything and putting it away in the same room.<br><br><br>
In the morning everyone went down and chose what they wanted to wear. She also had a laundry shute so that all dirty laundry just landed in the laundry room !! It was really awsome. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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Seriously, it sounds so perfect. Think of all the extra space available in the rooms!<br><br>
Marisa, I agree that you could go much smaller with a good lay out and little things. I think that number is for the average somewhat organized family.
 

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We are a homeschooling family of 6-soon to be 7 (though only 3 are homeschooling right now) and I think a large room and loft also sounds good! We live in about 2300sq ft of finished space but live mainly on the main level which is probabl around 1400 sq feet but I think we could be quite comfortable in abou 1000 sq ft.<br>
Important for me now is to have a 'space' for homeschooling and 'arts and crafts' stuff, at the house we moved out of a year and a half ago we had a TINY kitchen (just enough room for a small table that had to be pushed up against the wall) and a small living room so we had to homeschool in the kitchen and the girls did all the coloring/gluing/artsy stuff at the same table that we eat at and that I sometimes I had to use to prepare food so for me that wasnt a good situation. Here we have an eat in kitchen and right next to is a diningroom and we use the dining table to school at and that is where the girls do their artsy stuff....but if you have a kitchen w/ good counter space and wouldnt mind using the same table to school at and eat then I think you would be fine...<br>
Good luck w/ all that, sounds like fun!!<br><br>
Anna
 

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I grew up in a one-bedroom, single-wide trailer. There were three kids and two parents in my family, and we didn't homeschool. It was a temporary solution, meant to last only until my father finished building our real house on the property. Working a job full time (except when he was laid off from work, when he worked full time on the house), and with various delays and money issues, it took him until I left for college to finish the house to the point where they moved in (minus the windows and internal doors<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">). I never got to live there. Though it's nice to visit!<br><br>
This is not to say yours is a bad plan. But be mindful that "temporary" can mean a lot of things, even if you plan well. You might just have teenagers living in your one-room-with-loft, as my parents did in the one-bedroom trailer. You could say it built character in us kids (maybe), but it was really, really hard on my mom.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TopazBlueMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10330145"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Some say that 500 square feet per adult and 200 per child is just about right.</div>
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This sounds about right to me. I read the OP and thought 1800-1900 sq ft.
 

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Hi, Amanda <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
As you know, we are a family of 5 (three kids, two are school-aged and homeschooled, one baby).<br><br>
We live in a home that is 1378 square feet. We feel that this is plenty of room for us. We also feel that it would be plenty of room for us if we had another kid or two.<br><br>
HOWEVER, we don't feel we could go smaller. I need to be able to send the kids upstairs to their (rather large) bedroom/playroom for my own sanity. After we hang out downstairs in our main living area homeschooling, they need a break from me and I from them. Don't get me wrong - we love being together and wouldn't trade it. But the noise from their boisterous play WILL get to me and I like having them shut their door and just *be* for a while when lessons are done, especially in the wintertime. They have ample room up there (it's a pretty large room) to play and hang out and run around a bit. I keep the baby down here with me and we enjoy a couple hours peace and quiet in the afternoons after school is finished.<br><br>
If pressed, we could go smaller, but it would be difficult for me (and them).<br><br>
Amy<br><a href="http://news.bockclan.com/addled" target="_blank">ADDled</a>
 

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and we have 1976 sq ft now on 1/2 acre and it's too much space! We're selling and moving into a camper and traveling the USA so I suppose pretty soon we'll think back fondly on how much space we used to have!
 
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