Author Topic: Excessive House Size in the U.S.  (Read 33814 times)

Cassie

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #150 on: February 07, 2016, 05:06:17 PM »
Some of the old mansions were huge for rich families that had live in servants, etc.

zephyr911

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #151 on: February 07, 2016, 05:21:08 PM »
Several small houses builit around 1875. They vary from 550 to 800 sq feet. My own neighbrhoodmof 1880's houses include many 3500 - 4,000 sq ft houses, with some giant ones of 7,000- 9,000 thrown in.

I guess my point is that there have always been big and small houses.
Right, but the median size and thus the total resource demand have increased dramatically. Thus the OP.

Making Cookies

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #152 on: February 07, 2016, 06:23:32 PM »
I'm against the mustachian grain on this one. We have ~2,000 sqft, and I wouldn't mind having more. (not enough to pay more for it though).

- I'd love a double garage rather than the tiny single we have, for a larger woodshop. Our garage is currently too full of saws, lumber and bikes to fit a car
- Bigger kitchen! Cooking is hard when you have one tiny work surface. Our kitchen layout is retarded though so blame the builder some.
- making a kid's playroom in the basement.
- More space for beer brewing equipment.
- Home office is great. May need to go if we have a 2nd child. Where would my soldering station go..?

Our livingroom, bedrooms etc are fine. It's more the extra space I'd want more of, mostly for silly projects like woodworking, brewing, cooking, gym, kid's playspace, etc. I don't think these things are excessively unmustachian. I want more space to do/make cool things in my house. And despite some bumps, a house generally are at least a decent investment. Not like it's a car..

I'm right there with you. Was working today to put away tools after a small rennovation. Would be nice to have a larger work space where I could stage my tools, materials and build things like cabinets. We have a smallish double car garage but it has tools and an old car restoration ongoing inside it.

Am considering a second detached garage that is 30x40. A friend has one this size and it would be perfect for all the hobbies.

Before this seems like a bad idea consider that it has the potential to be a side gig that pays for itself and the garage itself. Property prices are pretty cheap here (flyover country) compared to the coasts.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 06:28:45 PM by Jethrosnose »

chrisdurheim

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #153 on: February 07, 2016, 06:34:13 PM »
We've got 2 adults, 3 young kids (all girls - 5, 3, and 3) in 1850 square feet right now and we're continuously on the lookout for a smaller place.  We've got all 3 kids in one room and they love it.  Not to say there's never fighting, but they really enjoy sharing the space.

We're working on updates throughout and at times we've been down to essentially a 2 bed 1 bath house with 1100 sq feet and were able to make it work no problem for weeks at a time. In the end, there's a lot to be said for trying things out before you become convinced that you "couldn't possibly" handle living a different way.

It's hard to find smaller homes in our community but tough to move as well - we love our church, the local pizza place, the school district, and have great friends nearby, but most of the houses are our size or bigger (in some cases significantly).

We just keep crossing our fingers that something will pop up on zillow that meets the criteria.  We're not afraid of fixing something up but the right opportunity just hasn't come up yet.

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #154 on: February 07, 2016, 10:35:16 PM »
Some of the old mansions were huge for rich families that had live in servants, etc.

Yes, and there was way more human labor involved in just getting by and taking care of things like transportation: horses don't feed themselves. Add to that multiple generations living under one roof complete with maiden great-aunts, differently abled persons who were born with birth defects that are now correctable, or blinded or crippled by childhood diseases like scarlet fever or polio. Storage was also important, because in the more remote parts of the country, if people lived year-round on a country estate there was also a legitimate need to stockpile food and other resources during the winter.

TVRodriguez

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #155 on: February 08, 2016, 10:46:28 AM »
Am considering a second detached garage that is 30x40.

That is literally almost the size of my entire one-story house. 

But carry on!  Whatever floats your boat.

Chris22

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #156 on: February 08, 2016, 11:03:21 AM »
Am considering a second detached garage that is 30x40.

That is literally almost the size of my entire one-story house. 

But carry on!  Whatever floats your boat.

It's a lot cheaper, especially with no insulation/HVAC/water/sewer.  My family has one, ~22/x40, it was less than $30k to build and it's overbuilt by a fair margin.  It would be a dream to own an outbuilding like that (I'd use it to store and work on cars) but unfortunately I can't afford a lot big enough to build it in an area in which I want to live.

mm1970

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #157 on: February 08, 2016, 11:13:32 AM »
Several small houses builit around 1875. They vary from 550 to 800 sq feet. My own neighbrhoodmof 1880's houses include many 3500 - 4,000 sq ft houses, with some giant ones of 7,000- 9,000 thrown in.

I guess my point is that there have always been big and small houses.

We've got that variety here too (though Earthquakes have culled the older homes).

The large, 3000 sf homes were for the wealthy. They are beautiful old homes with views of the ocean, but they also were homes with servants.
The smaller 800 sf homes were for the lower middle class, or working class.

mm1970

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #158 on: February 08, 2016, 11:17:26 AM »
Am considering a second detached garage that is 30x40.

That is literally almost the size of my entire one-story house. 

But carry on!  Whatever floats your boat.

Ha ha funny, I never considered that.

But yeah, that's 1200 sf?  My house is 1146 sf.

The hard part, for me, is the hobbies.  The kitchen table (which is in the living/dining room) is my sewing table.  And the eating table, coloring table, homework table.  By the time it's cleared off enough for me to sew, my time is up, or it's time to eat.  It makes hobbies difficult when you cannot have them "staged".  There was a time when I had things "staged" and I could just whip out my machine and sew for 10 minutes.  Or pick up my crocheting for 10 minutes.  Or coloring.

But with more people in the house and more stuff, I have to tuck it away.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Cassie

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #159 on: February 08, 2016, 11:54:33 AM »
Yes if you look at the stats house size for everyone has increased even though families are smaller. WE bought a 1400 sq ft 1950 ranch when we retired. In 1970 someone built a dining room and master bedroom off the back. Before that was done I don't know where people put their kitchen table to eat. The kitchen is a long galley and the living room is too small to function as both rooms. One bedroom is so small that I turned it into a walk in closet. Before the addition the house was only 900 sq ft. That would be fine if there was somewhere to put a table to eat. We wouldn't have bought the house without the addition.   

Chris22

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #160 on: February 08, 2016, 01:56:30 PM »
Yes if you look at the stats house size for everyone has increased even though families are smaller. WE bought a 1400 sq ft 1950 ranch when we retired. In 1970 someone built a dining room and master bedroom off the back. Before that was done I don't know where people put their kitchen table to eat. The kitchen is a long galley and the living room is too small to function as both rooms. One bedroom is so small that I turned it into a walk in closet. Before the addition the house was only 900 sq ft. That would be fine if there was somewhere to put a table to eat. We wouldn't have bought the house without the addition.

We looked at a house like that.  ~900 sq ft.  Nice 10x20 living room, kitchen off of that, then 3 reasonable bedrooms.  Nicely done basement.  Problem was, they had a very small (~3ft in diameter) round table in a corner of the kitchen, and nowhere else to put a bigger one.  Would have been fine for 1-2 people, but no way for a family of 3-4 to eat at the same table for any meals.  We thought about a bigger table in the living room, but it would've taken up the whole thing basically.  Just silly. 

mm1970

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #161 on: February 08, 2016, 02:18:34 PM »
Yes if you look at the stats house size for everyone has increased even though families are smaller. WE bought a 1400 sq ft 1950 ranch when we retired. In 1970 someone built a dining room and master bedroom off the back. Before that was done I don't know where people put their kitchen table to eat. The kitchen is a long galley and the living room is too small to function as both rooms. One bedroom is so small that I turned it into a walk in closet. Before the addition the house was only 900 sq ft. That would be fine if there was somewhere to put a table to eat. We wouldn't have bought the house without the addition.

We looked at a house like that.  ~900 sq ft.  Nice 10x20 living room, kitchen off of that, then 3 reasonable bedrooms.  Nicely done basement.  Problem was, they had a very small (~3ft in diameter) round table in a corner of the kitchen, and nowhere else to put a bigger one.  Would have been fine for 1-2 people, but no way for a family of 3-4 to eat at the same table for any meals.  We thought about a bigger table in the living room, but it would've taken up the whole thing basically.  Just silly.
My stepdad's house is like that.  A small round table in the MIDDLE of the kitchen, and no way to eat at it, except 2 people.

ender

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #162 on: February 08, 2016, 06:44:51 PM »
Am considering a second detached garage that is 30x40.

That is literally almost the size of my entire one-story house. 

But carry on!  Whatever floats your boat.

Ha ha funny, I never considered that.

But yeah, that's 1200 sf?  My house is 1146 sf.

The hard part, for me, is the hobbies.  The kitchen table (which is in the living/dining room) is my sewing table.  And the eating table, coloring table, homework table.  By the time it's cleared off enough for me to sew, my time is up, or it's time to eat.  It makes hobbies difficult when you cannot have them "staged".  There was a time when I had things "staged" and I could just whip out my machine and sew for 10 minutes.  Or pick up my crocheting for 10 minutes.  Or coloring.

But with more people in the house and more stuff, I have to tuck it away.  Out of sight, out of mind.

This is the main reason my wife and I are looking to find a bigger place.

We both have hobbies and the setup/teardown time is so demoralizing. Be nice to have a craft/hobby room.

Ebrat

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #163 on: February 08, 2016, 07:29:54 PM »
I just can't relate to the desire for more space.  Our last house was just over 1200 sq ft and felt too big.  Current is a little under 1000, and plenty of space for 2 people.  We could definitely go smaller.  I can see it being slightly different if we had kids (though I lived in some similarly-sized--or maybe smaller--houses as a kid).

faramund

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #164 on: February 08, 2016, 08:21:53 PM »
I just can't relate to the desire for more space.  Our last house was just over 1200 sq ft and felt too big.  Current is a little under 1000, and plenty of space for 2 people.  We could definitely go smaller.  I can see it being slightly different if we had kids (though I lived in some similarly-sized--or maybe smaller--houses as a kid).

I think you've put your thumb on it. When it was just my wife and me, we didn't really go for big places. But with kids, I really appreciate the space more, but its not so much space as distance. I like to read or use a computer in a quiet place. So if the kids can be up one end of the house listening to music/TV, yelling at someone while playing League of Legends - its nice to have as much distance and preferably many closed doors between me and them.

Making Cookies

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #165 on: February 09, 2016, 10:42:49 AM »
It's a lot cheaper, especially with no insulation/HVAC/water/sewer.  My family has one, ~22/x40, it was less than $30k to build and it's overbuilt by a fair margin.  It would be a dream to own an outbuilding like that (I'd use it to store and work on cars) but unfortunately I can't afford a lot big enough to build it in an area in which I want to live.

Friend put one up here for $14K and then slowly added insulation and an office at one corner with a used wood stove. Had the slab poured and the basic frame put up for him, he did the details.

We're chewing on whether we want to build a detached garage on our current lot or wait and move a bit further into the country. I'd love to have several acres. Our commute only be slightly longer (~7 miles to ~10 miles, mere minutes). Easy to get around here b/c the town is small.

I think the building I'd put up with be $20K. Prob not the 30x40 I want now. More like 25x30.

Decisions, decisions. ;)

Making Cookies

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #166 on: February 09, 2016, 02:22:19 PM »
We both have hobbies and the setup/teardown time is so demoralizing. Be nice to have a craft/hobby room.

THAT! Yeah, it's like having a hobby in a closet. All this time spent just getting the tools/supplies out, and then all the cleaning up and putting away so your normal daily activities aren't hindered. Where do you put the half-completed project if you can't roll it up or fold it up? Hard to rollup a canoe or antique car... ;)

Covered/screened porch & more garage space. Makes a smaller home much more livable assuming your lot can accommodate this.

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #167 on: February 09, 2016, 04:55:54 PM »
I think the building I'd put up with be $20K. Prob not the 30x40 I want now. More like 25x30.

Decisions, decisions. ;)

If you're a car guy and plan on working on more than one car at a time (major project + repair/minor project), wait for a least 25x40. I have a 24x24 garage/workshop and by the time you have 24"-30" benches/shelving and room to work weld, it's a one-car.

mm1970

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #168 on: February 09, 2016, 05:17:41 PM »
I just can't relate to the desire for more space.  Our last house was just over 1200 sq ft and felt too big.  Current is a little under 1000, and plenty of space for 2 people.  We could definitely go smaller.  I can see it being slightly different if we had kids (though I lived in some similarly-sized--or maybe smaller--houses as a kid).
Does it help if I tell you that I have two boys, age 9 and 3?

It's really hard to conceive of how small a house can be with four people, two of them very loud boys.  With toys.  And the paper.  OH the school paper.

My house felt plenty big when it was just the 2 of us.

Ebrat

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #169 on: February 09, 2016, 08:08:14 PM »
I just can't relate to the desire for more space.  Our last house was just over 1200 sq ft and felt too big.  Current is a little under 1000, and plenty of space for 2 people.  We could definitely go smaller.  I can see it being slightly different if we had kids (though I lived in some similarly-sized--or maybe smaller--houses as a kid).
Does it help if I tell you that I have two boys, age 9 and 3?

It's really hard to conceive of how small a house can be with four people, two of them very loud boys.  With toys.  And the paper.  OH the school paper.

My house felt plenty big when it was just the 2 of us.

Thinking of my nieces and nephews, I can imagine!  Our small space living arrangements when I was a kid were probably helped by the fact that I was a quiet kid whose main hobby was reading.  But we did manage well in some pretty tiny spaces.  My parents might have a different memory of the situation though...

Making Cookies

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Re: Excessive House Size in the U.S.
« Reply #170 on: February 10, 2016, 08:48:10 AM »
I think the building I'd put up with be $20K. Prob not the 30x40 I want now. More like 25x30.

Decisions, decisions. ;)

If you're a car guy and plan on working on more than one car at a time (major project + repair/minor project), wait for a least 25x40. I have a 24x24 garage/workshop and by the time you have 24"-30" benches/shelving and room to work weld, it's a one-car.

That is precisely the situation I have right now. 24x24 with workbenches 2x, floor stand drill press, table saw, air compressor, MIG welder, etc. Leaves me with space for the vehicle I'm working on but not enough space to work on the vehicle!

Am in the process of working to get it outside and back inside easily (no suspension currently) so I can multi-task the space. Also can't paint in the garage or sandblast.