The bigger the better.
When building a house, finding the correct square footage that will complement your families lifestyle is important. Once the house is built, it is nearly impossible to change the square footage without building on. In 2007, the size of the American home peaked at 2600 square feet. In 1970, the average size home was around 1400 square feet. The home that my grandparents had built in the early 70’s, was about that size and had only one bathroom. They moved in it, when my mom was a teenager. She has four siblings and it worked out fine. Today, we would consider raising a family in a home that size as deprivation. When we were designing our home, our goal was not to exceed over 2600 Square feet. We ended up going over a hundred or two. We designed and redesigned until we came pretty close to our goal. To reach our goal we had to work with several facets.
The style of your home:
We built a two story rectangular shaped home. The square footage downstairs dictated the square footage upstairs. We had to keep that in mind, when designing. When we adjusted the dimension of the downstairs, we had to revise the upstairs as well. We have a screen in porch that is underneath the master bedroom. When the designer gave us the plan’s, I noticed the screen in porch was only 9″ wide. We were concerned that 9″ was not going to be wide enough. We had three options: 1) leave as is 2) Take a foot or two from the living room 3) increase the length of the house. After much thought, we decided to leave as is because if we increased the size it would affect another part of the house or the dimensions of the home.
This is important. A few years back, the rage was to build a McMansion. Just because a house is 6000 Sf does not mean it is designed well. Before building, we went into many large homes that had small bedrooms. This might work for some folks but if I’m going to pay money to have a large home, I would want the bedrooms to be larger that 9″ x 10″. When designing your home, look at each room individually and try to get a grasp of the dimensions of that room. I’m a visual kinda of guy. When we came up with a 12″ x 13″ bedroom, I found a friend with a room similar in size and got a feel for the room size. We made one of our bedroom’s rather large because we knew that starting out the boy’s would share a bedroom. If we had left it up to the designer he probably would of made it a standard size bedroom. We desired wide hallway’s so that we could put furniture in the hallway without the hallway feeling cramp. I measured the hallway’s in several homes. It can be a little odd asking someone can you measure their hallway but hey it worked. When we stared designing stairs, I measured several stairs cases. You get the picture. Go through each room and get a good idea of the dimensions. Do not depend solely on the designer to do what is in the best interest of your family. The designers expertise of home designing married to your expertise of your family will result in a well thought through blueprint.
Find the square footage sweet spot for your family. Before building a home, pay attention to how your family lives. What rooms do you use the most? Will a large home be a burden rather than a blessing? Don’t get caught up in the mentality that bigger is alway’s better. A well designed home that fit’s your lifestyle should be the goal.