Thursday, July 23, 2015

Designing/Buying a practical home


I recently stumbled upon two newer tv series: Tiny House Nation and Tiny House Hunting. I start off this blog post with that fact because they and the tiny house movement are the inspiration behind this post. If you haven't seen either series and are able then watch them! I have done a couple blog posts questioning how much house we all really need, and while my answer is nowhere near the tiny house square footage size of 60-500 sq ft there are many things I learn from the show.

Treehugger  further made me think about the home size and practicality issue. Here is an exerpt from their article:

"A book released a couple years ago called "Life at Home in the 21st Century" tracked 32 middle class Los Angelino families as they went about their daily affairs, tracking their movements and habits to see how people actually lived nowadays. With one family (#11), the researchers tracked the location of each parent and child on the first floor of the house every 10 minutes over two weekday afternoons and evenings.
What did they find? That Family 11 used a small fraction of the available area, with almost all traffic centered in the dining, kitchen and family rooms. Based on the above diagram, I would guestimate that about 400 of the 1000 or so of the first floor's available square feet are used. The rest of the spaces--the dining room, living room, porch--are, for all intents and purposes, extraneous architecture.
So the question becomes, if Family 11 is representative of the average American family, and if their home is about average size (2000+ sq ft) why does their home have so much more room than needed? Moreover, if we were to start fresh, what would the ideal single-family home look like?"
If I were building a house I think I would want a tiny house builder to design it, even with it NOT being a tiny house. Tiny House builders are all about MAXIMIZING space rather than giving people the MAXIMUM space they can afford! My current house layout is not maximizing my 1500 sq feet. I would estimate that there is at least 300 sq ft in my house that I could do without since the layout makes it practically unusable, 300 sq ft that we are paying to upkeep and heat and cool!

When I think of our next house I don't mind looking at smaller houses, and I'm not against something larger either (although I prefer under 2,000 sq ft). The layout and practicality of the house is what I'm looking for. I personally don't use my laundry room... Yes, I do laundry. I carry my laundry to the laundry room and then use my washer and dryer and then fold clothes on the couch or my bed. If I were building a house I would have a laundry closet! 

The laundry room was my example of wasted space but I'm sure we can all come up with a few, hallways are huge and for most people so are formal dining areas! I wanted to make this post to encourage anyone looking at buying or building a house to really think about what they need and will use and REALLY consider if the house layout works for you!