How Much House Do You Need?

Historical Home Sizes

\r\nThe end of the Second World War marked the start of a wave of global prosperity. Incomes rose, and our material wealth increased substantially. The average home size also grew significantly during this time period. At the end of the war, the average home was just 983 square feet. By 1970, our homes grew to 1,400. Today, they hover at around 2,700 square feet. During the post war boom, this growth in home size made sense; bigger really was better. That said, we’ve finally reached the point where the incremental benefits a 5th bathroom start to out out-weight the costs of heating and cleaning said bathroom.\r\n\r\nUntil recently, the average American house grew in size every year. Large homes were seen as a sign of success and prosperity. It was a sign that you’d won in the game of life. The trend toward supersizing our homes reversed during the economic crisis a few years ago as we started to realize that maybe, bigger isn’t always better. Today, we’re starting to ask ourselves the question “exactly how much house do we need?”\r\n\r\nAn oversize house can turn into an expensive, time consuming headache. Building costs are often expressed in cost / sqft. As such, a large house is generally more expensive to build. With that extra expense comes bigger mortgage payments and property taxes. Finally, a large house consumes more energy, increasing utility bills. A large home also takes more time to clean.\r\n\r\nInstead of having a large home with forgettable finishings and 10 rooms you never go in, we’re realizing that it might be better to build a home that is smaller, but is built with a level of quality and uniqueness that creates truly beautiful spaces. A beautiful home doesn’t need to be, and probably shouldn’t be, a McMansion.\r\n\r\nThat said, a home can also be too small. Even though you don’t want to pay for space you really don’t need, you do want the house to have enough room to accommodate a growing family, or allow for lifestyle choices such as hobbies and entertaining friends. A 10,000 square foot home is probably not the ideal size, but neither is a 300 square foot condo. The proper home size lies somewhere in the middle, and it makes sense (and cents if you can pardon the pun) to spend some time to figure out what size is right for you.\r\n

How to Decide.

\r\nTake a look at your needs and lifestyle. For example, a couple planning to have children will eventually need more bedrooms. If you do a lot of entertaining, or frequently have relatives and friends stay overnight, you need extra room. More people telecommute or work out of their homes today. If this is true for someone in your family, space for an office or workshop may be needed.\r\n\r\nA good way to estimate how much space you need is to use your current residence as a model. Measure the rooms. Next, think about each room. Is it larger than you need? Or does it feel cramped? Do you need more storage space? Add or subtract square footage depending on your answers. Ask yourself what extra rooms you need for additional children, lifestyle activities or work, and estimate the space required.\r\n\r\nCreate a list of rooms in your existing home, and write down the square feet in each room. Next, create a list of rooms in your “ideal” home, and put down your ideal size for each. Add everything up. The figure you get might be 1,800 square feet, 3,200 square feet or somewhere in-between. This number is probably your “Goldilocks zone”; a house that’s not too big, and not too small. It’s just right.\r\n\r\nWhat looks good on paper isn’t always quite right once you bring the idea into reality. Talk to us, and let us know your ideal home size. We’ll walk with you through a few home models. You’ll be able to take a look around and do a “gut check” of what sized home hits your needs. Together, we’ll make a decision.\r\n\r\nNext up… how to choose the right floorplan, and tips for choosing the right materials for your new home.\r\n

Choosing the Perfect Floor Plan

\r\nChoosing a floor plan for your new home can be both exciting and overwhelming. At Provident Homes, we’ll help preserve the excitement, but take away the apprehension and stress involved with making this decision. Floor plans are different. Some will work for you, and some won’t. They way to figure out the right plan, is to ask the right questions.\r\n\r\nAnd don’t worry. These questions aren’t hard to answer. They’re as simple as “Do you need a home office?”, “Are you physically able to walk up-stairs?” “How many kids do you have (or plan to have)?”, “How big do you want your home to be?”, “How often do you entertain?” The questions are simple, but the answers are important.\r\nIt’s also important to consider is your own personal design style. Do like the feel of an open floor plan, or do you prefer more rooms? Do you want to have all of the bedrooms are on the same floor? This will affect your decision on which floor plan is right for you and your family. While you do need to consider that children will grow up and you may need more privacy, you also need to consider what will work right now for you.\r\n\r\nThe influence of personal preference is subjective, but it shouldn’t be ignored. Sometimes, you might not like even though a floor plan looks good on paper. Even if you can’t articulate why you don’t like a specific plan, it’s usually still a good idea to listen to your gut instinct.\r\n\r\nOn our experience, the best way to choose a floorplan is to just ask us. We’ve spend 100’s of hours looking at, and discussing every one of our floorplans. We know them inside and out. We’ll tell you the advantages and disadvantages of each plan. At Provident Homes, we offer many options for the homeowner and can offer our expertise in helping you to make the right choice for you and your family.