My wife and sons must have inherited my fondness for small spaces. Or, maybe traveling the country in a motorhome taught us all to love the comfort of close quarters together. Or could it have been the move from 3000sf down to 1000sf that did it?
Whatever the reason, for us, small houses are better.
It hasn’t always been this way. I built an addition on our home in Tampa that was just about the same size as our home in Punta Gorda. I added a master suite. A big one. Obviously at the time, I thought bigger was better. No longer.
Smaller is better. For me, the real kicker is the family togetherness, and the cozy feeling of our home. Weird as it may make me, I really like to keep my crew close.
Right now, I’m writing this post at the kitchen table (not small, huge, seats 12, made by yours truly), and my bride is as close to me as if we were sitting at a tiny table in Starbucks. I barely have to move my arm to touch her.
My sons are less than 20 feet away, one in the living room playing a game ( I just heard a slight cough from him… he’s getting over a cold). My older son is in the bedroom he shares with his brother playing his guitar. It sounds great and it’s like live entertainment. If I want to add a word of applause, I don’t even have to raise my voice.
Small houses are better.
But, hey, that thouchy-feely stuff aside, smaller houses are also better for the world. I’m not going total tree-hugger on you, I mean I do love to make stuff from wood, but look at the common sense of it:
- Less land
- Less material (less manufacturing)
A huge house with nothing but energy star and green everything isn’t going to hold a candle in “overall impact” comparisons to my little house. And that’s just in the construction and manufacturing process.
What about the ongoing impact?
Our electric bill in the little house is about half of what it was in the bigger house. Half. Same four people, same clothes washed and dried, same temperature in summer and winter, just less space which means less air-conditioning, fewer light fixtures, less wasted energy.
It’s not all roses
There are some problems. The boys don’t love sharing a bedroom. Storage is a serious issue. We don’t have room for much more stuff in this house for sure.
But do we need more stuff?
Overall, I’m a fan of small houses. I wonder if people will ever consider taking part of a house down? Can you imagine that? Tear part of it off and haul it away to make the house smaller! That seems crazy! But I bet it happens.
What about you? Small house? Big house? What’s perfect for you?