Smaller Home Sizes

My post regarding Starter Home Barriers sparked some conversation about the square footage of a starter home, particularly regarding the 2,000 minimum home size discussed in the Builder magazine article.  Many of the points about that possibly being unrealistically large for Culver were valid.  Since I was paraphrasing the article in the previous quote, it seemed appropriate to stick with their numbers and rationales.

3 bedroom/2 bathroom home Plan by Zero Energy Design

In any case, the discussion prompted me to do a little further research into smaller home sizes.  I did find the Zero Energy Design website which included several smaller residential footprints ranging from a 1 bedroom/1 bathroom at 624sf to a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom at 1120sf.  (Apparently in a ZED home no one watches TV as they don’t even appear to allow a place for one in their room furniture layout.)  While I know the boxy design is the most efficient, I would hope we can be a little more creative in our floor plans.

1-1/2 story house with porch and dormer from Hermann London

I also notice that almost all the small footprint homes are single story.  I don’t know if that’s because they are often geared towards the elderly and are trying to make them as accessible as possible or if there is just a predisposition to single story now.  Going back to a story-and-a-half design could provide some additional efficient space.  The boxy design lends itself well to prefabricated construction, but we have had good success with panelized construction which is also efficient where duplication of layouts is possible.

I think the infrastructure issues will be more telling than the house floor plan in what the end selling or renting point is.  As with their square foot home size, I think the lot buildout may be more economical here, but probably not by much.  Many of the same regulations apply and our Comp Plan pushes more measures such as “complete streets” which add costs.

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