How much space do you need?
Building Cozy and small can be beneficial in many ways. Overall, it’s cheaper to build smaller, better for the environment and its easier to keep a smaller home clean and well-repaired. However, how small is too small? How much space can you live with and still retain all the amenities that you feel you need?
The Thimble Peak offers the basics in 288 sq ft.
Now look at what adding about 100 sq ft does. The Crested Butte at 384 sq ft just might be surprise you. With all it’s comfort, resting, transition space and storage options of a much larger home this home is perfect for many situations.
An interesting suggestion for figuring out your most comfortable small space comes from Dan Maginn of El Dorado Inc, an architecture firm in Kansas City, Missouri. He suggests going to a football field or a local parking lot to do some spatial research.
At the football field, stand in the end zone and mentally (or physically) divide the zone into five equal chunks. Pick your favorite of the five chunks, and stand in the middle of it. This chunk represents a typical two-bedroom, one bath home. You probably don’t want to go smaller than this. In a grocery store or mall parking lot (don’t get run over) cordon off five parking spaces with bright yellow crime scene tape.
Maginn goes on to say to then divide your “zone” into separate parts used for “events” rather than for rooms. You can do this with a tape measure and a large sheet of paper. The key is to really think about how you live, rather than what rooms a developer says you must have in a house. These events can have names like eating, cooking, lounging, sleeping, working, guests, etc. Don’t forget the workhorse areas of your home like laundry, utility and closets and storage. Maginn also includes a “circulation” area that is a basic walking around area that connects all the other areas.
Draw out how large you think each of these areas of the home need to be: some owners may need a larger eating area and a smaller sleeping area, or some homeowners may need more space for working or entertaining than lounging. Keep in mind the future and how these spaces may need to change with certain life events. Write down the numbers and then tally them up. This is your minimum square footage. For some people it may be 2,500 square feet, for some it may be that magical 400 square feet.
If you’re curious, Maginn’s magic number turned out to be 1,050 square feet. He might have liked the two-story High Point Cozy Home Plan.