When Less Is More: Spotlight on Downsizing

house with blueprintsMany Americans that followed the trend toward supersized homes realize they’re in over their heads, especially as their nests empty out. Unneeded space means extra places to clean, but that’s not all: It also means extra places to heat and cool. In an economy in which many Americans struggle to pay their bills each month, extravagantly large master suites and multiple living spaces don’t seem quite as important as they used to.

It’s not just empty nesters that are downsizing, though. This story about a family of 4 living in an 8-by-21-foot home that’s the size of many master bedrooms is far from unique. Even if the tiny house movement isn’t quite the right choice for you, you can still learn a few key principles from these economical living arrangements.

Using Your Space Efficiently

There are two major aspects to this principle: double-duty spaces and storage-friendly solutions. It’s amazing how a professional architect or design team can rearrange existing spaces in order to utilize the space available more efficiently. At the same time, most Americans have far more stuff than they actually need, use, or enjoy.

If you’re a pack-rat that wants to embrace a more simple, organized existence, ask yourself a few questions about what’s cluttering your home. Once you’ve gotten rid of what you don’t need, you’ll be in a better position to determine the amount of space you really need. At that point, you can talk with a builder and discuss your storage and living space needs.

Determining Your Must-Haves

Perhaps you’re not willing to give up a home office area that’s separate from your living space, or you really do use that formal dining room. Or maybe you’ve always wanted a library. Whatever your personal preferences are, you need to determine which ones you’re willing to pay for, and which ones can be compromised.

For instance, a family of 4 that eats most meals together around the kitchen table might not need a separate breakfast nook. A house design that included a separate breakfast nook might be able to be reworked to instead include an entryway with storage for outerwear and sports equipment.

simplistic construction

Buying What You Need

Of course, the economy has been quite influential on the recent downsizing of homes. But some builders are creating pint-sized luxury, too. Not only does this practice favor environmental friendliness, but it also seems to make good sense. As stated by a California builder, “The idea of luxury above a certain size doesn’t make sense. . . .  It’s like saying that cars are valued by their size. You don’t buy a car by the pound, and you don’t buy a house by the square footage. You buy it by its livability.”

Your dream home doesn’t have to be the biggest home you’ve ever had. Sometimes the best things do come in small packages; you just have to make sure you find the right builder that can pack all your dreams between those 4 close walls.

D.R. Hartman Construction Inc

If you are looking for a full service commercial or residential construction company in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Fairfax County, Virginia region, we'd love to have the opportunity to learn about your construction project and give you a free quote. Submit our online contact form or call Don Hartman at (301) 926-9000.


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