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Shrinking houses and new ways to live


We recently talked about smaller home construction outlasting the current recession. Obviously finances are a concern for many people right now (think of the heating bills on those McMansions!) and a smaller footprint just makes sense.

An article called “Downsizing the American Dream” on USA Today gave some more specifics:

  • According to leading architect Sarah Susanka, “The whole glow of bigness kind of wore off all of a sudden.” Home square footage is now at a median of 2,100 square feet and could conceivably continue to drop.
  • The rooms in a home are now rooms that people use; no need for separate formal living and dining rooms.
  • Flexible space — with a few exceptions, a room is a room is a room. Space needs to grow and change with homeowners. Maybe that game room for the kids can become a home office for early retirement consulting that can be changed to a home theater for the grandkids.
  • More focus on creative design — small doesn’t have to feel small.
  • People are moving away from large expanses of lawn that need to be watered, mowed, raked and shoveled. Community green space in new housing developments is gaining in popularity.

What do you think of these assertions? Are you seeing them in your projects? Will this affect your future business?