Building for the way we liveBy Berit Griffin, Marvin Windows
It’s true: the average size of the American home is shrinking, according to USA Today. The median square footage for new homes is 2,100 square feet, down from a high of 2,300 feet in 2007. Now, this isn’t surprising: more space often equals more money, something that is in limited supply for many of us! And beyond the purchase price, there are other things to consider when owning a larger house, like the heating bill for all that space. Sarah Susanka, a leading architect and friend of Marvin was quoted as saying, “The whole glow of bigness kind of wore off all of a sudden.”
So homeowners are demanding, and builders are building, smaller houses that reflect the way that people really live. For instance, according to the article, we are going to see less and less of rooms like libraries and media rooms. For that matter, homes will have fewer formal rooms like living and dining rooms that are only used a few times a year. Family rooms and great rooms where people congregate will fill the void.
Additionally, rooms will need to be able to serve dual purposes over the course of the house’s life: a guest room could turn into a game room for the kids which could turn into a home office. Flexibility with rooms’ purposes is important since our needs change throughout our time in a house.
What do you think is an important part of a house? Do you regret the formal dining room that gets used only at Thanksgiving? Do you wish you had more private spaces (such as bedrooms) as opposed to public spaces? What about your yard? Would you be all right with giving up mowing, raking, watering and shoveling for more community green space or does a big lawn give you pleasure in the form of gardens, room for kids and pets, etc.?