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Big house or Little house?


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#26 eponee

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:12 PM

View PostSentient Puddle, on 13 June 2019 - 11:51 AM, said:

We have a small 1950s weatherboard that we have renovated the hell out of in the last few years.  It is still a 3 bedroom and 1.5 bathroom house but it does have a large granny flat.  The granny flat comes into its own when we have guests or when DS has friends over.  I also use it as my office in the in between.  For 2 kids and multiple animals this is almost perfect for us.  We don't have an enormous area to entertain inside - but realistically we have had a party for more than 8 people only 4 times in 15 years in this house and we had a BBQ outside.  A few Xmasses ago we had a sit down dinner for 10 on a hot Summers day so we moved some furniture in the lounge to cater.

We are not big entertainers - so we don't need a big entertaining area.  We have a second living area that doubles as a study and music/reading area if someone is watching something in the lounge or we have guests and kids.  Most TV/device watching seems to happen in bedrooms anyway. I look at large McMansions and I see more to clean and more to heat and cool.  I do wish I had more built in storage in the house and if/when we renovate the last remaining half bath/laundry I hope to put in more storage.

Is there an option to just add a bit more to your current house with an extra couple of rooms? I know with what we have spent on our house we could have had a cheapie project home built - but we would have had to move out in the meantime as well as redo the garden and possibly lose some established trees.  Good luck with your renos

Great idea!

#27 Prancer is coming

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:14 PM

We have a 4 bedroom house, but not over the top big.  The kids all have their own bedrooms, which i like. Poor child number 3’s room is tiny and pretty much only fits his bed, but it is his own space.  If I was building from scratch, I would make sure they had big bedrooms with plenty of storage, maybe enough room so your child could do some dancing in there.

I have never warmed to the idea of 2 seperate living areas as I don’t want us being apart all the time.  When the kids are little, I found they wanted to be where we were, and when older I want to promote family time.  Big bedrooms give them their space.  So I would have the one living and dining area, but have them a reasonable size.

Some sort of covered outdoor area is helpful too.

Storage is a must!  I would stick a butler’s pantry in the kitchen if I could, plus built ins in the hall, laundry and garage area.  But if you are already wondering if you can afford it, I would either stay out or not be too ambitious with your size and floor plan.

#28 Future-self

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:15 PM

It’s an interesting dilemma. I am thinking a lot about needs vs wants and reality vs dreaming in regards to housing as we need to get going on renovating this place. The one toilet in the one bathroom is driving us crazy and so many things are falling apart!

It’s a late 40s weatherboard so I’ve decided we’ll raise and go under. The garage is already under so we’ll raise it a little and just build in to have an extra living room, laundry and bathroom with seperate toilet plus storage area in the garage and storage cupboards and joinery. We’ll also build internal stairs going to the new living downstairs from the combined dining living existing upstairs. Which means we lose space form the preexisting living but that’s ok.
This will be the cheapest build that gives us what we ‘need’ without actually increasing the house footprint too much. It will be the built in shelves, joinery and cupboards downstairs that will make a big difference to useable storage too which will clear the upstairs from clutter and random bitsy  shelving units that aren’t overly functional an look cluttered.

When doing such a big project anyway it was/is temtpting to go big. That idea that if we have to move out and spend a couple of 100 thousand why not knock down and rebuild with an extra bedroom plus en-suite plus the 2nd living, plus a study plus plus plus. But I don’t really want a huge house, just a slightly bigger one with storage,  another bathroom and a 2nd adaptable space that could be a pool room, teen hangout, guest sleeping area or a library in my later years with floor to ceiling shelves and moving ladder...

#29 Nasty Poobah

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:31 PM

I love me an ensuite, but it does need to have a door. That said if either of us are up particularly before the other we use the other bathroom so as not to disturb the sleeper. We'd also use the other toilet if it was needed for more than a 3 am pee.

All you ensuite haters must have bladders of steel!

#30 Let-it-go

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:36 PM

View PostNasty Poobah, on 13 June 2019 - 01:31 PM, said:


All you ensuite haters must have bladders of steel!

Oh I want my bathroom to be in close vicinity, I just hate how they come straight off the bedroom.  And in our case, the 3am pee is part of the problem.  My DH wakes up if I’m too noisy so I find myself doing this stealth creep, turning the handle like a trained cat burgler, peeing in darkness, definitely no flushing allowed and then cat burglaring my way back to bed :laugh:.

#31 Sentient Puddle

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:42 PM

When we renovated our tiny bathroom with a 3/4 bath nobody could fit in - we replaced it with a shower and toilet.  Means we have 2 toilets in the house now.  Not an ensuite  but only 2 doors away - works perfectly!

#32 SFmummyto3

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:43 PM

View PostCimbom, on 13 June 2019 - 11:02 AM, said:

Small for me. Big houses take longer to clean, are harder and more expensive to heat and cool and a lot of the extra space just doesn’t get used that often anyway.

Yes this!

A long time ago I moved from a smaller house to a big one with all the trimmings and it was just far too big. It took me forever to clean it and actually the cleaning never ended. I could only vaccum it over two days as it would hurt my back. The bills to heat and cool were massive.

So we moved again to a smaller house. Family of five at that time too. Much better and cosier. I am now still living in this house with three teens and on my own. The teens tend to be either at school, out with friends or in their bedrooms. They do come into the main living space sometimes of course but a lot of the time they are doing their own thing. The only thing I do wish I had is a separate living space for them to hang out in with their friends, so I do think that's a good idea.

#33 Ivy Ivy

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:46 PM

Our home has 2 common living areas, and now both kids are at school, when 1 might do computer Mathletics in the living room, and 1 does computer Reading Eggs literacy in the library, then I've no common area room to be in and have my noise in, so I've actually been wishing we had 3 living areas instead of just 2.  We are a family of 4, 2 adults 2 kids.
I love big houses.  I relish being able to spread out, each able to do something noisy in a different area that is not a bedroom.  I like big rooms and the sense of physical space they create, because that feels calming for me.  Little rooms end up feeling cluttered with my poor tidying skills upon my hubby's semi-hoarding.
I dislike having to listen to the kids' movies or the weird but boring YouTube videos they inexplicably like watching (of people playing games or playing with toys).  Our old home had 1 common living area and I really felt the need for another.
Our current home is very open plan and we all move around interacting with the others, and eat bfast and dinner together daily, so I've not noticed that spreading out emotionally distances us, but it might when in future teen years kids retreat to bedrooms?
Personality-wise, I need space and time to myself after a busy work day or weekend outing.  Big house for me every time unless I'm living solo.

#34 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:47 PM

i think you can definitely have a house that’s too big. having said that - for example - we have two living areas - the main one off our kitchen and dining and then a kind of kids playroom/study room/second entertainment room which - in theory - we thought the kids could use and get out of our hair. *spoiler alert* - they didn’t. they don’t. turns out they want to be with us! so - it doesn’t get much use. BUT - it’s good to have when we’re entertaining and there’s a whole bunch of kids then they will go down there and use it - play Mario etc. it has a fold out couch so it’s good when guests to stay.

we are a family of four, each kid has their own room - but with trundle beds. so again - i think its nice for kids to have their own space, but if you have kids sharing now, and they want to continue - that could still happen..you may just have one extra spare bedroom.

i think spacious is nice - but good, well utilised space. not those dreadful voids when you walk into some new homes that serve no practical purpose and make it impossible to keep the house warm. maybe sacrifice unnecessary rooms for more space in rooms you will actually use - so often i see new builds with 2 living areas, a separate entertainment room etc but pokey little bedrooms and bathrooms.

and storage storage storage - built ins wherever you can.


#35 seayork2002

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:49 PM

View PostNasty Poobah, on 13 June 2019 - 01:31 PM, said:

I love me an ensuite, but it does need to have a door. That said if either of us are up particularly before the other we use the other bathroom so as not to disturb the sleeper. We'd also use the other toilet if it was needed for more than a 3 am pee.

All you ensuite haters must have bladders of steel!

Not really I just take the extra 10 or steps

another thing is I never want to have to downsize I don't want to be old/infirm having to deal with a bog house, I want it to do for now and in the future (we we buy a place that is)

Escape the Country is a fine example of 'we are 70 and we need 5 bedrooms and 3 living rooms' no flippin way!

#36 SFmummyto3

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:54 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 13 June 2019 - 01:49 PM, said:


Escape the Country is a fine example of 'we are 70 and we need 5 bedrooms and 3 living rooms' no flippin way!

Yes this! I can never understand these older people who want a massive country home. Often with stairs! What on earth are they thinking?

#37 Nasty Poobah

Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:03 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 13 June 2019 - 01:49 PM, said:

Not really I just take the extra 10 or steps

another thing is I never want to have to downsize I don't want to be old/infirm having to deal with a bog house, I want it to do for now and in the future (we we buy a place that is)

Escape the Country is a fine example of 'we are 70 and we need 5 bedrooms and 3 living rooms' no flippin way!

Well to be fair my bladder that's not of steel comes with a side order of  arthritis so the less walking the better.

But I know what you mean about Escape to the Country!

#38 Nasty Poobah

Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:08 PM

Upthread I talked about getting older and what you might want -- if you're building I'd also look at things like corridor and door width and completely level interiors. It might not make much difference to you now but you'd be surprised how much easier some homes are to adapt if this sort of thing has been considered in the first place.

As someone with relatively young onset osteoarthritis I'm very aware of how mobility unfriendly some places are. And you have talked about possibly having older relatives living with you so it's something to consider.

#39 decisionsdecisions

Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:09 PM

I really don't understand the concept of an ensuite either.  Growing up if my Mum and Dad ever fought it was because of the ensuite....."you make too much noise", "you came to bed late and woke me up having a shower", "turn the fan on", "turn the light off", etc, etc.

A big reason we bought the house we live in now was because there was a very generous main bathroom near the bedroom end of the house then a smaller bathroom incorporated with the laundry, separated by a door. Also if we have guests over and one bathroom is occupied they can use the other without having to walk through the main bedroom.

As for an ensuite accessed through a walk in wardrobe, they must be for people who's shi* really doesn't stink!  Exhaust fans aren't that powerful.



Sorry above is off-track from OP however I have seen my friend move into a two storey house with pre-teens and it has really reduced the interaction between the kids and adults in the family because of the physical separation (kids bedrooms & living area upstairs).

EFS

Edited by decisionsdecisions, 13 June 2019 - 02:14 PM.


#40 Caribou

Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:18 PM

View PostSFmummyto3, on 13 June 2019 - 01:54 PM, said:



Yes this! I can never understand these older people who want a massive country home. Often with stairs! What on earth are they thinking?

Every episode I watched (which wasn’t many) seemed to have couples with dreams that they’d open a BnB or expect regular friends and family come to stay.

Not my cup of tea.

#41 Octopodes

Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:24 PM

I don't think physical space creates seclusion if you don't let it.

DS12 has plenty of opportunity to disappear into his room and not come out all day (has his own attached bathroom), but he doesn't because we make sure to engage with him. We offer to play a board game, go for a walk, play xbox and just check in and chat with him regularly throughout the day. He generally spends more time in the common areas of the house than he does his room.

We used to live in a small house, constantly tripping over each other drove us nuts. We need a little bit of personal space. I think it's made our interactions with each other less hostile.

#42 Moukmouk

Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:26 PM

I think that some people's definition of "big" is very different to to others. It's possible to have "space" without a huge house. As kids get older they need a decent place to study. I need a place to work from home, as does DH. It's nice to have some spaces so one can be practicing their instrument while the other can study. But our bathrooms are small, so easy to clean - the ensuite is the other side of the walk in wardrobe! The laundry is small but practical, and has a spare toilet. No garage, but in roof storage. We also have a mixture of bedrooms upstairs and downstairs.

#43 Ozquoll

Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:31 PM

View PostNasty Poobah, on 13 June 2019 - 01:31 PM, said:

All you ensuite haters must have bladders of steel!
Come to think of it, I do have a bladder of steel, but that’s not why I hate en-suites 😆! Just don’t want any sort of pipes or waterworks, especially of the toilet variety, near my sleeping area.

Every time this topic arises on EB, there’s about ten of us diehards who loathe en-suites. Everyone else seems to love them 🤷‍♀️

#44 seayork2002

Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:34 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 13 June 2019 - 02:31 PM, said:

Come to think of it, I do have a bladder of steel, but that’s not why I hate en-suites ! Just don’t want any sort of pipes or waterworks, especially of the toilet variety, near my sleeping area.

Every time this topic arises on EB, there’s about ten of us diehards who loathe en-suites. Everyone else seems to love them ‍♀️

We have had one ensuite at one rental and thinking back the ensuite was further from our bed than our main bathroom is to our current bed.

But yes I am too am ensuite loather regardless

(I get others like them I am not commenting on that!)

#45 SFmummyto3

Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:02 PM

View PostCaribou, on 13 June 2019 - 02:18 PM, said:



Every episode I watched (which wasn’t many) seemed to have couples with dreams that they’d open a BnB or expect regular friends and family come to stay.

Not my cup of tea.

Yes there would inevitably be the falling down massive barn that ‘would be perfect for turning into a b&b’ 😂

#46 Octopodes

Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:04 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 13 June 2019 - 02:31 PM, said:

Come to think of it, I do have a bladder of steel, but that’s not why I hate en-suites ������! Just don’t want any sort of pipes or waterworks, especially of the toilet variety, near my sleeping area.

Every time this topic arises on EB, there’s about ten of us diehards who loathe en-suites. Everyone else seems to love them ������‍♀️
I would take out the ensuite for more bedroom space in a heartbeat. We have 3 people and 3 toilets and I still keep finding there's a line to use to the loo, might as well get rid of the least used one.

Only problem would be that I'd then have to share a bathroom with an almost adolescent boy.

Edited by Octopodes, 13 June 2019 - 03:07 PM.


#47 Caribou

Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:12 PM

View PostSFmummyto3, on 13 June 2019 - 03:02 PM, said:

Yes there would inevitably be the falling down massive barn that ‘would be perfect for turning into a b&b’

and with what money? Do they not realise how expensive to is to restore grade buildings? Clearly they haven't watched enough of Grand Designs or Restoration Home UK shows to understand the amount of money you have to sink into it.

Not to mention have ANY of them ever bought the place or is it always 'we've deiced to take our time and keep looking'

#48 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:40 PM

We designed and built our house about 3 years ago, and I think it works really well - best of both worlds. (We have two teenagers).

At one end it feels like a smallish house.  3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, open living/dining/kitchen, and a small room that is a combined gym and study.  The alfresco is also under cover, so when weather is OK, that is like another living space, runs along the living/dining area with large sliding doors, so it's not isolated.

We then have a large studio with it's own bathroom.  This is our guest room, extra living are for teenagers when they have friends over, and music equipment (we have two percussionists, who also play other things as well).  

The kids only really go in there to practice music or when they have friends over, so they are otherwise in the other end of the house with us.  It doesn't need much cleaning as it doesn't get used that often.  

If the kids only have one friend over they are usually in their rooms - it's only when they have gatherings that they tend to be in there...... but if we didn't have it, I don't think they would invite groups of mates over all that often.  And as much as I like having them all around, I also like to have my peaceful evening, knowing they are there, but not having to hear every bit of their conversation.

It also has space for a small kitchenette down the track - we laid the plumbing and electrics at the time of building so it won't cost too much, but will be easy to convert if we need it to be a granny flat or an AirBnB, or even to rent to students.

#49 kimasa

Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:44 PM

View PostSFmummyto3, on 13 June 2019 - 01:54 PM, said:



Yes this! I can never understand these older people who want a massive country home. Often with stairs! What on earth are they thinking?

After my Nannu and Aunt died and my Nanna was left alone she decided to "downsize" from a 3 bedroom stand alone house to a 3 bedroom double storey townhouse.
The only thing she downsized was the garden, which is fair enough, but it ended up being a one bedroom with living areas house with an entirely unused upstairs because turns out a woman in her 70s who had previously broken her femur and uses a walking frame when she has to walk more than the length of the house can't get up a SPIRAL staircase. Everyone tried to talk her out of buying that house, no luck.

In her 80s she decided to sell and buy a single storey again, never admitted that the townhouse was a poor choice though.

#50 AllyK81

Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:51 PM

I think you can go large and also well designed so you don't lose that intimate feeling.

Our new house is large but because it is on one level we all have a sense of where we are in the house even when we are in different parts.

Our house is an Edwardian and we bought it as a forever home - big enough for 4 adults to live in it as will inevitably be the case but not so big we won't rattle around in it when the kids leave.

We have a wonderful space in the back yard that was built as a garage, the previous owner coverted to an office and we now use as a crafting room/dance studio/home gym that we think will morph into a teen retreat and eventually a granny flat. It is a space that will evolve with us.

We have two living areas and two dining areas and I love it. We entertain a lot so the formal spaces are well used. The 5th bedroom has been converted to a library/quiet reading space that we will use and love.

Think about flexible spaces that work for your lifestyle. If you don't do much entertaining, don't worry about formal dining.

Edited by AllyK81, 13 June 2019 - 03:51 PM.





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