Square Footage: Less is more in 2015

Up until the last few years, homeowners were obsessed with square footage. “We need a bigger house,” was the motto of many. In the minds of young married couples in particular, bigger was better. The rationale being as our family grows, so does our need for additional square footage and extra rooms. And while some still subscribe to that notion, many young families are getting creative to show that it’s not so much the square footage that’s important—it’s what you do with it.

Square Footage: Less is more in 2015. Pictured: The Gadberry Plan #1042

By Chuck Tripp

Get creative

There’s a lot to be said for imagination when it comes to building a house, particularly smaller houses. “Families don’t necessarily need as much square footage as they think they do,” says Chuck Tripp of Donald A. Gardner Architects, Inc. “There are lots of creative ways to maximize space and expand your living experience with a smaller house. You no longer have to have 3,500+ square feet to take advantage of luxury amenity rooms such as theater rooms, studio or office spaces, large utility rooms, library-study areas, even workout rooms.”
E-space of Plan #1285 - The Marley Kitchen E-Space of Plan #994 - The Newcastle Utility Room of Plan #1090 - The Summerhill

Open things up

Large open windows and doors, sun tunnels, and skylights have become popular for homeowners, as they give the impression of additional space and brighten up living areas.
Windowed Great Room of Plan #802 - The Longleaf
Also, a recent trend has been to knock down walls and open up space you already have. This actually increases the shared living space of a home and expands the social flow. By eliminating formal living rooms and large dining rooms, homeowners are able to create larger great rooms and kitchen areas that serve as social hubs for friends and family. “Homeowners are placing more emphasis on functional, efficient spaces,” says Mr. Tripp. “Instead of buying a 4,000-square foot house, couples are opting for smaller designs and eliminating walls and barriers that separate or confine people. For example, by eliminating the wall between the kitchen and the great room, mom or dad can keep an eye on small children or interact with guests while cooking dinner.”
Great Room, Dining Room, and Kitchen of Plan #1226 - The Sagecrest Great Room, Kitchen, and Dining Room of Plan #1302 - The Bluestone Kitchen and Great Room of Plan #360-The Larson - Customer Submitted Photos

We’re here to help

If you have an idea or a question about optimizing the living space in a smaller house, we’d like to hear from you. There are many options and designs available that can be customized to your needs and lifestyle. “At Donald A. Gardner Architects, Inc.,” Tripp says, “we are constantly striving to meet the demands of homeowners. With better, more flexible building materials, we have more options than ever before. And ultimately, that’s what today’s customers are looking for—more options.”

To learn more, visit dongardner.com or call one of our professional DAG representatives to ask specific questions or discuss options: 800.388.7580.

One comment on “Square Footage: Less is more in 2015

  1. Kevin Wilkinson on

    After retiring from the Army in 2013, I wanted to stay active and in business. I bought and brought to market some older used homes, but my heart was altogether in building a spec home. I searched far and wide for a design that resonated with my deep conviction that bigger isn’t better, but better is better, regardless of the square feet in the plan. For my first spec home, I bought plans for Don Gardner’s “Sassafrass House,” selected for construction on a narrow infill lot in a neighborhood of $650,000 homes. It’s been around for a while, but open floor plans are still new to a lot of people, people now willing to move out from traditional thinking about owning and maintaining a larger hope. The title and sense of your article, “Square Footage: Less is more in 2015” well expresses my own sense that the 2400 sq ft of the Sassafrass House is better, as in ‘better is better.’ It’s lines, it’s fabulous use of space inside, the visual variety of the porches, gables and arched windows (which I used in the great room). For families who are tired of chopped up rooms and want to use all of their house, who want to entertain or have children they want to watch, Sassafrass has optimal Wow Factor. And for families who are tired of heating and cooling three to five thousand square feet, it’s a blessing and a savings. I am glad I found the Sassafrass, my heartfelt thanks to Don and his timeless vision. K. Wilkinson, Nashville, TN

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