How Big Of A House Do You Need? 3

If two people (you and one other person) are sharing a house, how big of a house do you need?

Good question. I did some research and while the numbers vary somewhat I found the following facts:

  • 1950 average house size was 983 square feet
  • 1970 average house size was 1,400 square feet
  • 2014 average house size is 2,598 square feet

At the same time, the average household shrank from 3.14 to 2.57 people.

That means each person today has 1,011 square feet. That would be a room of about 33 feet by 33 feet.

Even more amazing is premium builders like Pulte report that over 31% of new homes are more than 3,000 square feet!

Australia, a big place, even by Texas standards beats us out by about 16% and Canada is only about 7% behind us. No place else in the rest of the world comes close.

Much of this space is cavernous. Overwhelming size but not so intimate or cozy. Also costs a lot to furnish, maintain and heat/cool.

Sarah Susanka, the architect who created the Not So Big House movement has estimated that the typical household can reduce their home size by about a third without a noticeable decrease in quality of life. This is mostly because a lot of the space in larger homes isn’t used all the time (think formal dining rooms and the like).

Gee, just think . . . you would still have nearly 700 square feet per person!

How much space do you need to live in?


Simple But Happy

Simple But Happy

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3 thoughts on “How Big Of A House Do You Need?

  • Pam

    If we all downsized, think of the energy resources we could save (as a nation), cutting down not only our own expenses but national dependency on fuel. Super!

  • Bill Tanski

    A large house has nothing to do with what you need physically. In that case you’d return the 1950 average of less than
    1000 sq. feet. In the USA, the size of a home has all to do with status and one’s self importance. Except, nowadays, it
    also means a very large mortgage with all kinds of ramifications attached to it. The same can be said of why do people
    buy those Yukon SUVs? I bet in the actual Yukon Territory they don’t buy them. Its all about status and power. People
    say its about “safety” only because its sounds better than saying “status” or “power.”