There are many new ideas being generated by the energy crisis, and the move towards energy efficient green construction. Many of these ideas should prove to be economical, and provide additional comfort, as well as beneficial to the environment. These ideas include a concept of smaller homes with the illusion of spaciousness.
New Construction Tips and Tricks for Making Small Houses Seem Bigger: Great Rooms
Great rooms create an illusion of spaciousness while actually taking up a lot less square footage than three tiny claustrophobic rooms. For example, a dining table and chairs requires a space of about 8’ x 10’ or 80 square feet, when the chairs are pulled out and everyone is sitting, but when the chairs are tucked in it only takes up a space of 4’x 6’ it wastes space to try to build a separate room just for a dining table and a hutch. Combining living room and dining room and kitchen in one large room makes the arrangement versatile, saves space, and allows for a more open feeling.
New Construction Tips and Tricks for Making Small Houses Seem Bigger: Kitchen Arrangement
Kitchens don’t have to be large to work well, but the do have to be arranged properly. The proper kitchen formation has the sink, stove and refrigerator in a triangular formation. There should be a two to four feet of counter space on either side of the kitchen sink, and on either side of the stove. The refrigerator should ideally have two feet of counter space adjoining it on the opening side. Ideally there should also be a four to six foot free space of counter top, and a place for on the counter appliances such as a toaster. There should be a minimum of four feet between opposing kitchen cabinets, with five or six more preferable for kitchens in which more than one person at a time will be cooking. Past those requirements extra space is unnecessary and long distances between stove sink and refrigerator can actually be inconvenient.
New Construction Tips and Tricks for Making Small Houses Seem Bigger: No hallways
To save wasted square footage avoid hallways, instead link bedrooms directly to the living areas. If you must create a hallway, make it at least six feet wide so that it can be lined with book cases, or accommodate a desk and double as a home office. Long narrow hallways are a total waste of space, but just an extra foot or two in width makes them useful.
New Construction Tips and Tricks for Making Small Houses Seem Bigger: Small Homes need Storage Space
In a small home, closets, and wall storage units become even more important. With the square footage savings, spend a little extra to create built in floor to ceiling storage. One very good space saving idea is to use built in book cases instead of inner walls. Simply face out rough studs, with finished lumber and put shelves between. If you like you can place sheetrock or paneling on the back side, and then place another set of shelves on the other side. This makes a six inch wide space that would have been lost useful. If the wall is 12 foot long, that’s six square foot saved.
Well lighted rooms in light colors seem larger, and mirrors also work to give the illusion of space in small areas. Well placed windows also make spaces seem larger. There are many more new construction tips and tricks available in our 98 page guide, downloadable at the top right of this page.