1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Here's a good trend - smaller houses (cottages)

Post in 'The Green Room' started by webbie, Jul 20, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,307
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    http://tinyurl.com/5ndcp4

    Of course, the price of these cottages is high, but that makes it even better in some way...because the buyers are folks who COULD take up a lot more room, but choose not to.....

    Maybe this will be become the newest fad and spread everywhere.....$99,000 for a 1,000 sq foot house

    (actually, those are the prices for brand new homes in the boonies of central FL where I visited my sister this year)

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,030
    Loc:
    New Jersey USA
    While I'm in support of efficient energy/resource use, I have been for 60 years, mostly because a was born poor, I can't see any sense in paying more for less. I can understand paying more for quality, so it is possible for me to "buy" a smaller home for a high price if it is loaded with quality features/hardware/style/whatever is worth more investment.

    The article you linked may get to that, but with my slow reading ability I quit after the first few paragraphs which seemed to say some find it rational to pay more for less. They may be the same bunch that applaud the high cost of gas as it will help cut down on carbon waste, unless we count in all the carbon dumped by Gore and our Presidential candidates, who pay whatever it takes to keep consumption up.
  3. Poult

    Poult Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Messages:
    109
    Loc:
    Northern NYS
    http://www.rosschapin.com/Projects/projects.html
    That's the web page that shows some of the developments they've done.

    It's nice that house size can go in another direction. I put a 726²' addition on my house ten years ago and find most of the time I use just that space. Can't imagine a family in one, but then I have a lot of "stuff" (read: Junk).

    One thing I find odd about the developments is the tiny yards they are on. And the commons they talk about are nothing more than a few dozen feet wide. Spaces like that I couldn't tolerate. Probably to city people that's fine and dandy, but it's not for me. I can do the small house, but I want elbow room between me and someone else.

    Poult
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,986
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I work in a city where we are pushing cottage developments as a way to increase density. Just to jamb more people into a smaller space. The developer makes more money per acre, population density goes up, open space goes down, and the folks that own them seem fine. Why not go one step further and just attach the homes into townhouses, apartments, or just call them what they are.... a modern day trailer park.

    I like (and live in) smaller houses on the same old size lots allowing more yard to keep people a little farther apart. If you like to live within spitting distance of your neighbor then move into an apartment complex. The cottage developments are suburbia scaled down.
  5. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    394
    Loc:
    Northwestern, Oh
    I have 4 kids live in a 1300sqft home and sometimes that is to small.
    I suppose a smaller home would be ok for a small family.
  6. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,099
    Loc:
    Burbs of B'more, MD, Hon!
  7. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    394
    Loc:
    Northwestern, Oh
    Maybe someone should start building one room houses again.
    If you have kids then just ad a loft.
  8. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,824
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    Or family cabin had 2 rooms for right around 60 years. We just added a bathroom onto the back. After the addition the entire footprint is just 16 feet wide and 35 feet long. The main room houses the kitchen and general living. It's 16x20. The back room is the bedroom area and is 16x~8. We added a 5 foot deep addition on the back to house the bathroom and a small hall area.

    It's small, but has everything in it that you would need. The attic is just storage now. That seems to be the main issue with small places, but you can get around that if you are creative.


    Matt
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    47,387
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
  10. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,030
    Loc:
    New Jersey USA
    Well, 1,000 square feet is real small in my books. We have a 20 year old house that is only two bedrooms, LR, DR, Kitchen, Laudary/study/office. Still it is about 2,000 square feet because the rooms are all "good" sized. Still, it is only about 50-60% the size of the other two houses on our private access road. I purchased the house because our children had left our house/home .. out on their own. It took some real looking find a new or near-new house that was under 3,000 square feet. So, I feel we have a small house. Everything is relative.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    47,387
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Our current house is 2000 sq ft also. It is a nice size, though if we got rid of accumulated stuff we could easily do with less. We lived in small(er) houses in New England and in Seattle. They were between 800 and 1400 sq ft. Had two kids in the 1400 sq ft. house and it was adequate. As empty nesters that size would be more than adequate for us now.
  12. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,824
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I'm curious how heating will be handled with these smaller houses.

    Many lenders will not lend without a central heating system. I have seen them accept electric baseboard, this may be the answer.

    These smaller houses, if super insulated, may not require much in the way of heat. With smaller houses it certainly wouldn't cost much more to have the absolute best windows and doors, 2x6 walls filled with foam and the attic properly taken care of...

    Heck, a cord or two may heat all winter long. A pellet stove would certainly cover it.

    Matt
  13. Telco

    Telco New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    164
    Loc:
    Okiehomey
    Sounds like a commune to me. Smurf village. Sorry, but this is a sucker sell here, people are paying to hype the green label, and while ensuring that they only get the "right" kind of people as neighbors. But if they are willing to have their neighbors pawing through their houses, more power to them. I think the building industry just found a new kind of sucker, as they are getting them to buy apartments by simply putting a tiny strip of grass between each unit.

    Personally I like driving right into the garage and never seeing the neighbors. None of my neighbors has been any further under my roof than the covered entryway on the outside, and that's the way it'll be until I move out. Nor will I go in their houses. I have to deal with people all day long, home is where I go to get away from them.
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,986
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    We have also jokingly called them campfire girl camps since the cottages resemble little cabins and with no garages or fences they look like a cluster of camping shacks.

    When I am getting utilities to these things though they are treated like trailer parks. A single lot usually with no official lot lines. Yards are maintained much like a condominium association.

    I don't like them on principle but won't go as far as Telco. I like my neighbors and sit outside and visit with them. I very much like being able to go home and not see into their kitchen from my kitchen window though.

    These cottage devleopments have a high potential to be slums after the newness wears off.
  15. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,480
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY

    GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Lower property values !!!???????? I'd be glad to have one of those houses next door if it lowered my property value. I ain't goin' nowhere so I don't care if my value decreases.
  16. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,030
    Loc:
    New Jersey USA
    LEES... you've lost me, you want your property value lower? Or is it you don't like the house that is next door now?
  17. Telco

    Telco New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    164
    Loc:
    Okiehomey
    I don't get it either. Not ever moving away today may not be true tomorrow. The only unchanging constant in life is change.
  18. Turbozcs2003

    Turbozcs2003 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    80
    Loc:
    southernMaine

    Bingo

    We have the enviro nut jobs in our town who are dead set against "sprawl'. I live in a newer neighborhood of ranches, capes, colonials all between 1600-2400 sq ft. Most are 3-4 bedrooms open concept on 13K sq ft lots +/-, two car attached garages. I wouldnt want any smaller lot. Builder was smart enough to leave trees. Development is in town but some didnt like it since builder was smart enough to sell individual custom homes. This is the 2nd house I built so I have a little experience for this.

    They had another infill project, condo type with smiliar size and communal lots. This was the model the town planners preached. They wanted about 100K$ more for each home. These were the "green" houses. They completed most of them but many are empty as they havent sold a single unit in 4-5 years. In story in local paper, realtor marketing them said many people were put off by the price and the fact that they didnt own the property and wanted their own lot for privacy. Of course the ridiculous monthly condo fees didnt help.

    I imagine after a few years they units will fall part, landscaping will be neglected and neighbors will be at each others throats.
    I rented in a condo unit for a few years and that was enough to tell me to stay away from that. Too many noisey neighbors, too much maintenance deferred from association and too many stupid rules which get selectively enforced. give me a well built house and a managable size yard.
  19. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,030
    Loc:
    New Jersey USA
    Yes, that's why we're on over 5 acres. And as most of it is wild/natural, I'm helping it stay "green". I'm not a "neat-nick", I like the unkept part of the property, it has lots of wild life and removes a lot of carbon from the air.
  20. Telco

    Telco New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    164
    Loc:
    Okiehomey
    Gonna use that if the HOA Nazis running my neighborhood ever get on me about grass length. I tend to let my lawn grow a little longer than the neighbors, who scalp their yards down to putting green height. Heh heh... course, mine also doesn't require 6 hours of watering a day, doesn't require bimonthly visits from the lawn fertilizing services, greens up a little sooner in the year than theirs, and stays green a little longer too.
  21. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    394
    Loc:
    Northwestern, Oh
    I think he means that he's never going to move. So he doesn't care what the house is worth.
  22. jrousell

    jrousell New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    143
    Loc:
    Adirondack Mtns. NY
    that isn't small -- those are just medium.. :)

    now these are small:

    http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/

    these are so cute... rmember seeing a write-up abotu these in a woodworkign magazine ro somethign last year...
  23. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,406
    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    There's a general underlying theme here - that it's greedy or perhaps somewhat sinful to own or utilize more of anything than some bare minimum. I sometimes (and in this case) feel like the 'green' stamp is a proxy for encouraging us to willingly adopt a lower standard of living. Live in a small house on a small lot, use dim lights, turn down the thermostat, drive a little car at slow speeds, don't take as many trips, and so on.

    It's a free country, and if that's what makes you happy I wouldn't dream of standing in your way. I'll still argue that it's poverty, and that's not something I get too excited about. I'm much more interested in how we can live better and have more options and choices available to us - to have the choice to have more space, more recreational and cultural options, be more comfortable, travel farther and faster if we want to.
  24. jrousell

    jrousell New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    143
    Loc:
    Adirondack Mtns. NY
    I live in a great big house. Built it myself.. we love it..

    But I can also see as I travel around that the average hosue has balooned like crazy in the last 20 years. And most people are just following the trend rather than making a serious decision.. For some poeple smaller is better. For others larger might be the best fit.

    Living simply and all.. I can see the merit in it.. Bigger doesn;t necessarily mena happier living... Heck I would argue that too many familes today live in 5 bedroom houses where nobody shares a room, they all have separate telephones and canle television- and they never really spend time together....

    it's nice to know peopel have the freedom to choose what suits them...
  25. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,986
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Yes, we have been pretty negative. Well it turns out that there are a couple of groups of people who seek out and desire these cottage type communities with no required yard maintenance and a feeling of home ownership. The elderly and the starter home crowd. Followed closely by the "single mom" crowd. These are quotes from developers.

    The buildings can be cheaper to buy, and are cheaper to operate in terms of utilities and yard maintenance. These are the only plusses that I can see.

    Smaller homes are fine and are a great choice. Cottages are a whole different arrangement that brings some special twists to the small house deal.

    Good post, nofossil, that we should not be guilted into living in any particular size of home. We can and should be able to choose to live in a smaller house if it fits our lifestyle. There was a time when all new homes were being built large, 2500-3500SF, since that was what was selling. Leaving no option of a smaller new home and that is unfortunate but it is market driven and should self correct.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page