Looking for a home can be confusing. You may have a sense of the kind of space you need, including the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and garage spaces you want. But if you’re faced with information describing homes only in terms of square footage, how do you make sense of it all?
Usable Living Space
Real estate agents and builders use square footage to describe homes in a general way. But usable square footage, which usually does not include garage space, and may not include unfinished areas, can vary dramatically from one floor plan to another. You’ll want to look beyond square footage in order to find a house with space that will really satisfy your needs.
Popular open floor plans often seem more spacious than their actual square footage would indicate; flex rooms and bonus spaces add versatility, and designs with minimal hallways live large by maximizing usable space. A rectangular ranch house with rooms that open off a perimeter hallway will have a totally different feel than a two-story plan with square rooms radiating from a central hall with a staircase. The square footage may be the same.
Calculations vary based on room shapes as well, and totals can be misleading. A 12×14-foot room and an 8×21-foot room are the same square footage, but which would serve better as a bedroom?
How Will the Rooms Live?
Try to visualize traffic patterns and think about your daily routine as you “walk through the rooms” in your mind. You may want to sacrifice interior square footage in favor of a larger yard. On the other hand, you might decide to optimize interior space to allow for a growing family or to gain a home office or playroom.
An “average” home in the 1970’s was between 1,400 and 1,500 square feet, with an average household size of 3.14 persons. By the year 2,000, the average home had grown to slightly over 2,000 square feet, but family size decreased to 2.6. Today, many new homes are larger than 2,000 square feet, but there is a growing sense that bigger is not always better.
The best way to assure that your new home is the right size for your needs is to deal with a reputable builder, carefully assess your requirements and study available floor plan features. Saint Aubyn Homes will work with you to customize plans to your specific needs, and we have options for unfinished basements and attics, offering even more flexibility.
Our goal is always to give you great value for every dollar, and that has little to do with square footage.