Saturday, April 26, 2008

How Much Space Does One Person Really Need?

Part of my 5 year retirement plan is to build a house on my property to replace my mobile home and RV. If I am still on my own in 5 years I won't need to build a traditional 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. I don't need all of that space and I don't care what they say about resale value. I am going to build what I want and can afford. Building a larger house would just make me tied to my job longer. Plus, if I need a larger house some day I can build one and the little house will become the guest house.

My first small house plan consisted of a 2 bedroom, one bath house with a loft for my art studio. I like it but it will cost between $80-$100k at least. I would have to sell my rental house in order to pay for it so the plan depends on the housing market.

My next plan is even smaller, only 22'x22'. I wanted to see how small I could make it. Since I am living in a 11'x35' RV right now this little house would have more living space. The problem is that all of my stuff is being stored next door in my mobile home so I would either have to get rid of it all or at least most of it or add a second floor loft to my little house. I like the loft idea. The bedroom could be upstairs leaving the lower space for storage and office space. I estimate this house would cost between $50-$60k. I would probably still need to sell my rental house to finance the little house because I don't think a bank would be interested in that kind of tiny construction loan. I would love to build most of it myself with recycled building supplies from the Habitat Store. It would be fun to see how inexpensive it could be and to incorporate some of the fancy materials that are donated like carved entry doors and granite countertops.

Speaking of tiny houses, the people at this site: Tumbleweed Houses have made some of the smallest houses I have ever seen. Their use of space is amazing. Still, $35K for 70 sq.ft. is a little out of my price range.

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