I was driving around my one and a 1/2 horse town and found "Thee"
subdivision for these parts. And it sucks. the streets are just wide
enough for two cars to pass, made from concrete slabs. No sidewalks,
brick mailbox at the curb. The mini mac's are 8 feet apart. I say mini
mac's as these houses look to be on the 3000 to 5000 sqr ft range,
which is big for this area. Not like the monsters in west Little Rock.
I don't see what people like about this sghitty places.
Anyway, my house is about 1400 sqr ft. It wasn't designed for
modern living. It's a 70 year old house. I started drawing houses as a
kid and went from large A frame ski lodges, to multi shell domes, to
classical villas. Now, i I were to build a new house, I don't think it
would be any bigger than what I now have, maybe smaller.
I was wondering any of you were to build a new house, would it be
a bigger home than you now have, A palace for a king, or a modest
cottage, or what? How has your desire to build for your self changed
over your life?
That is so cool.
Can you give some exact info on what possession you've
kept and what you've had to get rid of?
I'm in process of downsizing as well. And running into
logistics problems as far as what to keep that fit in
small space. example...do I get rid of my big tube TV
and buy a small thin LCD TV? That kind of problem.
That's not a problem.... LCD, of course! (The Sharp Aquos line are
probably the best.) A word of caution, though, a great LCD will make a
regular TV signal look like crap. Best for DVDs and good digital reception.
I picked LCD over plasma because 1) It weighs half as much, 2) I didn't
need more than 37" (bought 32" because I couldn't afford the 37, yet).
Plasma has some advantage over LCD in some instances with certain movie
For a couple of refs, see
for an excellent 3D rendering, that's very helpful.
and search this group using " 20x20 " for some
interesting and helpful discussions.
Also have a look at RV's, those are an evolved
genius in down-scaling that are very popular
What to keep is a big question. Without doubt
what you haven't used in two years, you'll miss
after you dispose of it, that's a rule :-).
About TV's, sit twice as close and the area of the
TV is 4x bigger. A possible advantage of watching
a smaller TV closer to you is you may not need
glasses to watch it.
I think you need to have a philosophy of utility,
something that is a lifestyle change for us, who
came from a nice obstentatious lifestyle, that's
good when raising a family.
We have a few examples if you're interested.
About TV, Gruhn's rending is generic, the actual
choice depends on the user. We use TV to put us
to sleep so it's usually high and tilted to the couchs.
Last place we had a 33" Sony (170 #'s) secured
on a shelve about 6.5' high, in an office that was
In the 20x20 we're be quite closer, and use a
smaller TV. Below it we plan to put a wood
stove compartment that extends from the
building for easy cleaning, (ashes removed
from outside and a wood compartment beside it).
I mount my wood stoves at table height for
How small do you think you will go for the TV in
I ask cause I'm in market for a TV
Actually....I've been thinking abt putting a TV card in
my desktop computer and using IT as a TV.... with its
17" LCD monitor
Or..... using the 15" laptop as a TV
What you think abt that?
Well we built an 8x12 Construction Site Office
last year as an exercize to renew our skills and
test some concepts. While not planned we ended
up wintering in the CSO, without any problems.
Lynne (wife) decided she didn't want a stove, she
preferred a dual hot plate. We hung the few pots
and pans we "really use" on the wall above the
hot plate, cabin style and she found that better and
wants that. Also, she used a plastic wash basin in
place of a sink and found that superior to a sink,
because there's no need to bend into it.
Ergonometrically, this enables her to stand-up
straight while doing a few dishes, rather than
bending over into a sink. So we eliminated the
We'll use a bar sink to collect water and dispose
of grey water, so the counter sink is eliminated.
That bar sink is on the wall between the kit and
I laugh cause I did the very same thing! Bought a $500
Rubbermaid shed to store maybe $150 worth of stuff
I finally wised up and sold the shed. And store the
stuff wrapped up in a tarp outside.
Doesn't take too many trips to the hardware store to replace the stuff; too
many afternoons with the steelwool and the WD-40 to make up for the shed.
Not to mention the Pride of Ownership. Well maybe not so with the
I don't know about "modern living". We'd looked at several new houses
(developments, bleh - not by my choice) and I felt like I was inside a bank
or a medical-offices building or some such thing.
It's not only the square footage - it's also the use (or rather, ABuse) of
space. I prefer this house (a rental, ca. the 1960's) in a lot of ways;
there is storage everywhere, and the rooms seem plenty large enough - I
think the foundation is 2500 sq ft.
The agent was pushing for us to take this 4000-something sq ft monstosity
(ironically, many of the older homes are more expensive, as they're not out
in the boondocks and also they're on *lots*, rather than postage stamps).
The MBR closet in this thing was 2 stories high (I'm not kidding!) and the
footprint was about 16'X20', perhaps larger because the shape was weird.
All our clothes fit into 2 normal-sized closets and a couple drawers. What
the heck am I supposed to do with a closet that's almost as large as the
house in which I'd spent my childhood? It's sick.
IMO it's a greater challenge to build a place that is small but of high
quality. That is what I'd like - a place the suits my needs (I don't have
3 pool tables so a humongous "game room" is no use), has nicely-sized
rooms, is as "green" as possible, and is of high-quality materials. Bigger
is never automatically better - it's merely bigger.
I tend to like single-story, because I prefer a place that sits closer to
the land - although I'd like an elevated foundation to reduce the chance of
flooding. I'd like a foundation that funnels water away from the interior.
If I lived in a semi-arid or desert area (an idea that I'm admittedly a bit
obsessed with), I'd want a large underground cistern and a structure that
collects rainwater and channels it there for storage - that's at least be
good for watering the vegetables and garden (tho' I'm also a fan of
xeriscaping). I'd like the materials to be suited to the climate - I
especially like a particular sort of white stone that's used locally in the
Houston area, it might be granite but I don't know, have to find out. I
crave light so I'd like a lot of wondows, but low-e of course and poss.
triple - glazed. In a hurricane prone area, I'd want those hurricane-
I've considered dome houses, also I've considered a more Pueblo/SouthWest
type (in terms of simplicity and massing the components so as to create
shade and cooler areas). Overall, I prefer natural materials, even
primitive/ancient materials and methods/ideas, but nicely contrasted with
modern - i.e. glass and metal.
Size? The main thing I personally need size for is my hobbies. I have too
dang many, since I'm sort of retired. Ideally, I'd like a highly-
ventilatedwoodworking room with a "messy" area (for spray painting and
other fume-creating thingssuch as wood finishing), plus a separate room
where I could set up separate tables for stained glass work and general
hobby stuff, and a well-lit room with lots of shelving for drawing and
painting. And a computer room of course, that would also fit my MIDI piano
(it's a full-sized keyboard).
Two baths, a good-sized kitchen (so there is enough storage space without
having to cram and shove and pile and stack things), a laundry room that
doea NOT require one to bring the dirty laundry through the kitchen!, and
some sort of den/living room, where the TV and the stereo would be. I
don't care about a dining room because we use TV tables and watch CSI or
the like during supper. But to resell a place, I guess it needs a dining
But I don't give a crap about trying to impress this or that beanbrain; I
don't give a crap about whether the neighbors "envy" me, and I don't want
that because envy=hate=problems and theft. I occasionally have people
over, but I don't "entertain" as such - more like, "OK, the burgers and
chili are on the grill, the beer is in the beer fridge, and the fixin's are
in the kitchen, go help yourself whenever you like - there's the pool,
there are the hammocks, relax and enjoy".
All the new houses seem to be psychotically obsessed with being
"impressive", which means, they are not suitable for folks who simply want
to live, and have hobbies, and occasionally have a couple of *friends* over
for a casual bit of relaxation.
Yeah, a few armaments wouldn't bother me any ;) . Although I personally
have this thing about food. We didn't have a whole lot when I was a kid;
then, when my father finished night school and started getting a couple
promotions, he got a big freezer for the basement, and stocked it, and
built floor-to-ceiling cabinets along one wall and loaded them sith enough
canned and dried foods to last a very long time. After having grown up
eating stuff like turnip'n'ground-mystery-meat soup, a wall full of canned
peas and tuna and pasta and whatnot seemed to me to be the epitome of
wealth <g>. Guess I haven't fully fotten over it, although the urge is
strengthened now what with things like earthquakes and hurricanes.
So that's what I want. Huge amounts of stashed foodstuffs. And a
generator and fuel of course. Finally got sleeping bags and inflatable
part-foam cushion things, need a tent and so on.
Add on one of the new solar collectors - those flexible ones I saw on a
special about energy can collect very efficiently even on cloudy days. YOu
can put them on your roof and, since they don't stick up (they're on a
roll, look like a charcoal-colored mat) they can go right up on the roof.
Might as well add on a windmill, just to be sure ;)
Of course, if I gave in to *all* my packrat urgtes, we'd need two - well,
three - whole moving vans in (prob.) a yrear or two...A nomadic life tends
to cut down on one's urge to collect :( . But I still hate not having a
stockpile of provisions.
OTOH, if the house is big enough to have a closet that big, it makes you a
primary (and secondary, and...) target. Sort of the way that driving a
700-series BMW is like begging to be carjacked.
Better if one can build partially and/or totally underground, have a
sotrage bunker, but can't do that here because it's a gigantic alluvial
plain that goes inland quite a way, high water table. There aren't even
any basements. I haven't yet thought of a solution...
Heh. Actually, I've considered the merits of Mobile Housing.
The main problem is, living in Mobile Home parks. Unless of course I can
buy Kevlar siding for the mobile housing...!
Well, there is also the problem of their susceptability to hurricane and
Well I've had same thought as well!!!
That's why I asked abt what you think
Has a lot of merit really.
I've a need for some outdoor storage space. Most people
including myself would normally think abt getting a
Well I actually had the idea of buying a van or covered
trailer and using THAT for a shed just cause I "could"
move it if needed.
Same for living space huh?
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