Why You Gotta Call My House a McMansion?! 10 Reasons a Larger House Might Be Right for You— BYHYU 075
What’s up with house shaming people for wanting a larger house? That's so... "judgy". When researching this post, and just talking to people, in general, about new houses, I’ve run across tons of derogatory statements about larger houses and people who want to live in them. House shaming people for living in, or building, larger houses is far more common than house shaming folks who like small houses.
Just like smaller houses, larger houses have the disadvantages. But there are also advantages to living in a larger house. My feeling is… to each his own. If you like a smaller house, cool. Build a small house. If you want a larger house, and you have the budget to build it, that’s okay too.
Last week to talked about 10 Reasons To Build a Smaller House. This week, we’ll go over the pros of living in a larger house. Yes, despite today's popular rhetoric, there are advantages to living in a larger house. Here are 10 reasons to build a larger house…
1. It’s easier to keep a larger house looking clean.
Although you can clean a smaller house fairly quickly, smaller houses also get messy fairly quickly. A few toys, or a couple of pieces of clothing on the floor can make a small space feel cluttered and untidy. In a larger space, a few out of place items are less noticeable.
Plus, in bigger houses, floors and other surfaces don’t get dirty as fast. You’re not constantly walking over and using the same exact spots over and over again. So, in a larger house, the same amount of dirt is spread over a larger area and that makes the dirt a little less noticeable. Small messes don’t look quite as bad in a bigger space.
2. Family member don’t have to be on top of each other when they don’t want to be.
No matter how much you love being with your family and enjoy spending time with them, there are times when almost everyone needs a moment to themselves. With a larger house, it’s easier to a escape for a few minutes, or a few hours, if necessary. That can potentially cut down on bickering, and help your family members get along with each better.
3. If you build an large, energy efficient home, your utility bill may be equal to, or even less than a utility bill for a smaller, less efficient home. If you know you want a big house, strongly consider using energy efficient design and materials, not only so you’ll be paying less for your monthly utilities, but so you’ll have less negative impact on the environment.
4. You’ll have room to rent some space out. If you ever want to rent a room or two out for income opportunities, such as Air bnb, or for long term tenants, you’ll have the space to do that.
5. You’ll have plenty of room for family and friends— for celebrations, holidays and even regular Sunday dinners. Some people want their homes to be a central gathering place-- the house where extended family and close friends can regularly break bread together and hang out. If you have a larger house, you can accommodate lots of people- for entertaining and for overnight stays. Plus, you’ll have space for your parents and adult children, if they ever need to move in with you.
6. Larger houses cost less per square foot to build. If you listened last week, you’ll remember that I said that smaller houses cost less to build than larger houses and that’s true. Because building a smaller house requires fewer materials and less labor, smaller houses are generally less expensive to build. BUT, the cost per square foot is usually less when building a bigger house (generally speaking).
This is true because of economies of scale. Economies of scale is a cost advantage that comes from building more of something. As the scale of the house increases, the costs of building are spread out over more square footage, meaning less money per square foot. And think about it, you often get a better price the more of something you buy. So, if you’re buying enough paint for a 4000 square foot house, you can often get it at a better price per unit than the price you'd pay per unit for paint for an 800 square foot house.
You can maximize the savings per square foot by building up instead of out. In other words, a two story 4000 square foot house will typically be cheaper to build than a one story 4000 square foot house.
7. Larger houses have room for kids to play inside. Ideally, children will regularly go outside and play in the fresh air. But that’s not always possible, either because it’s too cold, raining or dark outside. It’s nice to have a space for children to play inside for those times. It’s much easier to designate a play space for our kids in a larger house. With a bigger house, kids can play safely inside without getting in your way.
8. More closet space and storage. If you’ve ever lived in a house with inadequate storage, you know how frustrating and inconvenient it is. In my current house, our closets are way too small. I can’t even really see everything that’s in my closet. That makes getting dressed much more of a chore than it has to be. Plus, we don’t have a convenient place to store holiday decorations and other seasonal items. With the adequate storage space that often comes with a larger house, you can be better organized and less stressed.
Before I give you the last 2 reasons, I want to thank Idan for a really sweet comment that he left last week. Thanks Idan for taking the time to do that.
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Alright, our last 2 reasons that a larger house might be the right choice for you.
9. There’s more space for pets. If you have a pet, and especially if you have several pets, you need space. With a smaller house, pets are often underfoot. A larger house gives pets space to roam.
10. Larger houses give a feeling of openness and airiness. Not that a smaller house can’t feel open and airy, but a smaller space can easily feel claustrophobic if it’s not well designed or if your furniture placement is off. The more space you have, the more easily you can achieve that sense of openness. And ironically, a larger house can also help your space feel more minimalist, less cluttered since there is more space to put things away and store them out of sight.
Building a large house just for bragging rights is not really a good reason to build big. But, as I just outlined, there are some valid reasons why a larger house might be a good choice for you. However large or small you decide to build, choose a neighborhood that will support your home’s size and style, build a house that lessens your impact on the environment, that fits your budget and fits your current and future lifestyle.
Please remember that the purpose of this podcast is simply to educate and inform. It is not a substitute for professional advice. The information that you hear is based the only on the opinions, research and experiences of my guests and myself. That information might be incomplete, it’s subject to change and it may not apply to your project. In addition, building codes and requirements vary from region to region, so always consult a professional about specific recommendations for your home.
That’s it for this week. Let’s do it again next week. Come on back for another episode of Build Your House Yourself University -- BYHYU.