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View Poll Results: So How Big IS Your Home?
Less then 500 sq. ft. 5 2.16%
500 to 1000 sq. ft. 19 8.23%
1000 to 1500 sq. ft. 43 18.61%
1500 to 2000 sq. ft. 50 21.65%
2000 to 2500 sq. ft. 48 20.78%
2500 to 3000 sq. ft. 39 16.88%
3500 to 4000 sq. ft. 13 5.63%
4000 to 4500 sq. ft. 9 3.90%
more than 5000 sq. ft. but less than 6000 2 0.87%
more than 6000 sq. ft. but less than 7000 1 0.43%
more than 7000 sq. ft.but less than 10,000 0 0%
more than 10,000 sq. ft. 0 0%
3000 to 3500 sq. ft 2 0.87%
Voters: 231. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-18-2008, 10:41 AM   #41
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2505 sqft. The largest room in the house is the 500 sqft kitchen.

3 BR, living room, dining room, office, sewing room, full bath, 3/4 bath and powder room. 2 car attached garage with semi-heated gym room over top.
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:51 AM   #42
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Seemed to work out pretty well until we had a baby last year, now I think the lack of space is endangering our sanity.
The other side of the baby/space issue is that when they start cruising around in a small home, you're glad that they can't get out of eyeball range. Imagine babyproofing a 6000 sq ft McMansion, too.

Hard to believe that something so small could move so fast and get into so much trouble so quickly. Because you know the parents are totally rested, in superb physical condition, in complete control of all mental faculties, and never distracted for even a microsecond.

Luckily these problems disappear when they're teenagers.
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:53 AM   #43
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You might think that you could just close off the unused rooms, and not have to heat or clean them, but they get stuffy and dusty. I usually close them off every other day.
Believe it or not Al, that can actually end up costing you MORE to heat and cool your house, along with shortening the life of your furnace fan and heat exchanger. About the only time that strategy works is if you have a totally uninsulated house or if your building envelope and duct systems are 100% sealed. Which creates some different problems...

Problem is that the average home has about 30% loss due to duct leakage. Much of that happens due to bad connections in ducting thats inside the walls or inaccessible. Mine was at 30% before I had them sealed up and after extensive caulking and taping, its still around 10%.

Closing registers increases the systems static pressure. Static pressure is the buildup of air pressure created by the furnace fan in the output side of the ductwork to create forced air. Increased static pressure increases the total volume of loss through duct leaks, generally into unconditioned space like attics, crawlspaces and walls.

That loss outside of the building envelope causes a lowering of pressure inside the house, which is compensated by unconditioned air, dust, and whatever else is available being pulled in through every tiny crack and seam in your house.

The increased static pressure also makes your furnace fan work harder, reducing its life. Reduced airflows can also cause overheated heat exchangers to crack, and air conditioning coils to freeze.

Many HVAC systems lack adequate air flow due to poor duct design, and a high percent have excessive static pressure with all the registers open.

Closing Off Vents and Rooms to Save Energy
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:27 AM   #44
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The other side of the baby/space issue is that when they start cruising around in a small home, you're glad that they can't get out of eyeball range. Imagine babyproofing a 6000 sq ft McMansion, too.
A good point. We're still in the non-mobile phase and not really looking forward to all the babyproofing, although it wont be long now (he's 6 months).


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Because you know the parents are totally rested, in superb physical condition, in complete control of all mental faculties, and never distracted for even a microsecond.

Luckily these problems disappear when they're teenagers.
Yep. Although I'm hoping to be retired by the time he's that age, so at least I'll have a little more time to keep on top of these things.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:34 AM   #45
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Do I really want to know what Utah requires you to store in a large cold room?
A year's supply of food?
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:35 AM   #46
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1650sf, 3-2-2

I own a brick... house...
I wish I was a brick....house....!

Perfect 50 x 50 square--the house is an elevated (15 ft) 50 x 30 with 2 ten foot wide porches running 50 feet front and back. With that we've got 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, an office and a huge middle ground for the kitchen/liv room, plus a dog bathing laundry room. Perfect for two people, 4 dogs, 5 cats and an aquarium. Plus we throw giant parties every now and then.

The lot is 4 acres fenced and we have a shed plus the entire underneath of the house is open (what are these basements of which you speak? We have water underground!) The downstairs will eventually be enclosed/concrete poured/etc and made into living space, but I have no idea when. It will likely be used as party space, but I'll also keep in mind the idea that my parents might need to live there one day and do a universal design and wet bath along with a caretakers room. We do all our own construction.

We want to add a couple of outbuildings--one I'm designing is a man-house for DH so that he can go play poker, smoke cigars, and all that manly stuff--out back by the marsh.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:22 PM   #47
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I have looked up the official property records:

Year Built: 1940
Rooms: 5
Bedrooms: 3
Full Baths: 1
Half baths: 1
Sq. Feet: 908
Lot: 55x125 Sq. Feet (6875)

Assessed Market Value: $65300
2007 Prop Tax: $992
==================================
Unused attic (3rd bedroom used for storage, slowly being emptied)
Main level is a kitchen and an L-shaped living/dining/family room
10x12 covered concrete patio
Unfinished basement with boiler, water heater, washing machine
Attached garage, extra long one car (gas, electric, water, cable, phone come in through garage)
Detached garage 12x21, no amenities
Downstairs window A/C
The full bath is no longer full, as I had the tub removed
Back yard is vegetable gardens and ground cover
===================================
Purchased September 1978
Mortgage paid off 1998
===================================
Have replaced:
Roof
Siding
Wiring
Outgoing plumbing
Windows
Doors
Appliances
====================================
It's too big. I am slowly rearranging and weeding out stuff with the ultimate goal of downsizing to a one bedroom apartment at some undetermined point.

And even if I never do move, a neat well-organized minimalist setup will be easier for whoever finds the body and probates the estate.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:29 PM   #48
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Very nice. Not large compared to others here, but I bet it is worth a nice chunk of change.
Thanks Dawg52. When the housing bubble was just about to pop (2005) a real estate friend kept saying, "I can get you $325k if you want to sell". Things have slowed a little since then, maybe closer to $300k.

The only original house left is the framing and foundation, everything else has been replaced. Fully insulated, all new windows, wiring and plumbing, even the hardwood flooring and plaster. All the original red gum woodwork and doors have been restored.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:40 PM   #49
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Isn't it strange? I do chronological vertical filing on my desk and can find most of the important stuff quickly. Been advised that my filing system is unhygenic and visually unacceptable, so every now and again i come home to find the desk looking much better and stuff neatly filed away in an attractive logical (to her) manner. Takes me weeks to find the stuff i need.
I think it must be that estrogen stuff than makes 'em do that. Same thing here. She's always filing stuff in it's proper place. To be expected, I guess, since I married a bookkeeper/accountant. (What are my shoes doing in the closet? No wonder I couldn't find them!) But she's cute.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:40 PM   #50
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...costing you MORE to heat and cool your house, along with shortening the life of your furnace fan and heat exchanger.
I agree, that could be true if we used our furnace. We use our wood stove together with fans to distribute the heat. I turn on the furnace about five minutes per month so that it won't feel neglected.

If I close off a room it is much cooler than the rest of the house, showing me how much heat it would normally eat up.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:49 PM   #51
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My place is about 2200 SF. About 60% is down stairs. I could easily live in that 60% rather than spreading out over two floors. That said, anyone that wishes to drop by and saw off my second floor and stick the roof back on so it meets code, is welcome to make me an offer.

I could easily operate at a SF level of about 1300 SF I believe, assuming that my taxes would also decrease by about 40%.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:36 PM   #52
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Ours is a 1500 sq.ft. 1.5 story cape cod style, built in 1955. We have 4 bdrms and 2 baths, 2 bedrooms and a full bath on each floor. So the first floor has our bedroom and a guest room/computer room. Nice size living room and a good size kitchen with a breakfast room. Our dining room is small. Full basement with one half finished and used as my son's recording studio.

1500 sq.ft. may sound small but I really like the floor plan. It's been a good house in which to raise a family. It not great for entertaining large groups, but our gatherings are mostly family things, 10-15 people at the most.

One of the nicest features is a 2 car attached garage with a huge attic storage space above. We added a full height door to the attic from the upstairs hallway so it's easy access and it's a high ceiling so you don't even have to stoop. The temptation is to store everything in there and it got out of control so in Dec 2006 we were all home and had a major clean-out and disposal of stuff and now the attic is usable again.

Our major improvements here were adding air conditioning and upgrading the electric in 1993. We also built a lovely 14x20 deck at the back off the breakfast room. And then we added one of those Sunsetter awnings after we realized that the deck was much too hot.

We plan on staying here, downsizing by not using the upstairs when we no longer need it. Taxes are $2340 a year.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:41 PM   #53
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Our major improvements here were adding air conditioning and upgrading the electric in 1993. We also built a lovely 14x20 deck at the back off the breakfast room. And then we added one of those Sunsetter awnings after we realized that the deck was much too hot.
Yeah, the central climate control was one of the first things we did when we moved into our current house. We had window AC units (older and inefficient) and we had natural gas feeding space heaters with piping coming up through the floor. In a Texas summer those window AC units are woefully inadequate. We put in a very efficient heat pump which has made a big difference. Fortunately the attic was spacious so there was a lot of room to add the duct work.

Next we plan either a deck or a concrete patio behind the house. Right now we use a dirt behind the detached garage for the patio furniture and my grill. It will be nice to have it in a better (and paved) area, perhaps with an awning extending from the side of the house to provide shade in part of it.

It isn't much, but it's cute and it's home.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:26 PM   #54
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I agree, that could be true if we used our furnace. We use our wood stove together with fans to distribute the heat. I turn on the furnace about five minutes per month so that it won't feel neglected.

If I close off a room it is much cooler than the rest of the house, showing me how much heat it would normally eat up.
Does that wood stove have its own separate intake, as in a contained combustion system?

If not, its combustion is creating the negative air pressure, and you're sucking a lot of air in from all the cracks and seams in the house, which is possibly where your dust is coming from...along with soot from the fireplace. Might be why those closed rooms get cold as well, since they're getting outside air infiltration but no direct heat.

I'm surprised that running just a wood stove in an insulated home in a high humidity area like yours doesnt create an enormous amount of condensation inside your house walls, in your ducts, and around the windows. Ever test for mold or sill/bottom plate rotting?
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:48 PM   #55
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3300 Sq Ft. Just the two of us in a three story twin. I bought it when I was single. Two full baths two half baths ,finished basement and six bedrooms. Bought in 1992. We were going to downsize just after we got married six years ago. Sticker shock got us. Even though we do not use all of the space it was cheaper to keep what we had. Very low mortgage and property taxes and maintenance. Heating the place can be a bear but we have done a lot to insulate the place which helped a lot. Further no kids so no messing with the thermostat. We are here for life.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:51 PM   #56
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currently living in 1200 sq ft (plus car port & covered patio) shotgun cottage on about 10k sq ft of urban jungle, a three-mile bike ride to beach and about the same to downtown fort lauderdale. city records of house destroyed but county seems to show foundation laid 1942 (very old for florida) and house built in 1948 of now nearly extinct dade county pine (known to be termite-resistant do to its extreme strength) by a guy who had a nursery on las olas blvd (a fancy street in lauderdale) when that was just a dirt road. next to me are three log cabins built as hunting lodges in the 1920s. across street from me two neighbors have built 3500plus square footers which they hope to sell for over $1mm each (but i think they still have bubbles on the brain).

i purchased this cracker house when this area was crack town complete with drug rehab center (now a fancy loft-style condo bldg). since moving here 14 years ago this area has become gay mecca with numerous good restaurants and about five of the most popular bars & nightclubs within walking distance, so it would market well to any old gay drunk with a dui on his record. when over his hangover he could take a short afternoon stroll to the nearby supermarket.

i've got two rooms i don't use at all, one pictured below. officially it is the living room but it is really just a memorial to my mom's old sitting room. only the round arty piece and the new orleans wrought iron over the office door is mine. i think maybe i sat in the living room five times in the last five years. the other room i don't use is the largest bedroom where i just store stuff that could all easily be thrown away. i had an unusually large bedroom growing up (the previous owner built it as a dorm for their many children) yet now i prefer the smallest bedroom for me.

though this place is relatively easy & cheap to keep, i look foward to downsizing one day to space under 500 square feet. i'm thinking something 40 feet long with a 12.5-foot beam and maybe a 5-foot draft so i can get over reefs and into good harbors.

wasted space: the "living room" which i have set up as a large foyer:



the so-called living room aka mom's memorial:

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Old 02-18-2008, 04:56 PM   #57
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We are building a home with 2,775 square feet of heated/air conditioned space in an "active adult" community. Smaller than we live in now (or last few previous houses) but more than enough to retire in. Does have thoughtful floor plan, though, which in the model at least makes it seem as comfortable as a home with more square footage.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:09 PM   #58
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2,200 sf in the main house. It is one bedroom, and 600 sf in the guest house. ReWahoo, do I count the dog house?
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:09 PM   #59
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We are building a home with 2,775 square feet of heated/air conditioned space in an "active adult" community. Smaller than we live in now (or last few previous houses) but more than enough to retire in. Does have thoughtful floor plan, though, which in the model at least makes it seem as comfortable as a home with more square footage.
It looks like you're going to have a very nice shopping center (with a Lowe's!) opening up nearby within the next 3-4 months. I hope the road construction keeps pace.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:10 PM   #60
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ReWahoo, do I count the dog house?
If you spend as much time in it as I do, yes.
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