Is your house the Titanic? The benefits of Home Downsizing
There are many benefits of home downsizing which I will tackle in this post. But first, I have some questions for those who think it might be time to move into a more efficient home. Then I have some solutions and rationalization as to why down-scaling might lead to a more rewarding home and living experience.
Do you feel like your home is larger than it needs to be?
Are there spaces and rooms in your home that you never use?
Have your children grown up and moved out?
Are you heating rooms that no one uses?
Are you having to maintain and upkeep a building because it is in a constant state of disrepair?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, why not change your living situation to better reflect your current needs? There are a large number of homeowners who find that their housing needs have changed, but their house has not. Why not sell that home and have one designed specifically for your current needs?
|An example of a Greenovision passive-solar home (floor plan)|
There are a number of benefits to down-scaling one’s home. Here are a few obvious benefits: A smaller footprint means less distance to move about the home with no need to climb staircases to a bedroom, to do laundry, or work on hobby or craft projects when it could all be on the main floor. Having a main floor plan with all the necessary living components makes living in your home easier because all of your needs are handy to you. Some people worry that smaller homes are too tight and close-knit, however private areas and rooms for “escaping” can also be part of a smaller home. Greenovision homes are designed to fit your individual needs and requests.
|An example of an efficient heating system for a small, efficient home|
A smaller floor plan also means less volume to heat, scaled-down maintenance, and less cleaning. Lets face it: cleaning rooms that no one uses is not only time consumptive, but its kind of depressing. Heating costs for homes are going to continue to rise in the near future. Reducing the heating needs of a building occurs by reducing the volume needed to be heated and through proper design and construction method. Most older homes were designed when energy costs were low.
|Example of passive-solar radiant heat gain|
Today’s homes should be designed to take advantage of a readily available natural energy source, the sun. Passive solar (heating the home by using the sun’s radiation) and active solar (heating domestic hot water or creating electricity) with the correct design and materials can drive a home’s energy bills down to where they are much more manageable with even the potential to be zero.
|Believe it or not, this a mud room and laundry room in a Greenovision-designed home. Much more beautiful than most laundry rooms, right?|
By decreasing the scale of a building, the cost per square foot can now be spent on the quality of materials and amenities in the home. Large homes use up materials (often low-grade materials) just to make spaces that are not being used. So why not create a home that is more focused on quality? By reducing the size of your home, your money can be spent of fewer, yet better-quality materials. Quality materials creates a healthier, more efficient home with fewer maintenance needs.
In designing smaller homes, I look to make each item in the home perform multiple tasks. For example, a window is an opportunity to increase natural views or views of beauty around the home. This same window, if correctly positioned, allows the home to heat itself, to ventilate the home, and to bring in fresh air. In Greenovision small home designs, every element in the home can achieve multiple tasks. This is the essence of efficiency.