The small home is making a big comeback. We can point to several reasons for this. Economical reasons head the list but people are keenly interested in efficiency, environmental responsibility, and ease of upkeep.

What do you really save by building a small home? Let’s look at this logically to see if building smaller is, in fact, economical.

Small House Plans vs. Bigger House Plans

To be fair, the size of your home is dictated, in part, by the number of people to occupy it. But, strictly from a standpoint of preferences, there are a few cost advantages for building bigger.

Building Bigger Homes

Larger homes often cost less per square foot to build:

  • Contractors are already on the site and on the job and additional work while they’re already there is cheaper
  • Bigger doesn’t always mean more rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, etc. Simply expanding the size of rooms is relatively inexpensive
  • Materials purchases can cost less per unit, the more you buy and deals for quantity purchases also help

Building Smaller Homes

Building from a small home design house plan has its advantages:

  • Shorter building times save interest charges on the construction loan
  • Fewer bathrooms, windows, doors, fixtures, and other costly items
  • Less expensive home design costs, lower taxes, and smaller permit fees

Comparing the Costs of Home-Building

Your small home is likely to cost more per square foot to build if we assume equal quality, materials, and labour. Ten percent more is typical. So, let’s say a 3,000 square foot home will cost $100 psf for a total of $300,000.

To compare, if a 1500 square foot home can be built for $110 psf, that would cost $165,000. Obviously, even though the cost per square foot is substantially higher, the overall cost to build is considerably less. But, there’s more to it than the upfront costs to build.

Life-Time Value of Small Home Designs

The lifetime value of a home considers the cost of maintaining the home over the years. Here are some of the other economical advantages of a small home:

  • Smaller homes can be more efficient/less wasteful
  • It costs less to heat and cool a small house
  • Replacement costs are less
  • Utility bills are significantly less
  • General maintenance requires less time and money
  • It uses fewer natural resources both in construction as well as for your ongoing living needs

If a small home fits your needs, you should pursue the idea wholeheartedly! For the do-it-yourself “professional”, the choice of a smaller home is a particularly wise one. The more you can do yourself with friends, the more you’ll save and the better off you’ll be.

Is a small home design for you?

You can learn so much more about home building and remodelling online. One great option is to take advantage of a very informative yet simple to follow *free* e-course that you can find by clicking here You will also find other tips and tools, surveys, videos, and additional articles by Mel Inglima.

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  1. Hermie says:

    Why is this using square feet? It might be just me but I don’t understand feet as we use metric in NZ

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