If you’re considering moving, you may be wondering how many square feet you actually need. How much space is enough?
It’s a good question and, naturally, it will often depend on who you ask. Some families can quite happily live side-by-side in cramped conditions, while others struggle.
Family Space Requirements
If you are a family of four, you will need around 2,400 square feet. That’s about the size of a mid-size suburban detached property.
However, some estimates suggest that you might not actually need as much space as traditionally imagined. For instance, many commentators say that you only need between 200 and 400 square feet of space per person. In other words, a 2,400 square foot home could potentially house up to 12 people. It’s certainly something that happened in the past.
You should note that attitudes on this matter have changed over time. In the past, less square footage was perfectly acceptable. However, social attitudes may be changing this.
Why do so many families live in apartments? The reason is that the price per square foot is often lower than it is for suburban homes, even taking location into account. As you increase the square footage from 1,000 to 3,000, the price of the home tends to rise faster, before levelling off.
Why Families Need Space
There are good reasons why families need space. As children get older – particularly those over the age of 10 – their space requirements increase. There is nothing wrong with keeping young children in compact accommodation and asking them to share a bedroom. However, once they reach their teenage years, most want a space of their own.
Physical proximity is also a risk for conflict. Arguments are more likely to break out if you keep kids in a confined space close to each other.
How To Make The Most Of The Space In Your Home
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to live in a mansion, so long as you understand how to use the space effectively.
One idea is to build more storage space into the fabric of the home. This reduces the physical area of usable space taken up by cupboards and chests of drawers.
If you can, try farming out storage to a shed or put items in the attic. This way, you can preserve floor space and help to make your home feel less cluttered.
You can also play around with the purpose of rooms. For example, if you rarely use a dining room for actually sitting down with guests and eating a meal, then you can transform it into a studio or playroom.
You can also try things like taking advantage of high ceilings. If you’re not using the space above your head, you can use that for storing items that you only use rarely.
In summary, the average family requires some space, but not as much as you think. For this reason, you don’t necessarily have to dedicate your entire budget to housing costs. You can get away with less than you might think.