How much house is too much?

Did you know houses in Australia are the largest in the world? The good news is that they are shrinking.

Is 50 squares too big? Is 40? Is 30? It is a tough decision to decide the right amount of house. Adding to the decision is that there is not a huge difference in price between a 30 and 35 square house. Strange, but true.

Our new house permeability is 30% of the land. That leaves me with 70% to build a dream edible garden. The new house is actually smaller (ground floor) than the old house. Needless to say we are just using more airspace with a first storey.

For us, the 28-32 square size was about right, but we struggled to find a design we liked.  We’ve landed on 34, which is a large house, no doubt about that. But when I think of the extra cost to get an extra bedroom and an extra living room it was more a case of why not.

It was also about keeping half an eye on the local market and desirability of our suburb.  In our case, good sized family homes with a backyard are almost non-existent. Easy to find a small house, or a large house with no land.  Or a house that shares a block.

I’ve heard all the arguments against large houses – underutilised rooms, energy bills, cleaning demands, self-indulgent consumerism.

We will have a spare bedroom. Can’t deny that. But as for the energy bills (see previous posts) I can assure you that this 6-star home will use far less energy and gas than my previous 1-star home.

Besides, I fully expect the kids will be at home until they are 30 the way house prices are going.  Sure, some of the rooms could do with a nip and a tuck. And is it exactly the way we’d build it. No. But we got 95% of what we wanted. I can live with that.

And you know what, ask me again in a few years. Perhaps the Metricon designers know more than I do. Perhaps the extra large parent’s retreat will become my favourite place when my future teenage daughter are on the rampage…

cartoon house