Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Downsizing Our Home

Our home is too big for us and I have written a post in the past about it in length. When we bought our home, it was the best bang for our buck.  It was inexpensive, it needed redone inside and out, and Todd was willing to do all the work himself to make this home into what we wanted.  When we purchased the home, we were living in a 1100 sq ft home in the city.  This 1890 sq ft on ½ an acre seemed like it was exactly what we wanted at the time.

Now, we want to downsize.
We talked about building a tiny home on the property wepurchased next to our home and renting out our home.  Though I liked the thought, we had put so much time and hard work into our home to make it what it was (with more work still needing done to complete the home.)  Then it came to us on a 2 hour drive home from my mom’s house one weekend.

As you can see on the Auditor’s schematic above, our home is in an “L” shape and has a very large footprint.  We mainly use one “wing” of the house and the other “wing” goes unused.  We have been working on paying off our mortgage so that we can then save up to build Todd a workshop as a separate building from the main house.  While we were talking aloud on our way home from my mom’s house, we decided that it would be best to make our home smaller so that we use all the living spaces.

There is one room next to the garage (Yellow Box D above) that is currently being used as storage and to keep the cats litter boxes and food.  The size is 280 sq ft.  Enter great idea.  Todd will be knocking down the wall between the room and the garage.  This area will be Todd’s workshop area that will be completely open to the garage.  Todd’s workshop will keep his welding equipment, tool boxes, work stations, etc.  Right now, everything is crammed (literally) into the garage along with two vehicles.  This will free up a lot of space in the garage as well as give Todd some much needed space to work on projects.  By knocking out this wall, we will save upwards to the effect of $15,000 for a new workshop that we were planning on building on the property.  The workshop will need to be insulated to keep the cold from the main part of the house, but otherwise, needs nothing but a good scrubbing and ample lighting (all of which Todd can do himself).

The great part of turning this extra bedroom into an extension to the garage is that it will not require heat.  The heat will be forced to the wing of the house that we currently use which will allow us to have a smaller, more efficient furnace (yet another savings factor).

The 100 sq. ft purple area on the schematic (Box C above) is a hallway that we never use.  This will be turned into a space for the furnace, and for our stackable washer and dryer and storage.  At the moment, our furnace is a low-efficiency furnace that is located outside.  When we save up the money, we would like the furnace to be inside and we may even splurge for air conditioning as well (I never though I’d agree to having A/C in the house, but after this year’s heat and humidity, our floors were literally sweating.  By having A/C, it will keep the house from expanding in the heat and will keep the house dry and comfortable.)

Our family room is enormous (400+ sq ft).  We could host a party with 25 people and everyone would have a place to sit and mingle.  The catch is, we don’t ever host parties of 25 people (nor do we want to), so what’ the point of having a room this large?  We are talking about building a wall smack dab in the middle of the room and making this a master suite.  Todd would also install a separate bathroom in the suite. Sliding glass doors would be replaced with french doors (that we already have) and we would have our own personal deck with sitting area.  One great thing about cutting our family room in half is that we will still have the fireplace that I love and a much cozier space to sit and relax with my husband and guests.

Of course, all of these are just plans.  Nothing has been started nor will be started for a couple more years.  But with a few simple changes (and a little bit of extra plumbing), we are downsizing our livable area by over 400 sq ft.  The goal is to make the home smaller and all the rooms to be utilized.  We would still have 1512 sq ft with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, family room, kitchen and dining room.  This is still more than enough room for us and would be plenty even if we had another set of feet running around the house one day.

Do you feel like you need more room or that you would like to downsize your living space?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you guys are so creative, energetic, smart, wonderful, committed, frugal ... and we miss seeing you! Oh, yeah, we wish we had MORE space! We are splitting at the seams!