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Small houses

2004-08-18 17:04:07.121827+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

This one's for crasch: Philip Greenspun's musings on houses for single people has a lot of good information in the comments. Charlene and I restructured our house so that we have our projects in the living room; I built some furniture that houses my indoor tools ('scope, soldering equipment, small files, knives, saws and vices, etc) and makes a good workbench with doors that can hide the clutter of a project in progress, and modified a bookshelf which has room for my LCD monitor to have a slide-away keyboard. We're less in a place for entertaining larger groups, but longer-term we could save money on housing and just hold larger parties at some communal space.

I used to think there was no way I could live with someone else in less than a 3 bedroom house, but we've managed to work out both the physical and the social issues in such a way that we can share each other's company without disrupting each other's flow, and in the process we've radically redefined what good housing means.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Work, productivity and environment Real Estate Furniture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-18 20:31:42.752578+00 by: Larry Burton

If I were a single man my idea of a perfect house would be one of those industrial type metal buildings with about 1500sf of floor space and a large garage door and about a twenty foot ceiling. There would be a mezzanine above about a fourth of the floor space where there would be sleeping, bathing and cooking area. There would be 480v 3phase power service and a couple of hydraulic lifts built into the floor. This building would set in the middle of about 5 acres of land and there would be a good bit of asphalt on that 5 acres.

It would be especially nice if it was adjacent to a small GA airport.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-18 21:17:06.089076+00 by: meuon

For just me, my 1400sqft 2 bedroom, plus 600sqft of deck plus a car and a half garage is great. Problem is, it is not looking like it's going to be just me for a lot longer. When the deck is done, I'll have about 1600 sqft of 'public' space in nice weather. Large rooms are nice, my living room and dining room adjoin through a large opening, makes for a nice space for guests. the garage/shop downstairs could be a bit bigger, but it's big enough.

I like the idea of holding larger get-together at public spaces.. it works well for lots of reasons.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-19 14:46:34.780588+00 by: Nancy

>>Problem is, it is not looking like it's going to be just me for a lot longer.<<

PROBLEM??!? THAT'S A PROBLEM!?!? (you know I'm laughing!)

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-20 00:02:50.200367+00 by: ghasty

Well, well, well...snuggles

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-20 19:57:29.46093+00 by: crasch

Thanks, Dan! I think Greenspun lives in a rather more rarefied atmosphere than most people...the median single earner income in the U.S. is about $35 K, and yet 68% of of households own their own homes. It is mostly in SF, NYC, Boston and other urban enclaves that housing has been priced out of the reach of most people (as a result of a real estate bubble, in my opinion).

For me, I think a good home would actually be a converted aluminum body diesel step van. A 14' foot van has about 100 sq ft. of floor space with standing room, yet could be parked most anywhere. (Unlike an RV, it would not be immediately obvious that someone was living inside). They're inexpensive (a good used one costs about $5 K), and can be outfitted with a shower, stove, bed, and all of the other niceties of home. In such a van, you could live comfortably anywhere in the U.S.