How Big is Too Big?

August 27, 2015 Ben Mathis

How Big is Too Big?

Curious question: How big is a square foot to you?

Don’t snicker. It’s not as simple as you think.

We had a client who vehemently swore that she didn’t need anything larger than 1000 sq. ft. When we entered said 1000 sq. ft. residence, she turned and exclaimed, “I thought 1000 sq. ft. was A LOT bigger!”

Little did we realize that this inability to visualize the sizes of homes is not an isolated incident.

No, fellow sports fans, it’s a widespread epidemic.

And we have the antidote: knowledge. (This whole post is beginning to sound like a bad 1980s commercial.)

Really though. House sizes are WAY up in the United States.

According to this CNN article, houses sizes in the US are up almost 1000 sq. ft. since the 1970s.

Here’s how we compare to the rest of the world:

US: 2,600sf

Australia: 2,217sf

Denmark: 1,475sf

France: 1,216sf

Spain: 1,044sf

Ireland: 947sf

UK: 818sf

Yup. We win again. Take that France. U-S-A. U-S-A. U-S-… they really need to start editing these posts.

Since home size are way up, it’s within the realm of reason that people have little to no idea how to judge the size of a home. We’re awesome at it because we’re awesome in general. And we happen to have to deal with figuring out home sizes on a daily basis.

So we decided to drop some wisdom on you. That’s right. Good old fashioned, in your face, make your brain hurt, owl-like wisdom.

Along with some helpful charts, common size comparisons, and examples of home sizes (just in case the wisdom didn’t stick. No judgement here.)

500 sq. ft

We don’t want to rag on Great Britain or anything, well, because they’re great. But they do hold the spot for smallest living space among our aforementioned list.

Simply put, 500 sq. ft. is small. Need a comparison? Try the standard classroom from high school. Or, an average sized hotel room (including the bathroom.)

Now, don’t get me wrong. Some homes under 500 sq. ft., like these, are gorgeous. Some people have even embraced the ultimate eclectic lifestyle of living in a moving space: a school bus.

Whatever your reasons, or wants, just know that anything between 500-1000 sq. ft. (or below) will be cramped.

1000 sq. ft

Now we’re moving up!

1000 sq. ft. is by no means a palace, but it is quite liveable, especially for two people.

Any racquetball players here? Stupid question, everyone is a racquetball player. For a size comparison, a regulation racquetball court is apparently 40′ x 20′, or 800 sq. ft.

So this size home would be slightly bigger than your gyms racquetball court. Comfortable, but not extravagant.

2000 sq. ft

Ah, the American standard. Weighing (err, measuring) in at a roomy 2600 sq. ft., the average American home is comfortable for the, well, average American family.

Size comparison: An American football field is 53 yards wide by 100 yards long for a total of 47,700 sq ft.

Kind of massive.

But if you break it down, every 5 yards is 2385 sq. ft. That doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s definitely roomy!

4000 – 5000+ sq. ft

This is the granddaddy of them all. Our luxury homes, dream homes, celebrity homes, etc. These are the big boys that everyone wants to own, but no one wants to clean. Not even your cleaning service.

Size comparison: An official National Basketball Association or National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball court measures 94 feet by 50 feet and has an area of 4,700 square feet.

Need more? Fear not, mortals. Here are some common items that you’ve either seen, own, or have been around to help you somewhat visualize the size of various homes.

King Size Bed: 42.15 sq ft
Queen size bed: 33.3 sq ft
School Bus (interior): 245 – 300 sq ft
Average 3-Car Garage: 600 – 640 sq ft
High School Classroom: 500 sq ft
Average Hotel Room: 450 sq ft
8×11 (standard) piece of paper: 100 square feet = 164 pieces
4 door car – 90 Sq Ft

Hopefully this will help you with all of your future square footage problems!

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