Building our Not So Big House


Building a house has been something we've wanted to do since before we got married. We have notebooks of ideas and sketches. At first we wanted to build a post and beam house, and even got so far as designing one. Unfortunately our bank could not make the numbers work. Over the years, we became acquainted with Sarah Susanka's "Not So Big House" books. We loved some of the ideas she had about doing more with less, simplicity, and beauty. We wanted to build a home.

We ended up building the house featured on the cover of her book "Creating the Not So Big House." While 2400 square feet, it feels very spacious (especially since we moved from an old Vermont cape). We use every room in the house, every day. We have views and light streaming into every window. It's cozy in the winter and breezy in the summer. The best part about it, for us, is the central core of bookcases surrounding all three sides of the fireplace.


Our housebuilding saga, however, was not simple or beautiful. The saga includes a contractor who mismanaged his and our money, began to do shoddy work, and had to be fired. We're now finishing the house on our own--a long process with stress on all of us.

Would we do it again? Maybe. Ask us again when we've finally finished!

Anonymous –   – (June 3, 2007 at 5:44 PM)  

I envy you for having such a big house and I'm not kidding. My house is 650 sf and we are a family of four. It's difficult, but I'm an optimist gal.

maymomvt  – (June 3, 2007 at 6:09 PM)  

The house feels enormous to us. I've come to realize that her "Not So Big Houses" are really quite big!

Simmy –   – (June 8, 2007 at 12:01 PM)  

Your home looks beautiful - I love the wood, the verandah and the bookcase inside. What a great idea.
We;d love to build a house too one day but in most parts of England it's not easy to get land, sadly.

kneek  – (August 14, 2007 at 12:56 AM)  

We loved this series of books also. Four years ago we moved to New Hampshire with the dream of building our own green home, modeled after the ideas in her book. Alas, several things conspired resulting in a return to Seattle, where we bought an old house already renovated for us. I still dream of building our own not so big house. Your pictures are beautiful!

Jinx  – (June 20, 2008 at 8:57 PM)  

Came across your not so big house. We love ours as well.. I would love to see more pics of yours.. :)

Jinx  – (June 20, 2008 at 9:11 PM)  

Our not so big house: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jetling/sets/72157604377362969/

HÃ¥ndlister  – (May 27, 2009 at 5:20 AM)  

Your house looks so very very nice, and very wide enough for you and your family. What a very nice shots pictures of your house. Thank you for sharing.

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