Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Some links to get started....

Getting started in this quest I'll share some of my links I visit and keep for information...
Small House society
Compact Appliances
Art of living small article

More links to come....

As for house plans, look online for "cottage plans" on google. I have found many that were downright elegant and can be modified by a regular architect for very little money to be what you exactly want. two of my favorites are as follows....

This victoria Cottage

This single story cottage

both would be modified if the chosen site allows to have a 1/2 basement to hold the mechanicals like furnace/ac/waterheater as well as storage. Also both would be modified for a better layout and slightly bigger master bedroom.

One of the best tricks for smaller living is to make a lot of things "built-in" You can have an excellent kitchen for baking and gourmet cooking in as little as 7' by 8' space. Living room would have all walls covered in bookshelves and cabinets, windows need window seating, etc...

also scaling down your appliances helps. you do not need that 8 burner Viking stove that is 48 inches wide with the separate 2 ovens. and yes this means forgoing the Pair of 42" wide Subzero fridge/freezer combo as well.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Life, Living, and space

My wife and I currently live in a 2400 sq foot home. we Have 1 teen, and 3 animals living here. Looking at being empty nesters soon we started to look at our life and saw that we spend a huge amount of our money yearly on maintaining and operating this HUGE home. electric bills running over $150-$220 a month, Heating is cheaper as it is highly insulated. Our average monthly heating bill this year in mid michigan with the average temp this winter at 19 Deg F and being on the lake-shore with a non stop wind we averaged $90.00 a month for heating costs. We have a low maintaince home, the exterior is all brick and real stone unlike the fake stuff found on homes built in the past 15 years around here.

I gave up my Corporate career and payscale so I could have time to myself and for my family, downsized my life so I had more time for me. It's now time to downsize our home as well. This blog will chronicle the next two years as we go from the typical american family living in excess to the efficient family living in the amount of space we need and not only reducing our impact around us but save ourselves a load of cash ever single day.