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Trend Alert: Americans Want Smaller Homes

6/22/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: trends, small homes, tiny homes, housing

At Natural Home, we saw this one coming. 

Americans want smaller, more affordable homes, according to a 2008 survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  In fact, 60 percent of American said they prefer smaller houses with more amenities to houses with more square footage. 

Since the 1950s, housing in America has reflected the idea that bigger is better. The average home has grown from 1,600 square feet in the 1970s to more than 2,500 square feet today. Happiness hasn’t grown along with house size, however, and more Americans are looking to downsize, saving money on materials and energy. 

Jay Shafer's Tumbleweed Tiny Houses are moving masterpieces. NH Archives. 

Designers and builders are also responding to the new trend. According to  American Institute of Architects (AIA) surveys of 500 residential architectural firms found that home sizes are declining. 

Some designers are even basing companies on small homes. Jay Shafer’s Tumbleweed Tiny House Company builds houses (or lets you build them yourself) that range from 65 to 140 square feet. Brad Kittel’s Tiny Texas Houses builds 12 foot by 20 foot houses almost entirely out of salvaged materials. 

Do you live in a small home? We hope you’ll share your story in the comment section.

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