Re: Common House: Woulda Coulda Shoulda
From: Elizabeth Stevenson (
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 06:17:02 -0600 (MDT)
> Questions:
> If you had to do your commonhouse over, what would be any areas that stand
> out as ones you would like to change?

If we could do it over, AND had the money, I think we would put in a small
guest room. Most of our guests come in summer, and we almost always have
someone in the community who can put them up, and often they can use
someone's whole house, but there are occasions when it would be nice to just
install them in the guest room without the fuss.

Still, we are quite happy with the design, and use our compact CH as much
(or more) than most. I think there is a tendency to build commonhouses that
are bigger than necessary, and they don't feel homey enough for people to
hang out in. It's not your neighborhood community center, so don't try to
make it all things to all people. I have visited communities(okay, I'm
thinking of one in particular) where you go into this vast expanse, and
there's nobody there. It echoes! It should be as home-like as possible.
> What are the least used areas of your commonhouse?

Upstairs, because it is not accessible to the disabled, so we don't schedule
much up there. It's only one small room, though.
> What is the ratio of guest rooms to units?  Does your community have enough
> or too many guest rooms.

See above.

I don't see this on your question list, but I will offer this about
kitchens: don't wall it off in fear of noise. The kitchen should be open to
the dining room so the cooks don't feel isolated. We love our very quiet

Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento, California

tamgoddess [at]

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