Re: very small/ compact housing
From: Robert (
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 13:32:15 -0800 (PST)

I hope you succeed but our experience says you may have difficulties reselling 
the small units.

At Eno Commons, we have two house designs: House A:1483 sq ft and House B:1974 
sq ft.  Although I initially considered a House B, I built a House A.  
(Although I really like my House A, I also like the larger living room of the 
House B.)

House A's generally take longer to resell than House B's despite the House A's 
having more storage space than the B's. 

I do not fully understand why House A's are harder to sell.   We have two 
families (2 adults, two kids) who live in a House A and I believe the house 
works well for them.  Yet when we give tours, folks seem to like the community 
but decline to move in for the stated reason that House A is too small.

-Robert Heinich
 Eno Commons Cohousing
 Durham, NC
 where the foundation for the work shop is complete and the building should 
start soon.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lynn Nadeau" <welcome [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 3:13 PM
Subject: [C-L]_ very small/ compact housing

> At the Port Townsend EcoVillage, well into planning stages, we hope to have 
> housing which is attractive, functional, AND distinctly less impactful than 
> traditional homes. Plans include a mix of "satellite bedrooms" (small 
> cabins, sharing external common kitchen/bathroom facilities), group housing 
> (designed for multiple housemates), and separate houses of a more 
> traditional sort. 
> I'm seeking resources for housing design. It's not hard to find 
> small-to-tiny prototypes for singles or the sort of couples who can live 
> together in a boat or schoolbus. However, we also want to attract families. 
> So we want sample houseplans for 2-3-4 bedroom housing, so that a family, 
> say, of two adults and 2-3 kids, with a home-office-based business or two, 
> could look at a plan or model and say, "Why, yes, we really could live in 
> xxx square feet, if it were arranged like THAT!" 
> What is the smallest  2-3-4 BR housing in your experience that can "work"? 
> "Work" meaning people don't then feel the need to build storage buildings, 
> garages, or move away for lack of space. Do you live in a house that's 
> particularly compact? 
> Can you suggest books (Japan? Europe?), actual plans, cautions, 
> encouragement? Thanks! 
> Lynn Nadeau
> at RoseWind, but enthusiastically engaging in this new project in our 
> neighborhood, Port Townsend Washington
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