Re: Unit SF [was Private home dishwasher: 18 vs 24 inch}
From: William C. Wood (
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 11:54:40 -0700 (PDT)
Just a few related questions about the possibility of a studio as small as 410 sf:

1. Is there a good archive of cohousing floor plans somewhere out there in the public domain? 2. Have you ever heard of connecting a modest number of individual units to the common house through something like an 8 x 8 three-season, acoustically isolating, porch on each unit? 3. And, just speculating, if you could add that 8 x 8 space to a 410 sf space, would that significantly alleviate the size concern for such a small studio?

(from someone at the *very early* design stages of a *potential* project)

William C. Wood
woodwc [at]

Message: 6
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:12:38 -0400
From: Sharon Villines<sharon [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ Unit SF [was Private home dishwasher: 18 vs 24 inch
To: Cohousing-L<cohousing-l [at]>
Message-ID:<F149F371-4B86-4BD7-B567-DAE7BBBE2AAF [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

On Oct 22, 2013, at 5:08 PM, Taryn Leigh<taryn_leigh [at]>  wrote:

Studios: 410 SF
One bedrooms: 510 SF

These are extremely small. Have you lived in units this small?

Consider that this includes the walls, bathroom, kitchen, and closets. A 20' by 
20' room becomes very small when you begin extracting those from it. The 510 SF 
would be much more spacious feeling as a studio. Our best floor plan and most 
flexible apartment is 625 SF with a bedroom and a den/dining room.

I've lived in a 500 SF studio. With one person it was nice but claustrophobic 
when I was working at home. I did not have room for both a desk and a dining 
room table. Windows on one side.

With a bedroom, one room would have no windows.

A 600 SF studio was significantly more livable.

Assume ~150 SF for the bathroom, kitchen, and storage. 410 SF would be 260 SF 
of open floor space. A 610 SF studio would have 460 SF of open space. 40% more 
even though it is only 30% larger.

My daughter had an apartment in Manhattan built before WWII that had a ~25 SF 
bathroom. The toilet faced the sink just inside the door. The door was about 
half the size of an accessible door. Even my thin daughter had to enter 
sideways. Once inside you could sit or stand, or step sideways into the ~4' 
tub. There was ~4 SF of floor space and some of that was under the sink. No 
storage. It had beautiful fixtures in aquamarine and was tiled very nicely. The 
tile was in perfect condition after 60+ years. It was good construction, well 
designed. Not an alteration.

That apartment was 450 SF. The kitchen was behind a narrow counter. The bed was 
a futon couch.

I'm all for small apartments but they can only get so small unless you live in 
a city where people tend to eat out and entertain out. Their unit is a hotel 

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