A Matter of Scale

This post is my contribution to the September APLS Blog Carnival which will be hosted by Tina on her blog.

I have a confession to make.  I’m not as eco-friendly as I’d like to think.  There’s one thing in my life that is set in stone (well maybe concrete) and I refuse to change it.

Our house, our dream house, is 3731 square feet.  Shocked? So was I when I saw the number on the appraisal, because it doesn’t look that big from the outside or from the inside.  We designed it to look quaint, country, unique, and special.  We wanted our house to have character.  We didn’t want a McMansion or a cookie cutter house. 

stroll turn 004

The space is largely unused right now.  We have two empty bedrooms and an empty room over the garage.  We don’t have a lot of furniture in the rooms we do use, and the house still echoes.  We could have opted to leave the room over the 3-bay garage unfinished, cutting down on the livable space and our taxes, but we decided to finish it when we finished the rest of the house. 

The square footage isn’t my only confession.  We have 5 bathrooms… well, 2 full and 3 half bathrooms.

Why did we build such a big house, you ask? I ask myself that sometimes, too.  Like when we pay the mortgage, or in the winter when it’s so cold inside, or when I talk on the phone and people ask me what the echo is.  So why?  The answer is simple…

We built our dream house.  The house we imagined ourselves living in until we die.  Raising children, visiting with grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren.  Granted it’s on 1.7 acres and not 50, but nonetheless, it’s our dream house.  We plan to live here forever, and we took that into account when we designed it. 

So what does this mean for our carbon footprint? It’s not good.  Two people in this big house means lots of living space per person.  If we had 5 or 7 people living here, for example, our carbon footprint would decrease dramatically.  But we do our best to conserve resources and live sustainably in other ways to make up for it.

Even if I had realized how the size of our house would impact our carbon footprint when we were designing it, I still wouldn’t have changed it.  We have room for children, our parents if they need to live with us, or even our grandchildren.  It doesn’t seem like the house fits us now, but we designed it to fit our future.  And with a baby on the way, I’m sure it will fill up sooner than we think.

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9 Comments

Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

9 responses to “A Matter of Scale

  1. Abbie – Its a lovely house on a really nice piece of property. Its what you want and will need someday. Enjoy it.

  2. Maria

    When you fill it with love and children (and maybe parents and grandchildren), it won’t be so big anymore. Enjoy your dream home..Don’t try to justify it, just enjoy it.

  3. I wouldn’t worry about it Abs- You and Eddie will fill it up before you know with kids and puppies

  4. You have a beautiful house and you were smart to build your deam house from the start! I’m still working on getting mine! Ha! Ha!

    Your brothers will be proud of you that you ‘fessed up about your carbon footprint!

    You are still GREEN in so many other, lovely ways!

  5. I’m still stuck on those posts way back when where you showed us your pantry. I’m seriously jealous of it. And, by planning ahead you saved all the resources you would have wasted had you built a small house and then torn parts down to add additions each time you decided you needed more space. It’s foresight, not a bad eco-decision.

  6. I wish I had your problem! It won’t be long before you have it filled with kids. As others have said, you are smart to have built it now, instead of waiting. Enjoy your space, its wonderful.

  7. I think lots of people don’t identify their dreams and then try to fill the hole in their life with stuff. Good for you for knowing what you really want and what you don’t!

  8. Building a smaller house and then this house would have been much worse, and even moving over and over and then to this would have also been worse.

    I’m sure you are doing a lot to make up for it and in the long run you have something well built that will be well loved. :)

  9. Karen

    When we were house hunting many years ago my mom told us to buy the biggest house we could afford that we fell in love with. Sage advise as my daughter who lives on the other side of the country came to visit with my 4 grandchildren for 7 weeks this summer. My son who was between apartments was also home during that time. It was wonderful! Our house is not huge but it is big enough to expand and contract as needed. Your house is lovely and will serve your expanding family and all your friends well. You will always have room for one more!

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