Small House Dimensions – Guide to Defining Small Houses and Right-Size Homes

Small House Dimensions. People often ask how small a house needs to be in order for it to be considered small. There are various names floating around to describe smaller than usual homes. Below are some names with square meter / feet cutoff points to offer guidelines. You can use an online conversion utility to calculate different sizes. For more information about smaller living, visit the Small House Society.

  • micro home, 15 square meters / 161.46 square feet
  • compact home, 20 square meters / 215.28 square feet
  • miniature home, 25 square meters / 269.10 square feet
  • tiny home, 30 square meters / 322.92 square feet
  • little home, 35 square meters / 376.74 square feet
  • small home, 40 square meters / 430.56 square feet
  • efficiency home, 45 square meters / 484.36 square feet
  • reduced size home, 50 square meters / 538.12 square feet
  • downsized home, 100 square meters / 1076.39 square feet
  • average size home in the United States, 200 square meters / 2152.78 square feet

Right-Size Home. Please note that many factors determine what is a right-size home:

  • How many people will be living in the home?
  • Will there be frequent guests?
  • Do you have or are you planning to have children? If so, how many and when?
  • Will one or more people be planning to operate a home-business in the home?
  • Are there other special needs/wants such as wheelchair accessibility or room for an art studio or grand piano?

Benefits. There are many benefits of building, purchasing, and/or renting a right-size home including:

  • Construction material costs are kept at a minimum
  • Cleaning and maintenance is reduced to a minimum
  • Land required is reduced and/or available green space is increased
  • Initial and ongoing heating, air-conditioning, lighting, and related utility costs are reduced

2 thoughts on “Small House Dimensions – Guide to Defining Small Houses and Right-Size Homes

  1. What might the costs be (can be very rough) for a house that is say 900 sq ft, 2 floors, kitchen, eating area, living area, 1 and 1/2 baths, one bed room (master suite), extra room that can double as storage and a sewing area, on a pad – 1/5 acre lot. I’m trying to guage costs here. There would only be two of us, not a lot of guests or frequent guests, we would be retired in a year or two so we want enough room that we can live comfortably, not be right on top of each other, easy to maintain. No special accommodations needed. No grand piano, etc. I’m really interested in something that is just big enough, not too big, we can own some things, we can do it all for 200K and then we only have yearly property tax to worry about. Have any of your builders done something like that where they can reference the project?


    1. Good question, Jim. There are cities allowing pocket neighborhoods and “urban infill” where smaller homes are accommodated. We have a community in Iowa City with a mix of cottages, cabins, and smallish houses. They all share a common property. Perhaps there is something like that where you live.

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