When size matters...

Understanding how you live life is the secret to understanding how much space you need when building a new home. Balancing this with your budget is the next important step and will help you establish priorities so you can decide if it is more bedrooms, bathrooms, living spaces, and bonus rooms like a home office, gym, playroom or even an extra guestroom.

Factoring in the running costs for your home is also an important step when beginning your house-build journey. Smaller houses are more affordable to heat, cool, furnish, and maintain and easier to clean.


Average Square Footage of a House

The average size of an NZ home varies significantly based on when or where your house was built. This ranges from 123m2 through to 192m2 for newly built homes.*  Over time this has fluctuated from just over 100m2 in the 70s to 200m2 in 2010.

NZ has been built with predominantly standalone homes on large sections dominating the landscape, however as our lifestyles and demographics evolve, the need for expansive outdoor living has diminished, and location and proximity to important places such as works, schools, family etc. and affordability are the variables most likely to impact the style of home people choose.


How Space is Used

Once buyers find a home design that works for them, their focus shifts from size to functionality, and for growing families, schools and affordability are vital considerations. The possibility that a home may be too big hasn’t been a concern until recently as the cost of land and living has become a factor.

Experienced homeowners tend to be more specific about their needs as they understand how different spaces interact with each other and realise additional space can be costly to maintain; however, it could also present an opportunity for additional revenue if a family is willing to rent out part of their home.

Excellent storage reduces the need for a ‘spare bedroom’ to house additional needs and utilising attic space can eliminate the need for additional storage.


The Bedroom-Living Space Ratio

Design is critical, and a smaller home might be a better fit for some rather than a larger one, depending on how a space is assembled.

One important element is the ratio between bedrooms and living space. The bedroom count will have the most significant impact on overall house size.

Something else to consider is the number of grandparents, parents and children living in a home. Ultimately, each generation should have an “away space” that affords privacy from other family members. In an urban area, that will likely be inside the home; however, a suburban space could also include a sheltered outdoor space such as a covered deck or garden.


Dollars and common sense.

The biggest constraint against more space is the higher cost of bigger homes.

Some custom-home buyers want what they want and have the financial flexibility for enough space to accommodate their desires. In contrast, others reconfigure their needs to fit the size of home they can afford within their budget.

Starting with your ‘blue sky’ wish list is the best approach. Start with bedrooms, follow with bathrooms and then focus on kitchen/dining space and, finally living areas. Will one living space be enough? Do you need a separate media room, playroom, or gym?

Finally, think about storage, what you need to store and how much space it will take to house your outdoor equipment, toys, and hobby equipment. If you are fond of cooking or hosting guests, is a butler’s pantry a wise inclusion? And wardrobe space is often forgotten but can eliminate the need for bedroom drawers if well organised.


The final design considerations.

When you have established what you ‘want’ in your new build, your Building Consultant will be able to advise the size required to accommodate your wish list and provide a price indication.

If this list can be realised in the section that you can afford at a price you can manage, then you are good to go, but you may need to make a few adjustments. Usually, spaces such as the gym or extra spare bedroom are eliminated first but be cautious when removing storage.  The benefits of appropriate storage levels and styles can significantly impact lifestyle and overall aesthetics.

If you are building with Classic Builders, your Building Consultant will provide you with vast knowledge supported by an experienced design team. They create homes from wish lists every day of the week, so you can be safe knowing they have a few tips and tricks up their sleeves to accommodate as many elements as is reasonable.

Is bigger necessarily better? Intelligent design and use of space will have much more impact on the enjoyability and liveability of your new home.



*referenced from