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Choosing the Best Size for Your Custom Home

How Much Square Footage Will You Need For Your New Custom Home?

So you’re thinking about building a custom home and you’re wondering how big it will need to be. Times are changing and so are your family’s needs. Your family is growing bigger and family members are getting older. Needs and wants can change. Although your family may fit snugly in your current home size, it may be time to consider building a custom home for the future.

Whether it’s a forever home, or you are planning to sell later, it’s a good idea to be aware of how square footage and layout can work best with your family dynamics. Retirees may prefer a single story home, while young families may prefer a multi story house with the parents room on the upper level and a rec room and bedrooms on the lower level. Whether you choose a multi story or single story house will also determine how much square footage you will need.


Size Matters

According to a 2017 report done by Statista Research Department, the average house size in Canada is 1,800 square feet. The average household in Canada has 2.5 people. Back in 1975, the average house size was 1,050 square feet. That’s quite the difference! But what determines what size home you need?

When estimating how large of a home you’ll need, consider the following:

  • How long do you plan to live there?

  • Do you plan to have children?

  • If you already have kids, how much longer will they live there?

  • Do you have elderly family members that may need to move in someday?

  • Do you have extended family or friends that visit often?

Ultimately, knowing how much square footage you’ll need when building a new home is what every potential homeowner needs to consider. Chances are that your family doesn’t want to live in a house where they’re all crammed together - especially if you’re building a new home from scratch. After the past year or so, living space and usable space came under scrutiny. These days, space can be a valuable thing.


Size and Cost – Does Bigger Mean Better?

The value of a home’s size is important to consider. With square footage, a home’s usable space matters when determining its value. It should be noted that garages, attics and unfinished basements are typically not counted in usable space.

For example, if you want to build an 1,800 square foot home and allocate six hundred square feet of that to a garage, you only have 1,200 square feet. Livable space is what’s important. The more bedrooms and bathrooms you have, the more potential value. When building your custom home, size always depends on your family’s needs.

Another important note to consider is the bigger the home, the higher the heating and cooling bills will be. Property taxes can be a deciding factor as well.


Square Footage and Building New

One of the biggest benefits of building a new custom home is you’ll have the most control over how much square footage you want. You can add or subtract space, and fully dictate the layout.

Today’s typical homes can feature:

  • Gabled roof

  • High ceiling foyer

  • Dining room

  • Family room

  • Garage

  • Combined dining and living room

  • Kitchen space

  • Fireplace

  • Guest room(s)

  • Main-level laundry

  • Great room or rec room

Devoting square footage to a proper kitchen and bedrooms can add appeal and value in the future.


Is Layout More Important Than Size?

With modern home building, one of the most important rooms to build is your kitchen. Nowadays, the kitchen has become the center of the household, with most family activity gravitating around it. And so it deserves the necessary space. Even if your family doesn’t cook often, this could give you a much bigger market value if you decide to sell.

The second most important room to consider is the master bedroom. Typically, it's the same square footage as the kitchen. Regardless of how you allocate your total square footage, be aware of the value in your new home. This is important to note in case you do end up selling in the future.

Other rooms to consider:

  • Other average-sized bedrooms

  • Living room

  • Family room

  • Basement

  • Pantry

  • Spare bathrooms

  • Foyers

Remember, your layout should always be as flexible as possible. The flexibility to convert a bedroom to a home office can be a huge benefit. However, bigger doesn’t always mean better. Making a smaller bedroom to leave more space for a deck or patio can add more value, especially if you only really use your bedroom for resting.


Plan Your Square Footage for the Future

Another consideration when determining the cost per square footage is location. The value of the location is determined by different outside factors.

  • Quality of local schools

  • Employment opportunities

  • Proximity to shopping, entertainment, and recreational centres

  • Proximity to highways, utility lines, and public transit

It’s important to figure out what size is comfortable for your growing family. Build for efficiency, but always plan ahead. Always keep up with the current status of home sales and home price appreciation in your area of interest when you’re planning your home, so it’s suitable for buyers whenever you decide to sell.


Consider Comparables Nearby

Look at how much other homes are selling for in the Victoria, BC region you’re interested in. Or if you’re looking for something in Victoria proper, choose the neighbourhood you want to live in. Also, look at houses that are similar in style and square footage. These can be two main indicators of what the value is for your dream home. This is what’s known in the real estate world as comparables and this number helps determine your home’s overall value. In some cases, location can potentially be more important than the size and condition of the property, such as a level acreage with options for outbuildings or secondary homes. Looking for some ideas for your dream home? Take a look at some of our completed projects and upcoming projects.


At White Wolf Homes, our professional team of designers and builders are ready to work with whatever square footage suits your family’s needs. When it comes to creating a small, mid-size or a sprawling house, our experts will strive to build your custom house within your parameters.Contact us today, and allow us to create your vision for your family.

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