What is the perfect size for a house? It depends on what you need. If you have a large family with lots of children, then it's important to take into account how many bedrooms your family needs in order to accommodate them as they grow up. If you are approaching retirement and are in the realm of downsizing, space requirements will be different. You may be trying to make room for guests, or those beloved furry friends we call our pets.

Not every custom home is the same. Your ideal size and floor plan will depend on a number of factors, including which region you choose to call your new hometown. In the Midwest, the average square footage for a home is 2,300 square feet, with 18% living in homes between 1,800 and 2,100 sq ft and 56% living in homes between 2,600 to 2,900 square feet.

We've compiled a checklist of considerations when determining what size home best fits your lifestyle as you plan on building your custom dream home!

The Allure Of A Larger House

Room For The Family To Grow

When building a custom home, we want every member of the family to have the space they need while also being close enough to still call ourselves a family. Ensuring your home will have room for the family to grow gives you peace of mind that this investment in building a custom home will last for generations to come.

Whether you are looking to design a space that will meet your needs now or in the future, there are certain things you'll want to consider when it comes time to choose your floor plan. A few of these considerations include:

● How many bedrooms do you need?

● What about bathrooms?

● Will the kids share a bedroom or a bathroom?

● How important is it to have space between the different living areas?

● Is an unfinished basement something desirable for your family's lifestyle?

The most important thing is making sure that this house can grow with you and be a place where memories are made. By thinking about your desired lifestyle ahead of time, you will be better able to choose an appropriately sized house for both now and in the future.

Adapt To Multi-Generational Living

One of the most alluring aspects of building a larger home is that it leaves room for your family to grow. But, families can grow in many ways. You can have more babies or adopt, add in a farmhouse full of animals, plan for the grandparents to move in at some point, or even anticipate hosting a lot of guests.

As our lifecycles play out, we want the sturdy walls of our homes to be able to flex with changing needs. There may be a time when it is necessary to bring the grandparents into our home to guarantee a higher quality of life. For a family with an aging parent, having the extra space to accommodate them can be life-changing.

By designing our houses to serve a variety of needs and desires, we are better able to meet the demands of our family regardless of their stage in life.

Impressive Curb Appeal

It can be difficult to resist the allure of a larger home when you are looking to build a custom home. It is the best feeling in the world to walk up to your driveway and be greeted by an impressive façade that makes any prospective visitor feel welcome.

We have been building quality homes for over 60 years and we know that homeowners are looking for more than just square footage. They want curb appeal, style, and luxury. Large homes offer a sense of prestige and comfort that smaller, more compact houses can't match.

We also know that the greatness of a larger home is not just what you see on the outside, but the atmosphere that is created on the inside.

Larger and More Bedrooms

Throughout history, the need for more room has always been a component of our lives. Whether it was to house an extended family or just have enough space for your belongings, bigger can certainly be better. With custom home building there's no limit to how many bedrooms you can build into your design and we've seen that this is often one of the driving factors for buyers looking at custom homes.

A custom home is a dream for many people, and you can create it with all the features that are important to your family. A bedroom does not need to be just a “bed room” where there is only enough space for a bed. With a larger home, you can design larger bedrooms with built-in storage, play space, study space, an office nook, or even a workout area. The choices are endless when it comes to your bedroom designs.

Many people dream of owning a house that is built just for them. When you build custom with Wausau Homes, we'll make sure your home has everything dialed in just right, from the room size down to the finite details.

Room For Bonus Rooms

When you build a larger custom home, the possibilities are endless. You can add in features like bonus rooms that make your house feel more inviting and luxurious. And who doesn't like a bonus? It's not just what you are looking forward to at the end of the year attached to your paycheck. A bonus room is a great way to make each day more enjoyable.

Some of the things you can include in your bonus room are:

● A guest bedroom with its own bathroom.

● An office space where you can work privately.

● A theater room for the family to watch movies together.

● That game room you've always wanted - with the pool table!

● A room to entertain and host small gatherings.

● The at-home gym with just the right equipment.

The bonus room is the perfect place for your family to gather. You have the ability to make this space exactly what you need it to be, and have it adapt to family needs and changes over time.

Benefits of A Smaller House

We have just outlined the benefits of going big when building your custom home. But there are certainly benefits worth noting in building a smaller house.

Easier To Keep Clean

For many, the beauty of a smaller custom home is in its simplicity. You can easily keep it clean and well-maintained rather than relying on help from others to maintain an oversized space! A smaller home means you will be able to keep it clean on your own and it will take you less time.

As the square footage increases, so does the time involved. But it is not only the time that increases. As home sizes increase, more often than not, homeowners hire out the task of keeping the home clean. That larger-sized home now requires a larger-sized bill to maintain the cleanliness.

Easier To Maintain

While being easier to clean is a major perk of having a small house, it's not the only benefit. Smaller houses are substantially more manageable than larger ones because they require less maintenance and upkeep!

The less you have, the less you need to maintain. That often means that there are fewer landscaping expenses, fewer linear feet for rain gutters that need to be cleaned, fewer walls to paint when you want a refresh, and fewer people to hire when you need repairs.

What's the benefit?

● More time to spend with family.

● You'll have a sense of peace knowing your house is manageable.

● Less work for you means more time to do the things you love.

● Feel a sense of accomplishment every day when you wake up in your tidy home.

Save money on utilities.

Did you catch that last one? It's definitely a benefit to owning a smaller home.

Less Expensive To Heat And Cool

The average American home has increased in size over the years. This is great for families that need extra space, but it comes with a price tag. A smaller custom home is a smart way to cut your utility bills while still having plenty of room for your family.

Smaller homes are cheaper to heat and cool. They require less gas or electricity, which means lower utility bills every year. More savings in the bank.

You might consider looking into energy-efficient features in your home before deciding on the size of it - insulation being one of them! The less drafty your house is, the less money you'll spend heating it up during cold months and cooling it down when it's hot out.

This results in lower bills and conserved energy that can be used elsewhere, like heating your pool!

Make Smaller Spaces More Functional

Many people don't realize that there are many ways to make smaller custom homes more functional with multi-purpose design. By working with an experienced builder you can create the perfect space for your family, even in a small home.

Consider your lifestyle and how you'd like to use the space. Do you want an open concept living area or do you prefer separate spaces? What rooms in your home do you spend the most time in versus the least? Are there rooms that can serve multi-purposes?

One way of making smaller homes feel larger is by installing high ceilings and lots of windows which will allow natural light to open up the space.

If possible, you can incorporate outdoor living into your design. An outdoor patio can functionally serve as an extension to your main living area providing more square footage for entertaining family and friends! With endless options, your builder will focus on what's most important for YOU.

Determine What Space Is Needed For Your Family

Bedroom To Living Space Ratio

When you're building a custom home, it's important to get the space just right. It can be a challenge to figure out how much living space you need and what your bedroom-to-living ratio should look like.

Did you know the average American household has 2.6 people in it? If you have less than that, then having an extra guest room makes sense for your family and gives you some flexibility for when friends or relatives visit. If there are more people in your house (or if you know that will change) then having more bedrooms is probably better for comfort reasons as well as practicality - guests staying over might appreciate not sleeping on the couch!

Bedrooms are becoming multi-purpose spaces as more families live their lives in one place. Families may need to make the room do double or triple duty, like a home office space and workout area. This does not mean you have to add an entire extra bedroom; it can just be designed with enough size for these purposes from day one.

Square Foot Per Person And Guests

There’s no question that we live in an era where mobility is necessary for many people. Based on their statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates a typical American will move 11.3 times over the course of their lives. What that means is by the time you are looking to build a custom home of your own, you have lived in a few homes and may have developed a sense of how much space you prefer.

The difference between a house that is too small and one that fits your needs can be as simple as square footage. To determine if the size of your future home will work for you, take into consideration how many people are planning on living there to calculate what each person's comfort level should be in regards to space. So, let’s say two adults plan on moving into 400 square feet together; this would leave about 200 square feet per individual. Not enough? The average square footage per person in a middle-class home can range from 400-700 square feet.

It may be helpful to walk through various homes with different square footage to see what is ultimately the best fit for your family's future home.


We often plan spaces in our homes for our people, our pets, our furniture, our needs. But, one thing that can easily be forgotten when trying to determine the ideal size of your custom home is the topic of storage.

So how much storage do you need? Simple answer, as much as possible. Think about the size of your family and how many people are living in your home. Do they all have some belongings that need to be stored somewhere?

The amount of space for storage can vary depending on who is going to live there or what type of home design idea you are seeking. All of the items crammed into closets, stowed in basements and hoisted to the attic of the garage all need to be a part of the consideration.

Take into account all the things that will be needed in day-to-day living. These are items like children's clothes, bedding, and towels; toiletries for family members who share a bathroom or shower. What about hobbies such as art supplies, sewing machines, and paper crafting materials? A large home might have room to include these things but if you plan on a smaller home to simply fit the people and furniture, you could be in for problems.

We've never heard the phrase, "I wish we had built less storage into our home." When it comes to storage, we say, "Go big, for your home."

Consult Your Expert Builder

At Wausau Homes, we're here to help you figure out the perfect home for your needs. If you have any questions about what size is right for your family, contact us today! Our team of expert builders will guide you and answer your questions to get you and your family into the perfect size home of your dreams. Have you found the house that's just right for you yet?

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