For more than a decade, [Susanka] has urged people to build better, not bigger. Now, as the U.S. economy struggles to climb out of a tailspin and environmental concerns rise, her message has gone mainstream. New homes, after doubling in size since 1960, are shrinking. Last year, for the first time in at least 10 years, the average square footage of single-family homes under construction fell dramatically, from 2,629 in the second quarter to 2,343 in the fourth quarter, Census data show. The new motto: living well with less. --USA Today March 17, 2009
Latest book from 'Not So Big' priestess lays out steps to take the expense, disruption out of remodeling. Soft-spoken Sarah Susanka wouldn't seem to be the "I told you so" type, but ... well, she told you so. For more than a decade, the architect has campaigned for houses to be built smaller but better. Her basic message: Figure out how big a house you need, and then subtract about a third of the square footage. Good design will make up the difference. Her eighth book, "Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live" (Taunton Press, 330 pages, $32), co-written with architect Marc Vassallo. It aims, she says, to help homeowners make smaller remodeling gestures, or, in her parlance, "Not So Big moves." Susanka's buffet of remodeling solutions leans toward less expense and less disruption of daily life. She places them in three Not So Big categories: working within the existing footprint; creating room "bumpouts" that extend the space by a couple of feet; and smallish, cost-effective room additions. --Chicago Tribune
About 10 years ago, architect Sarah Susanka released a book that became a marker for the housing industry's turn toward "building better, not bigger." Her new book, out this month, has the potential to do the same for the remodeling world. In "Not So Big Remodeling" ($32, Taunton Press, Susanka and Marc Vassallo apply the same concepts to existing homes, and offer room-by-room considerations to help homeowners determine what they really need, and how to more efficiently use the spaces they have. --Cincinnati Enquirer
Talk about timing. Although it was conceived in 2004, "Not So Big Remodeling" arrives right on cue. Where once we bought houses as savings plans, collecting a tidy profit upon their sale and rolling it over to the next house, we now wonder how to make do. Here is salve for our recession depression. Like the other books in the "Not So Big" series, the quest is to live responsibly, sustainably and meaningfully; make every dollar count. The point to taking this new look at your old house is the possibility of making a big impact with relatively inexpensive changes. Not just a book of ideas, this "Not So" helps readers think like an architect along a room-by-room journey of examination and evaluation. Who couldn't use a little more comfortable, functional and sustainable nest right about now? Besides, you might be reading this in the house of your dreams. You just don't know it yet.
Sarah Susanka changed the way we think about home building with her landmark book, The Not So Big House. But not everyone, of course, has the luxury of starting from scratch. So now Susanka and co-author Marc Vassallo are addressing existing homes with Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live. The book furthers Susanka's mission of encouraging people to add character to their homes while getting maximum livability from the square footage.