Why do American home floor plans have smaller but more bedrooms?

Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
May 11 66 Comments

The floor plans looks so stupid in most parts of America.

There is a strong preference for higher number of bedrooms however tiny they may be. Except the master, the other bedrooms can fit may be a single bed and hardly any space for a study table. How do the kids study in their room, where do they sit with their laptop? I have one teen and another approaching teen at home.

There is only one study room in the floor plans and 4-5 tiny bedrooms.

TC: 220K
Sr SWE

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TOP 66 Comments
  • Workday / Eng
    Twerkday

    WorkdayEng

    PRE
    Pearson
    Twerkdaymore
    i hated this in my last place. my master was enormous. i don’t need that much space. give it to the other bedroom...
    May 110
  • Square / EngSQ
    You sleep in a bedroom. You don't need 400 sqft for a bed and dresser.
    May 116
    • Amazon fgEhzG
      When I was a kid I also had a desk in my bedroom and that's where I did my homework. What OP is saying is that modern floorplans create bedrooms so small there isn't room for a desk.

      So then kids don't have anywhere to study unless it's the kitchen table or something. OP has two teenagers and is complaining about this issue.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      I don't need a 400. But I need to have that extra 40 as a choice.

      There isn't even a choice is my point.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Amazon, exactly.
      May 11
    • Square / EngSQ
      There are studies that show that bedrooms should be for sleeping. Even having a tv in the bedroom can be bad for sleeping. Convert an extra small room to a study. Not really an issue since you still have the sqft and extra small rooms.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Try talking to the kids to study in a different room 😅
      May 11
    • Square / EngSQ
      Lol if they won't study in a different room they won't study in their own
      May 11
  • OpenTable Meliodas
    What do you mean by most parts?

    Most parts of America don’t have what you describe. There is plenty of space in most parts of America and the homes are larger.

    What you are describing sounds like what one would find in a dense metro area, because few people can afford bedrooms and space.
    May 111
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      May be the smaller towns. I have been in major cities in Texas, Bay Area, Chicago, Charlotte and now in Eastside in Seattle it's all the same. Now with 2 teens it's getting harder n worse. I usually stayed in the suburbs and not in the super tiny downtown units.
      May 11
  • Apple Share
    I used to think the same and went for house with bigger rooms. Couple of years fast forward and I wish I had more rooms in the same sqft area. Bigger rooms are just waste of space. The extra rooms albeit tiny can be used for for many specific purposes (office, study room, kids play room, media room). The master could also be smaller but it’s usually bigger only because it’s called master. What is need is more closet space especially if you have kids.
    May 114
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Closet I Agree. What do you with 5 tiny bedrooms with just 2 kids. I have no visitors and I could not find a large size home with just 3 bedrooms.

      Your kids prefer to split their study from their rooms?
      May 11
    • Apple Share
      In Bay Area and other metros it’s gonna be difficult to find floor plans with bigger rooms. Because of high land cost, builders are going to fit more rooms in same space. I am saying, I would prefer 5 rooms in the same area than 4. Kids should be able to study in tiny bedroom. How much space does one get to study in a library ? For studying, noise is more important than space.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      My whole point is why can't I have a choice to have only 3 bedrooms instead of the usual 5 in the same space. Outside US the floor plans are infinitely customizable, the builders just suck here.

      And this isn't permitted even if I were to build on my own lot.

      I'm ranting about the choices I have.
      May 11
    • Apple Share
      I understand. The builders are gonna build what sells easily. This has been working for them for years. No motivation to change.
      May 11
  • Amazon fgEhzG
    You might be able to move some walls, if it's just drywall is not that expensive to knock them out and move them around.
    May 113
    • Intel / Engmr_pleb
      There are studs behind the drywall that would have to be cut. He will need permit and an architect to determine if the wall is load bearing and to come up with a plan to reinforce the opening. He will also likely need an electrician to reroute the electrical wires. Then repairing the walls is easy.
      May 11
    • Amazon fgEhzG
      It's not hard to find out if it's load bearing and if it's not it's an easy renovation to knock them down and putting up new ones is trivial. Hardest part is dealing with the flooring that will need to be redone (eg if it's hardwood it'll have a gap where the wall used to be).

      You could do it yourself though you'll want to hire a pro to make sure it's not load bearing.

      If it's load bearing very different story. Basically don't touch it, but 90% of interior walls are not load bearing.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Lol.. That's defo a pro job for me.

      Thanks guys for the info. Learnt something today.
      May 12
  • Intel babubhatt
    A lot of kids study in common areas of the house
    May 112
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      My teen hardly likes to wander out of his room. Much less about studying
      May 11
    • F5 Networks RRA
      That's not surprising...
      May 11
  • New / Other
    DuQvV7y

    NewOther

    BIO
    Did stuff. Hustled hard. Retired
    DuQvV7ymore
    Seems you’re just upset at the reach of your wallet. No one prevents you from having bigger rooms/homes.

    My bedroom is 720sf. And it’s not even the biggest amongst my siblings.
    May 119
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      720 sft? That must be your master. If not, which part of the country do you live?
      May 11
    • New / Other
      DuQvV7y

      NewOther

      BIO
      Did stuff. Hustled hard. Retired
      DuQvV7ymore
      It’s my house, of course it would be my MBR.

      And I’m a Hoosier.
      May 11
    • Amazon / Engn0v
      Not so long ago, families of 4 or more would live in homes with a 1200 or 1500 sqft footprint. Only fairly recently have homes grown in size.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Lol.. I thought it was the opposite. The size homes is shrinking in cities with high pop.
      May 11
    • New / Other
      DuQvV7y

      NewOther

      BIO
      Did stuff. Hustled hard. Retired
      DuQvV7ymore
      Perception is rarely reality.

      SF population (870k) is similar to Indianapolis (802k) though the issue in the latter is the rise of the McMansions.

      What you are seeing in SF or Seattle (pop 740k) is more due to density and local laws (that impact affordability) than the desire for people to live like Hobbits.
      May 12
    • Intel Act2016
      Shhhhhh. Liberals will cap you mb space
      May 12
    • New / Other
      DuQvV7y

      NewOther

      BIO
      Did stuff. Hustled hard. Retired
      DuQvV7ymore
      I’m not sure everything is easily answered by political affiliation.

      Indianapolis is a fairly liberal city by Midwest standards.

      Columbus (OH) even more so. I’ve lived in both places, built houses in both.

      In this part of the country, we like big houses with big lawns. And space apart from neighbors.
      May 12
    • Intel Act2016
      Lol. Watch what is going on in Seattle ,Portland and sf. Nothing is out of reach for political attacks
      May 12
    • New / Other
      DuQvV7y

      NewOther

      BIO
      Did stuff. Hustled hard. Retired
      DuQvV7ymore
      I’m not at that level of paranoia...yet.

      Cheers.
      May 12
  • Microsoft / Biz DevMemeGenX
    Are you only looking at new construction in a hot market in the $750k-$1.2M range? Those places have construction tuned for specs maximize listing appeal and selling price. It's not like that everywhere. Look at older properties or things in the $2.5M+ range
    May 115
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Yes, looking around 900k preferably new or less than 5 years.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Biz DevMemeGenX
      This answers your question right here. Your criteria are too narrow. I constantly shop around and the floorplan you are looking for exists on the east side (Kirkland, Woodinville, Sammamish) and in Queen Anne if you are willing to either spend more or look at houses built in the 80s/90/Early 2000s.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      How much more. Can't stretch beyond 1.2M The older homes are a hit/miss in terms of maintenance costs and that is troublesome.

      Had an experience with a late 90s home in Texas and contractors were easier. Do not have the time here in PNW :(
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Biz DevMemeGenX
      If you still want new you going into $1.5m+. Open your age range to homes constructed in the last 10-15 years and see where that gets you.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Thanks MemeGen. Age - let me stretch a bit and see what's in store for me
      May 11
  • OpenTable Meliodas
    So by “most areas,” you mean in a very small market segment only found in the suburbs of tech centers.

    If you want something different just ask your realtor or hire an architect and build it yourself.
    May 115
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Most areas == jobs boom areas. I'm all in for moving to Arizona or to South Dakota. There is hardly an IT scene, much less BigTech.

      No custom floor plans by most builders. Architects do not build even in the remotest of suburbs if it's deed restricted community. Good luck finding a non deed restricted community in any of the good school district suburbs.
      May 11
    • New / Other
      DuQvV7y

      NewOther

      BIO
      Did stuff. Hustled hard. Retired
      DuQvV7ymore
      This is grossly uninformed.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Care to explain, pls? My realtor is half my source of info. The rest is my research in the little time I can find.
      May 11
    • New / Other
      DuQvV7y

      NewOther

      BIO
      Did stuff. Hustled hard. Retired
      DuQvV7ymore
      Deed restricted communities may be common in CA/WA, but they’re rare in much of middle America.

      And BTW, in a country with 3.6% unemployment I don’t think any area is not a job boom area at the mo.
      May 11
    • OpenTable Meliodas
      Builders and architects build anywhere. I say this as someone who has built four homes and two commercial properties in four different states.

      Your realtor won’t make commission off of new construction. It sounds like they are steering you towards properties that make them the most commission and are easy to sell, rather than what you are really looking for.
      May 12
  • Intel Act2016
    Since most are engineers here. Use a measurement. What size is small to you?

    My house has 12x11. 11x11 with walk in closet etc.

    Master is 24x22
    May 115
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      A size good enough to fit a teen's bed and a table wide enough to place a laptop/books with a chair. At least one side table for the bed.

      Can we do this in the bedrooms these days? If not can we atleast have a choice at the cost of other rooms, NO.
      May 11
    • Thermo Fisher / Saleszeussical
      I grew up in a room that was 10x10 and could fit a queen sized bed, a table, dresser, side table, and book case. It’s super tight but it worked. 12x11 would be more than adequate to fit a table, side table, and bed.
      May 11
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Thermo Fisher, You must be the real life Tetris champ!
      May 11
    • Thermo Fisher / Saleszeussical
      It was a tight fit but it somehow worked. I didn’t have much floor space but it was fine when I was a kid.
      May 11
    • Intel Act2016
      Didn’t know that they are that small. I just built a house and smallest room is the 11x11 - without closet. And it is tight but a lot fits in there. Has a full gaming machine on a decent desk and I just built him a “maker” table 5’x2’ and it works well. Can’t imagine 10x8?? Also has a dresser.
      May 12
  • Microsoft
    🐙M🐙

    Microsoft

    BIO
    🐙
    🐙M🐙more
    Have seen this in craftsman and four square houses from the early 1900s but I feel like it’s pretty rare apart from those, especially in newer construction
    May 111
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Yes that's correct. the newer houses its worse. The ones I see with the so called "side-yard" awful plans.
      May 11
  • Microsoft gfba68
    For some new construction this is the trend, but it is hardly common.
    May 110
  • Amazon / Engn0v
    Paper specs.
    May 110
  • Expedia jus
    One of the worst houses and house plans.
    May 110
  • New / Design
    tacosmello

    NewDesign

    PRE
    Raizlabs, MullenLowe
    tacosmellomore
    This resonates for me in Boston.
    May 110
  • Google / Enghooli.xyz
    TC?
    May 123
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Updated
      May 12
    • Google / Enghooli.xyz
      $220k is too low.

      Small TC = small rooms in house
      May 12
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Thanks for the eye-opener and making me respond to those with small d***ks and brains.
      May 12
  • Intel / Engmr_pleb
    I was wondering about this cookie cutter partitioning too. Usually, when something doesn't make sense it has to do with money.

    I guess more bedrooms sell easier cause you can repurpose the rooms and when it's empty or staged with few furniture pieces it looks like the space is larger.

    If you have a single family house you might be able to tear the wall between 2 adjacent bedrooms and make a bigger one.

    Otherwise you need to get creative: look for compact and functional furniture and make good use of the space on vertical. Like get a bed with storage drawers underneath which might replace the dresser. Install shelves for books to reduce the need for a larger table. Maybe you can even remove the closet door(s) and place the study table there. Install the tv on the wall so you won't need a stand that takes floor space.
    May 111
    • Microsoft / Engu7huyt54
      OP
      Some great Ideas. Thanks for that. Installing shelves for books instead of floor standing shelf 👍

      Tearing down a wall - looks interesting will run it by the folks to see what they think.
      May 11
  • Intel Act2016
    I learned in addition to sw engineers not capable of setting up decent polls. People don’t know how to use a tape measure either. Odd for an engineering community.

    It’s small, how small. Small. But bigger would be better. How big? Bigger. But it small.
    May 120
  • Express Scripts / Eng
    blahmeh

    Express ScriptsEng

    PRE
    Wells Fargo, Thomson Reuters
    blahmehmore
    You cant generalize ALL houses lol. I have a large master and 2 other bedrooms which can easily hold a queen bed and study tables. Wtf u talking abt.
    May 110
  • Uber / EngmH7bSe
    Because it's useful. Maybe you don't have children but we do.
    May 110
  • Amazon fgEhzG
    Turn a room into a study with a central table good lighting and let them study in there
    May 110

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