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2500 square feet is pretty big, actually. My little cottages will run about 800 square feet -- and that brings me to the question about perspective and size and cost. One of the problems of building beautiful little houses is that the square foot cost is disproportionate to the cost of big houses.

Part of that is the fixed costs of a bathroom and kitchen -- even little ones have a stove/frig/dishwasher -- and part is the cost of dressing the little houses with the built-ins they need to be easily lived-in. In order for little houses to work they need careful fit and finish. If you are working on a one-off for yourself then your square foot costs will be high -- unless you do the work yourself, as you and Michael have.

It's a balance I think about a great deal these days.


Your friend seems like a wise man!
It's a lesson I personally had to learn the hard way, for instance: I spent the first two years of our home ownership insisting that I darn well could maintain our lawn by myself. Finally this summer, with weeds crowding out the grass on all THREE AND A HALF ACRES, I realized I was being a bit too ambitious. I finally gave in and agreed to have someone come in to mow the lawn, so now I can focus solely on our flowerbeds, nascent vegetable garden, and other improvements.
It's the same story inside the house (4300 square feet) but for some reason we implicitly understood from the beginning that we just simply could not do it all, either at once, or by ourselves. It is a lot of ground to cover! We've picked our battles along the way, which is why we have a gorgeous and nearly complete dining room but a hellishly badly laid out kitchen and ancient appliances that barely limp along on a daily basis.
For us, we basically decided that the little interior details ARE important to us, so we're taking it as slowly as we need to in order to fit our budget and our time constraints.

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