Photographs may show modified designs.

On Sale

Plan #454-3

by Sarah Susanka Architect

  • 2440 sqft

  • 3 bedroom

  • 2.5 bathroom

  • 3 story
THE NOT SO BIG HOUSE PROTOTYPE 454-3. This beautiful home was
 designed by architect, Sarah Susanka, for herself. She built it
 originally to illustrate the ideas she was writing about in her first
 book in the Not So Big® series. The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for
 the Way We Really Live. It is designed to promote a floor plan that is
 far more appropriate for present day lifestyles, and it is filled with
 special details that make the house a delight to live in, while living
 up to it Not So Big® name. Instead of building formal spaces that rarely
 if ever get used, this house is designed so that every space will be put
 to good use everyday. Featuring spacious, light-filled rooms, built-ins,
 and an open floor plan, it embodies the principles of quality and
 comfort that are at the root of Not So Big® design. The house is
 designed for a full walk-out lower level, ideal for a visiting guest to
 enjoy their own private bed and bath, and with excellent home office
 space with its own exterior entry. In a tiny attic garret, there also a
 cozy Place of Your Own (or Poyo, as Sarah calls it), accessed by a
 ship's ladder from the second floor. 
 Like Sarah's other house plans, the Not So Big House Prototype
 illustrates a play on a theme and variation, with the frequent
 appearance throughout the house of an archetypal form--the circle. On
 the second floor, directly above the front door, there is a large
 translucent window in the shape of a partial circle. The curve of this
 beautiful form runs through the upstairs bathroom and stairway landing, lending significant drama to the second floor--in a Not So Big® way, of course. 
 The house features adaptable spaces that open to one another, and are
 designed for everyday use. Long diagonal views give the sense that the
 house is significantly larger than it really is. The kitchen is the
 heart of the house, and is designed as an integral part of the main
 living space. Connected to the living and dining areas, it is a great
 gathering place for family and friends. 
 The big screen porch is designed to be converted into a main level
 master bedroom, should one story living ever become a necessity. To this
 end, the front door has no steps up to the entry, making it ideal for
 visitors who are mobility impaired.
 The upper level of the home has a spacious master bedroom and walk-in
 closet. A large bathroom serves both the master bedroom and second
 bedroom on the upper level. Rather than build two separate bathrooms,
 resources are combined to make one spacious, though not over-sized,
 bathroom that is as beautiful as possible. There are many photographs
 and descriptions of this home in The Not So Big House, and in the
 first chapter of Creating the Not So Big House. The house is designed
 to be highly energy efficient, and to live large without using more
 resources than are necessary. 
 Sarah tells us that, when her work took her away from Minnesota, where
 this house was first built, it was one of the hardest things she's ever
 done to sell it. "It worked beautifully," she told us, "and was a really
 inspiring place to live." She strongly encourages anyone considering
 this plan to read The Not So Big House, as it will give a much more
 complete description of the home's numerous special features than can be
 enumerated here. 

Plan sets starting at

(You save $650.00

Buy Now

Need help deciding?
Get a cost-to-build report!

This detailed report will provide you with build costs based on your location and desired materials.

Get Cost-to-Build Report

Hours  Mon-Fri, 9 am - 8:30 pm (EST)

Plan Images

Floor Plan - Lower Floor Plan

Floor Plan - Main Floor Plan

Floor Plan - Upper Floor Plan





Lower Floor
700 sq/ft
Main Floor
940 sq/ft
Upper Floor
800 sq/ft

Exterior Wall Framing


Garage Features

Detached Garage

Energy Efficient Features

Energy Efficient Design

Custom Modifications

Almost perfect but not quite right? We offer in-house plan modification services to help you personalize any of our home plans to fit your lifestyle. Popular modifications include enlarging the kitchen, raising ceiling heights, expanding the master bath, increasing the number of windows, widening the porch, or adding a deck.

Request Modifications

Also by this designer