It depends on how old they are by the time you move OUT of your home. Teenagers need as much space as adults. So the children may be small when you are viewing the property for the first time – but they won’t stay small.

If they are babies when you move in and you know there is little chance you won’t be staying seven or more years, then you will need less living space. But you’ll still need storage for prams and buggies and walkers and….


In 2003 Design_For_Homes researched 10 housing schemes around England to find out what the occupants felt about living in different types of city, urban and suburban homes. They were trying to find out whether people were anxious about overlooking, To their surprise their interviews told that that:

1 People are at least as anxious about getting away from members of their own family as they are about the neighbours.
2 This is partly because of noise from one part of a family affecting another.
3 For this reason, open plan living dining areas were unpopular with larger families unless the home had plenty of other rooms to get away to.
4 Private outdoor space, however small, was highly valued. The opportunity to leave a child safely asleep in a pram or to practice a golf swing without becoming a figure of fun to the neighbours was sought and much cherished.
5 Lack of storage was an issue in nearly all the homes with larger families.
6 People wanted a strip of ground to separate their home from the public footpath, however small. Essentially somewhere they can stand in front of their front door on their own land.

Design_For_Homes made recommendations to government on the back of the research, among them:

Private outdoor space should be considered as a fundamental safety valve in apartment or townhouse type development (see images 1 and 2)

Open-plan living does not work as a way of flattering smaller internal dimensions for dining, kitchen and living area. It looks better than a series of small pokey rooms but leads to a sense of claustrophobia in small homes with three or more occupants as it is hard to find a private space. (see image 3)

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