With thousands of well-educated and high-achieving individuals, multiple job opportunities, and hosting lots of international events, Toronto is an attractive city to immigrants and Canadians themselves. Immigration and income growth both have contributed to increased housing demand in Toronto. Welfare and comfort of living in a custom-built home has persuaded many to build their own custom home, no matter the size.

Building a small custom home seems to be more accessible and more affordable. But:

  • How small can a custom home be?
  • How much does it cost to build a small home?
  • Why build a small custom home?
  • How to live in a small house?

Odima construction team will answer these questions about small custom homes in Toronto through this article.

1. How small can a custom home be?

According to the national statistical office of Statistics Canada, the median above-grade living area of recently built single-detached houses in Ontario, is about 2400 square feet (223 m2). Although recently built single-detached houses are almost two times larger than those constructed earlier, for many families, affordability concerns have led to building smaller custom homes.

Each city has its own different urban design and official plan policies.  Permitted density and neighborhood form, beside other factors, determine the minimum lot size to build a dwelling in each city and each zone. But in general you may be able to even build a 500 square feet custom home which may need to be built in a 700 square feet lot in Toronto.

More precisely, based on Tiny house movement, houses of less than 1000 square feet (93 m2) are considered as small. Frequently, the distinction is made between small (between 400 square feet (37 m2) and 1000 square feet (93 m2)), and tiny houses which are less than 400 square feet (37 m2).

However, you don’t have to go that much tiny, but a smaller than current average custom home is still considered a small house and might fit your budget best.

2. How much does it cost to build a small custom home?

The Larger the home, the lower its price per square foot and respectively the smaller the house, the higher its price per square foot. This is due to multiple factors. When building a home, there are a lot of costs that do not really get affected by a few hundred square feet because generally speaking half of what you’ll pay is the cost of labour and labour is not cheap! The reality is most contractors use the same crew for a 2000 square feet as they would use for a 4000 square feet. Furthermore, around 20% – 30% of your expenditures will be on soft costs. Therefore, your price per square foot will be higher, but your total spending will end up being less for a small home, so in short it is cheaper!

Using our Simple Home Building Cost Estimator, a 2400 (223 m2) square feet custom built detached home in Toronto/GTA, will cost $620,000 on average. For a 1000 (93 m2) square feet custom built detached home in Toronto/GTA it will be $255,000 on average. If you want to try our Simple Home Building Cost Estimator for other home square footage, you can read our 2020 Cost of Building a House in Toronto/GTA.

3.Why build a small custom home?

The most obvious reason to build a small home is the cost. Many Canadians are willing to build small custom homes because it simply saves money. More space means spending more. The cost of floors, roof, countertops and etc. is all added to your cost. Building a smaller house does not need a huge lot. So you will save money to begin with. You will end up paying less for construction and also things like utilities and maintenance will be less.

Research also shows that millennials have smaller families than previous generations. This shows the market trend is going more towards smaller homes. Even a family of five can comfortably live in a small house.

If you adhere to environmental responsibility, you will be glad to take up less space, less material, and use less resources by building a small home with energy efficiency.

Rather than paying for bigger land and more materials, you can invest in upgrading the building materials and features. Using higher quality materials and appliances, means you have not to do repairs or replace things for a long period.

All in all, Instead of building a home that would max out your budget, you can put yourself on the safe side by building a high quality, customized small home, and then relax.

you can also read:

Buying Land and Building a House Costs in Toronto

4. How to live in a small house?

An efficient house plan can really work to help small areas feel larger. Most likely, your initial must-have list is longer than what you know actually fit in your house. Be ready to sacrifice, compromise and adjust. This is challenging but if you establish an effective communication with your designer and contractor and clarify your needs and wants, the result will be satisfying. For instance, most homeowners consider the basement as the dark inhabitable space of their house to store out off-season stuff. But in a small house which is customized for you, the basement can be finished with a TV room, extra bedroom, laundry and yes storage area.

Organizing is another key to living a big life in a small space. If you want to know 7 Tips to achieve a minimalist look click here. Although you don’t have to go minimalist in a small house, but you can benefit from minimalist organizing tips:

  • Decluttering
  • considering hidden or stylish storage solutions that work for you
  • Making sure everything has a dedicated space
  • Putting things away when you’re finished with them
  • And downsizing as needed in each purchase

If you are looking to build a custom home on a smaller scale, contact us as a pioneer Custom Home Builder in Toronto  with years of experiences in house building and home renovation in Toronto/GTA. Our professional team can present you lots of creative designs that make small dwellings seem larger.

May your home always be too small to hold all of your friends.

If you liked this article, you may also like:

How Much Does It Cost to Remodel or Renovate a House in Toronto/GTA?

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Custom Home Builder in Toronto