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What's included?
Additional Construction Sets$100.00/each
Additional hard copies of the plan (can be ordered at the time of purchase and within 90 days of the purchase date).
Mirror Reversed Sets$0.00
Printed sets showing plan in reverse, text and dimensions will be backwards.
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PLAN 454-3

“Original Not So Big House”

Key Specs

Plan Sq Ft

sq ft

Plan Bedrooms


Plan Bathrooms


Plan Floors


Plan Garages


Plan Description

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.

Floor Plans

Floor Plan - Lower Floor
Contemporary Floor Plan - Lower Floor Plan #454-3
Floor Plan - Main Floor
Contemporary Floor Plan - Main Floor Plan #454-3
Floor Plan - Upper Floor
Contemporary Floor Plan - Upper Floor Plan #454-3

Full Specs & Features

Depth : 30'
Width : 37'
Lower Floor : 700 sq/ft
Main Floor : 940 sq/ft
Upper Floor : 800 sq/ft
*Total Square Footage only includes conditioned space and does not include garages, porches, bonus rooms, or decks.
Exterior Wall Framing
Framing : 2"x6"
Garage Features
Detached Garage
Energy Efficient Features
Energy Efficient Design

What's Included In This Plan Set

All plans are drawn at ¼” scale or larger and include :

  • Foundation Plan: Drawn to 1/4" scale, this page shows all necessary notations and dimensions including support columns, walls and excavated and unexcavated areas.
  • Exterior Elevations: A blueprint picture of all four sides showing exterior materials and measurements.
  • Floor Plan(s): Detailed plans, drawn to 1/4" scale for each level showing room dimensions, wall partitions, windows, etc. as well as the location of electrical outlets and switches.
  • Cross Section: A vertical cutaway view of the house from roof to foundation showing details of framing, construction, flooring and roofing.
  • Interior Elevations: Detailed drawings of kitchen cabinet elevations and other elements as required.
» See important information before purchasing.
Plan Set
5 Copy Set :
5 printed plan sets mailed to you.
Reproducible Set :
For inexpensive local printing / making minor adjustments by hand. 1 printed set, typically on Bond paper.
CAD Set :
For use by design professionals to make substantial changes to your house plan and inexpensive local printing.
Ideal for level lot, lower level of home partially or fully underground.
Ideal for semi-sloped or level lot, home can be built off of grade, typically 18” - 48”.
Ideal for lot conditions where the home needs to be off the ground. A pier foundation consists of wood posts or concrete piers connected by beams to support the home. Some lots may require drilling deep into bedrock to support the posts.
Ideal for level lot, single layer concrete poured directly on grade.
Additional Options
Additional Construction Sets :
Additional hard copies of the plan (can be ordered at the time of purchase and within 90 days of the purchase date).
Audio Video Design :
Receive an overlay sheet with suggested placement of audio and video components.
Construction Guide :
Educate yourself about basic building ideas with these four detailed diagrams that discuss electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and structural topics.
Mirror Reversed Sets :
A mirror-reversed set is a printed copy of your house, resulting in the same image you would see if you held the drawing up to a mirror. Everything, including the text, is backward in relation to the original design. These kinds of drawing are typically used to reorient an original plan more advantageously on a site, either because the homeowner prefers it that way or because of limitations of the site itself. Note: Mirror reverse sets are only available with a 5 copy or 8 copy set. With a Reproducible, PDF, or CAD set, you can print mirrored copies locally. In addition: 5 Copy set selected, should only allow 4 mirrored sets to be selected. 8 Copy set selected, should only allow 7 mirrored sets to be selected.

*Alternate Foundations may take time to prepare.

*Options with a fee may take time to prepare. Please call to confirm.