Sarah Susanka's Not So Big Minizine, Article 3

December 2008
Issue: 2
Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live
Not So Big RemodelingDue out in March of 2009, Not So Big Remodeling is a book that readers have been requesting for a long time -- ever since the release of my first book back in 1998, in fact.  Countless people have asked me things like, "We love your books, but do we have to start over and build new, or can we make our existing house not so big?" and "Can we implement any of the not so big concepts if we only have a small amount of money to spend?"  The answer is an unequivocal "Yes."  With a little guidance, it's possible to stay put and to remodel your existing house in a not so big way, incrementally, as time and money allow.
Sage Architecture / Photo by Dave AdamsNot So Big Remodeling embodies that guidance, containing within its pages all the know-how I collected while working on the hundreds of remodeling projects that were my former Minneapolis firm's bread and butter.  Written with my friend and co-author Marc Vassallo, the book is chock full of information about how to think about your home as an architect would -- starting with the simplest strategies for solving the particular problem you are dealing with and moving to the next level of complexity only after you've established that the simplest approach won't work.  That's the approach that will guarantee a not so big solution.
Susanka Kitchen BeforeSusanka Kitchen After / Photo by Randy O'Rourke
With images and solutions from over 100 different projects from all across the country, this book offers a new take on remodeling.  To our knowledge, there's nothing on the bookstore shelves quite like it, and we're hoping to start a remodeling revolution with this new volume.  One of the book's subplots is that with all the not so charming and oh so leaky older homes around the nation, a not so big remodeling is one of the greenest actions you can take.  Not only will you be improving the home's energy efficiency, but you'll also be making it look a lot more appealing and making it function better for today as well.
Beauty matters in sustainable design.  When something delights us aesthetically we tend to take care of it --witness all the lovingly restored bungalows from the first part of the 20th Century.   Just stop and think for a moment of the benefits of improving the energy efficiency and sustainability of thousands, or even millions, of these older homes.  The impact could be tremendous.  That's what we hope will be possible as people begin to implement the strategies described in Not So Big Remodeling.

Marie's Apartment Before / Photo by Randy O'RourkeMarie's Apartment After / Photo by Randy O'RourkeWe're very excited about the potential of this book to help save you money while improving the quality, character and functionality of your existing home.  Look for further information in the Spring 2009 newsletter and at at the time of the book's release.  We'll be sure to keep you up to date.
You can pre-order Not So Big Remodeling from Amazon now by clicking here.  If you'd prefer to obtain it from your local independent bookstore through IndieBound, click here instead.
Exterior entry photo:  Dave Adams; Architect: Sage Architecture
Photos of Sarah's kitchen and Marie's apartment: Randy O'Rourke
Sarah's Websites


The Not So Big House website
The Not So Big House site is full of useful information for people wanting to know how to build a house that favors quality over quantity. 
The Not So Big Life website
The Not So Big Life site is what Sarah describes as the second half of the book, providing a community through which to engage your own not so big life.
Sarah Susanka website
The portal to all of Sarah's websites, also has some great resources for architects.

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