September 2012 

Not So Big Remodeling in Paperback


Not So Big Remodeling I'm pleased to announce that Not So Big Remodeling has just been released in paperback, featuring a new introduction that's tailored to the post-recession economy. Although this book has sold well in hardcover, I've been convinced for some time that once the economy starts to turn around, there will be a much bigger audience for the ideas that the book contains. I believe that time has come.

I'm hearing from architects, designers and remodelers that their workloads are beginning to increase again, and it appears that things are looking up for many of us involved in the world of house remodeling.  This book is designed to help homeowners understand the possibilities for remodeling in a Not So Big way, either by staying within the home's existing footprint, or adding on a little if necessary.  It's about how to do more with less, how to use every dollar available more wisely, how to improve energy efficiency, and how to prepare to work with the professionals needed to help realize a remodeling project.  

I've loved hearing from homeowners, architects, designers and remodelers about the benefits of using this book in accomplishing their various remodeling projects, and am excited about the potential of the paperback to help even more people save money while improving the quality, character and functionality of their existing homes.   
Please help me spread the word. If anyone you know is thinking about remodeling in the not too distant future, they need this book.   
And architects, designers, and remodelers, this book is intended to make your job easier by priming your clients and customers ahead of time, so they know what to look for and how to think about their projects in a Not So Big way. 

Exterior before
Exterior after TEA2

Read More about Not So Big Remodeling  

Exterior photos courtesy of TEA2 Architects; Architect: TEA2 Architects 
The Paperback Launch

Sarah giving a talk at the St. Catherine Forum on Women in Leadership To launch the new paperback I will be doing two events at the end of this week and I'll be signing paperback versions of the book for the first time.  Here's the information about each event:

Cincinnati, OH:
Friday, September 14th from 5pm - 9pm 
Cincinnati Green Homes Summit 2012  
Keynote and Dinner
Memorial Hall
225 Elm Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 
For more information, click here  
To register, click here 
Other questions: e-mail Laura Kron or call 513-800-1192

Minneapolis, MN:
Saturday, September 15th from 12pm to 5pm

Presentations at 1 pm and 3 pm.
Marvin Design Gallery by Shaw Stewart
645 Johnson St. NE
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Call 612-331-3128 for more information
(Come early, as space is limited)
The first 50 guests will receive a signed copy of
Not So Big Remodeling or The Not So Big House
No registration required

NSBRdetailsNot So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your  
Home for the Way You Really Live 

Not So Big Remodeling is a book that readers were requesting long before it came out in 2009.  Countless people would ask 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. 


David Amory remodeled kitchen Not So Big Remodeling embodies that guidance, containing within its pages all the know-how collected while I worked 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.   

Not So Big Remodeling shows homeowners how to do it well, with an eye to energy efficiency and sustainability, and without building or spending more than necessary.  That's the approach that will guarantee a not so big solution.

Family room before
Family room remodeling after - Vermeland

With examples of over 75 architecturally designed remodelings and small additions from all across the country, this book offers a different take on remodeling.  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 is possible as people implement the strategies described in Not So Big Remodeling.


Susanka stairway before
Susanka stairway after













To order the paperback from Amazon now, click here.


With warm regards,




Kitchen photo:  Greg Premru; Architect: Amory Architects

Family room photo: courtesy of Vermeland Architects;
Architect: Vermeland Architects


Stairway photo: Randy O'Rourke; Architect: Sarah Susanka 

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Not So Big Remodeling

Quick Links

Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live

Not So Big Remodeling page on

Full credits page for the architects and designers whose work is featured in
Not So Big Remodeling

Sarah's own Not So Big Remodeling before and after pictures


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.


It is my fervent hope that you'll discover that the house of your dreams is actually hiding right where you live today.

~Sarah Susanka,
Not So Big Remodeling


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Searching for a professional to help you design, build or remodel your home?  The Directory is the best place to find someone who is aligned with the Not So Big books and principles.

Home professionals:

if you're involved in home design and improvement, and your work is in keeping with Not So Big aims, there is no better marketing strategy than to register for the Directory.

Click here to search or register for the Directory


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