What's the British standard of living like in 2008?

We got one in the early 80s, and we weren’t rich either. But my parents didn’t have a dishwasher until I was about 25 or so. Not sure that had to do with their available income, though - they could probably have afforded one. It’s just that my Dad hates to spend money unnecessarily, and I suppose he felt that my sister and I washed dishes just fine, and were free :smiley: Once we went off to college, his priorities changed, hee!

I remember 1974 alright, but I was a student - I expected to live in squalor with no consumer durables :smiley: We had the power cuts andthe three day week but they didn’t make that much impact on me personally.

Actually an interesting comparison: Marcus Junior is now at university in Manchester, as I was 30+ years ago, and his expectations are a lot higher than mine in terms of the standard of house he is renting and the equipment it contains. (That’s quite apart from the satellite tv and wi-fi internet connection that we didn’t even dream of.)

The reason that many UK households don’t have a tumble-dryer is that they still line-dry their washing. They probably don’t feel it’s necessary to have one, especially as these machines are large consumers of power.

Another reason for the relative lack of tumble dryers has already been mentioned - British homes are often a lot smaller than American ones. Combined washer/dryers are generally not very good and many of us just don’t have room for another machine. If it comes to a choice, the dryer is the gadget that you can manage without more readily than the washer, the fridge, the freezer, or even the dishwasher.

Clothes lines seem very uncommon in the US, which strikes me as bizarre in areas where clothes would dry rather quickly outside. It is, I would guess, partly down to closed backyards being less common than in the UK or here.

No, just curious about british home infrastructure - with other questions about standard of living, it makes perfect sense. I have stayed in bed and breakfasts in different european countries and seen various little hand lettered signs with various cautions about electrical use, and seen some places that had a single power point in a hallway for 2 or 3 different rooms to use with extension cords …

At least around here, clothes lines are viewed as being unsightly and there are often restrictions on their use. In what should be another thread, the residents of this “Land of the Free” seem remarkably happy to subjugate themselves to Home Owners Associations that place lots of rules on how you may live. From the covenants that I must abide by:

Yep. Note from the graph at the top of that article that oil prices were still lower than they are today. There was another oil crisis in 1979. From what I recall, the oil crises had moe of an impact in the US than the UK - probably because of the much greater dependence on cars.

It’s got a lot to do with clotheslines being perceived as “a sign of poverty” in the US, so that many locations forbid their usage even in a back yard which cannot be seen from the street or from neighbor’s yards unless said neighbors are climbing the fence. Heck, a few weeks back I read about an “ecoposh” development where megarich people are building nth-residence “ecohouses” and where one of the conditions to live there is “no clotheslines:” apparently the ecological advantage of a clothesline vs a dryer isn’t enough to make up for the loss of poshness.

My team just rented several flats in Glasgow; all of them came with washer-driers but also with foldable clotheslines.

The problem about “not enough sockets for everything” happens pretty much everywhere, I think. In Spain one of the things people are being told to check if they’re buying homes that aren’t still built is to count the number of sockets, as too many architects still put one or two sockets per room. Master bedroom with only two sockets + two table lamps + two cellphones that need charging +… = oops!

How big would the average sized family of four dwelling be in the UK? I’m not sure what the overall average in the US is but when we had our home built in the suburbs in 1992, it was hard to find a floor plan much under 2000 square feet.

Interesting question - because total floor area simply isn’t often quoted on property details, except perhaps for newly-built houses.

Yes, the emphasis in British property listings is usually on number of bedrooms rather than floor area. Doesn’t seem to matter if the rooms are tiny, because four beds is better than three, right? Anyway, 2,000 square feet would be considered a large home here I think. We sometimes squeeze three bed/two bath homes into 1,000 square feet.

I have this idea that line-dried clothing is stiff and scratchy. Plus, doesn’t it get dirt and stuff on it if the wind is blowing? We actually do have T-poles for clotheslines in my backyard, but there are a couple trees grown up around them so I couldn’t use them, even if I wanted to.

Houses without closed backyards are extremely rare, in my limited experience (West coast, US).

I just picked out a random 3 bed semi-detached at about the price Colophon stated as the average for my area - only the rooms themselves had dimensions listed (not the hallways, porches, stairs, closets and cupboards, garage, etc) - so bedrooms, bathroom, living room, dining room and kitchen came to 65 square metres in total (700 square feet) - this would be a property that would be described as neither ‘spacious’, nor ‘compact’ - it’s just a house.

Indeed - last time I was in the market for a house, some of the rooms described as ‘3rd bedroom’ were large enough to accomodate a single bed - as long as you decide, before installing the bed, whether you want the door always open or always closed.

Indeed, when I was selling my house in Ireland (not the UK, but a similar situation), the addition of a really crappy stud wall in the large back room added more than €10,000 to the price, because it added a room.

All that extra stuff, plus the thickness of the walls, does add quite a lot, to be fair.

But the US figure only includes “air conditioned” space so porches, garages etc aren’t included.

…and in that case, most UK houses would be zero sq.ft.!

Maybe - although in a lot of average houses, hallways and landings are no larger than functionally necessary. It might add 25% to the floor area - but it won’t double it.