Rustic Country Home Plans & Designs
Some rustic look home plans and designs, ideas for rustic country houses.
¶ The principal merit of this design rests in its bold expression of purpose. With very little pretension to architectural style, its exterior is still harmonious and tasteful, and cannot therefore be said to be unarchitectural. It has a rustic sort of beauty that properly belongs to the residence of the farmer - not a beauty derived from neat and careful finish, but from large surfaces and strong projections, and which is more generally pleasing to the eye not cultivated to nice distinctions, than a greater amount of elaboration. And perhaps the reason of this is, that it requires no study to render it intelligible; it speaks, like nature, a language for all, and all understand it and are satisfied.
¶ This house is of course intended for the farmer who has successfully maintained the struggle for a competence through which it is the lot of many to pass, and has reached a condition of life familiarly spoken of as "easy circumstances". Still the business of the farm must be carried on, and no one can attend to it better than himself. While he is, in one sense, more at leisure than formerly, his mind and eyes are not less active, and several years must elapse before the son can be entrusted with the post that the father has held so long with success. What is more reasonable than that he should enjoy, during his declining years, the fruits of his early labors, and leave a heritage to his successor that may be a becoming homestead for future generations!
¶ Few such are to be found in our farming districts: too little care in building furnishes no warrant against premature dilapidation, and the consequence is, that the lapse of a few years witnesses the crumbling of walls, decaying of timbers, and a close approximation to utter worthlessness. Against such disasters as these, the builder cannot too sedulously guard. The intelligence of the farmer ought to go hand-in-hand with that of the builder, to prevent the flight of a few years from so fearfully affecting their joint labors. Deficient foundations are often the cause of unsightly and sometimes fatal breaches in the walls.
¶ In some instances, perhaps, all skill and foresight may be expended on these in vain; but we are inclined to think such instances very rare indeed. In Northern countries, foundation walls are frequently affected by severe cold; the frost getting beneath walls invariably produces bad results. The remedy for this is to sink the trenches deeper; as a general rule, the depth should not be less than three feet below the surface of the ground. It will be observed, however, that the depth to which the ground freezes varies greatly in different locations, and a certain knowledge of the peculiarity in this respect of a given site should always have due weight with those concerned in building.
¶ It being most advisable to keep on the safe side in any enterprise, we should favor no exception from the rule in this. Again, for want of a little care in projecting and cementing the footing courses, the walls frequently suffer from the burrowing of vermin. The remedy for this is to project a footing course on each side of the wall, to the width of four or six inches, and fill all the interstices with liquid mortar; animals attempting to burrow beneath a wall enter close alongside of the base, but they meet an impenetrable barrier in the projection above described. Such projections as these are very necessary in yielding ground, forming as they do a wider base for the support of the superincumbent wall, and distributing the weight over a greater amount of bearing surface.
¶ Sometimes, in building rustic country houses, it happens that the proprietor of the land has timber of his own available for carpentry, that is, for joists, rafters, studding, etc.; indeed, in well-timbered regions, such as are found in parts of nearly all the States, a man may build a very fine house without the importation of any portion of the wood, either for the framing or joinery. In connection with this fact, it is proper to say that too much attention cannot be given to seasoning all wood intended to enter into the construction either of skeleton or finish of dwelling houses. We have sometimes seen trees cut down, sawed up, and the joists and scantling made from them performing their office within the lapse of a single week. This is a very great error, and those who commit it are only to be excused on the ground of urgent necessity.
¶ All timber should have a full year to season in, after leaving the saw-mill; and in order to insure the most thorough seasoning, all the advantages of a free circulation of air should be given it, by inserting cross-slats or "sticks" between the different layers of scantling or plank, after the well-known method practiced by country cabinet makers All these slats should lie perpendicularly over each other, and should not be less than six feet apart in the length of the board; the foundation having been carefully leveled, the straightness of the plank is one of the desirable results of this kind of management. Another point is to prevent the cracking or "sp1iting" of the plank at the ends, for which there is no more simple or effective remedy than placing the slats close to the ends while the piling is going on.
¶ Sometimes kiln-drying is resorted to, but this is attended with several objections; the wood thus dried is much harder to work, and does not afterward resist so well the effects of atmospheric changes as that which has undergone the course of weather seasoning already prescribed. But we must now turn our attention to the design before us and describe its various properties.
Rustic Look Rooms
¶ Beginning our examination at the principal floor, picture 107, we find a vestibule A opening into a hall B, 9 feet wide, which contains the stairs, and affords direct communication with the three principal rooms, C, ID, E, with the rear veranda I, and through the lobby H to the back building.
¶ The apartment C, 18 by 20 feet, is assumed, from its size and evident relations to the others, to be the best in the house, and therefore takes the title of parlor or drawing-room, according to the fancy of the proprietress, than whom none has a better right to decide in such matters; so far as the dictum of the architect may be listened to, it is worthy of either name, the propriety of one or the other being determined rather by the habits of the family than by any peculiar property of the room. Parlor has the most domestic sound, and probably ought to be preferred in all houses below the grade of a fashionable villa.
¶ On the right of the hall we have D, 18 by 18 feet, which may be considered as a sort of better sitting room, in which a moderate company may be entertained without opening the parlor. E, also 18 by 18 feet, is intended for the family sitting-room, and may be used for a dining room when there is company present. F, 18 by 18 feet, is the living-room or family dining room; and G, 18 by 16 feet, is the kitchen. An out-building should be here attached, but the size of the plate would not admit its being shown.
¶ From the living room a flight of private stairs communicates with a lobby on a level with the half-pace of the main stairs, and the second floor of the back building.
Fig. 108 shows the divisions of the bedroom floor. K is the hall; L, bedrooms, all having good closets; a dressing room; and N, a bedroom. The bathroom adjacent is to be supplied with water from a tank in the loft. By means of a circulating boiler attached to the kitchen range a supply of warm water can be constantly had for bathing purposes, and is equally desirable in carrying on the culinary operations.
This house is intended to be rough cast on a rough walling of brick or stone. The great projection of the roof is particularly favorable to this treatment of the exterior. Outside blinds are a very valuable item in the finish of this house; but these are seldom shown in drawings on a small scale, as they detract from the appearance of the picture, while they are well known to have a contrary effect in execution. The roof of this dwelling may be slate or shingles, as the pitch suits either, and the diamond or hexagon form might be introduced with happy effect.
So much depends on the mode of carrying on a building, and the local cost of the materials required, that it is impossible to put down a fixed estimate. The cost of this design in our own neighborhood would not vary much from $4000 (1861 prices).
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