Convertable Country House Blueprints

Making a few fundamental changes to a suburban house floorplan can make for really satisfactory country home blueprints.
By Ed Robinson
March/April 1970
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With a few simple changes, a blueprint for a suburban home and be converted to a blueprint for an effective country home.

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Today, practically all houses are designed for suburban living not country living. A suburban house is simply an expanded apartment. No provision is made for the more productive kind of life you can live in the country.

For instance, if you have a garden or chickens or fruit trees — and most certainly if you are going to have livestock — you'll find that the small kitchen of the suburban house is totally inadequate. If you're going to have a laundry or you want to start your seedlings indoors or you plan on a quick freezer, you'll find no provision for these in the usual suburban house.

The fundamental differences between the ordinary suburban house and a house that's really satisfactory for productive country living or a small farming operation is illustrated in the three floor plans included in this article's image gallery.

The smaller the house, the more difficult it is to provide space for homestead activities. Thus, we asked John Whitney, R.A., an architect who specializes in country houses, to take a good small suburban house and show how approximately the same floor area might be laid out in a productive country home.

Note these plans are about minimum — one story, four rooms, with heater space instead of a basement. Ordinarily if 10 percent of a house is "waste space" (hall area), the plan is considered satisfactory. Hall area in these plans is only 2 percent!

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