Plan #3 - Farm House Revisited

Richland House Front.jpg (32823 bytes)

First Floor               1227 sqft

Second Floor            922  sqft

A/C Space              2149  sqft


First Floor              Second Floor

wpe21.jpg (60404 bytes)    wpe22.jpg (45647 bytes)

This plan was designed to be a weekend lakehouse for a tight budget. The challenge was to do it  without sacrificing architecture. The design is based on the farm house archetype for their easy construction, enduring appeal.

To keep costs down the structure was made efficient, easy to build, and with a master suite wing that can be built later. The cost of a requisite porch was avoided by having the garage to do double duty as one. By adding rollup doors in the rear, the garage can double as a large porch, great for entertaining or kids play. This also makes boat storage easier where you can just drive through the garage instead to backing into it. Just a win-win situation all around.

Another cost saving is with the siding material. The blueprint calls for a fiber-cement product made to look like cedar clapboards. This synthetic material is much cheaper than real wood and is about the cheapest siding material to use in north Texas. Yet, the fiber-cement siding holds paint a lot longer (due to less expansion/contraction), and cannot be rotted or burned so it's a better choice in many respects. Besides, if PBS's "This Old House" chose this material for the new construction in Bilerica, it should be pretty good.

The metal roof, however, can be a budget buster. The standing seam type costs 4+ times more than asphalt shingles. They are worth it because they are long lasting by at least that much. But if there's just no wiggle room in the budget, you shouldn't be afraid of using the inexpensive corrugated metal panels used for roofing barns and sheds. There have been quite a few architectural award winners in recent years having success with that material. It may even have a higher cool quotient with the architectural set. Then again, the common asphalt shingles would look good on this house as well.

Another way to reduce the initial cost is to leave the master bedroom wing unfinished. I'd have at least its foundation poured and rough plumbing done if not having the exterior finished out leaving the interiors as a project for the weekend warriors.

This house will look especially good from far out in the water against a background of lawns and trees. No foundation planting or landscaping is really needed. The house's elegant form and massing shown in their entirety should work just fine.