CONTENTS ~ INTRODUCTION ~ PLAN A ~ PLAN B ~ PLAN C ~ PLAN D
PLAN E ~ PLAN F ~PLAN G ~ PLAN H ~PLAN I ~ PLAN K ~ PLAN L
PLAN M ~ PLAN N ~ PLAN O ~ PLAN P ~ GLOSSARY

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The smallest in the collection, this home presents itself as a little jewel box. Each of its four facades is perfectly symmetrical, although each is different.

Upon entering, the visitors gaze is drawn across the building to the view seen through a french window placed opposite the entrance. A few steps farther and the entire expanse of the structure's first floor is revealed - concealing only the service area of the kitchen. The living and dining rooms are joined by means of a generous archway; aligned with this is the living room fireplace in its own alcove and which is embraced by curving bookshelves.

The two similar second story bedrooms are each provided with cross-ventilation, a pair of closets and convenient built-in shelves. Their ceilings are dramatically open to the roof ridge above. One bedroom has its own entrance to the bathroom; the other enjoys a fan light window over the most likely location of the headboard as a special feature. Considering their modest size, these chambers have been infused with an unusual amount of character indeed.

The basement may be built raised, to accommodate either a single car garage and store room(s), or to allow for a third bedroom and second bathroom in the future.

The limited dimensions of this plan in no way compromises the gracious qualities this home possesses. The design is receptive to the introduction of future additions, and in its current form could be constructed on almost any conceivable lot.

PLAN A
~ FRENCH NEOCLASSICAL (Plan A Design No. 1) ~

Sitting on its lawn like a delicate sculpture, the air of this residence is assuredly self-confident, yet disarming at the same time due to its miniature size. Shown above is the garden front, with the addition of a raised flagstone terrace. The basement is depicted as being mostly above grade, allowing for large windows into optional additional rooms on that level. It is recommended that if a garage is added on to one side of the residence, that a porch or an additional bedroom of equivalent size be constructed opposite, this to maintain balance. The woodwork and trim are an important feature here and not as much of an expense as might be imagined; it consists entirely of standard, easily worked and commonly available lumber -- and should not be omitted. The cladding is of smooth, or at most, lightly textured stucco to provide a properly neutral background to the fenestration detailing; small wooden finials at important points of the roof add an attractive, finishing flourish.

~ PENNSYLVANIAN GERMAN (Plan A Design No. 2) ~

This is a frame adaptation of the more typical masonry, early Pennsylvanian farmhouse; the small 'pent' roof between stories enlivens the entrance facade of this chaste design, shown here on sloping land as such houses often were, but incorporating a modern garage as well. A diamond shaped window on each gable end introduces a jaunty feature to a structure with an otherwise sturdy bearing. A gentle curve arching over the garage door lends a grace note. The garage level can be altered to allow for additional rooms there instead, depending on the owner's preference. The cladding shown is clapboard, but stucco, brick or stone veneer would all serve capably. Note the elegance of the curving ('bell-cast') eave, and the regularity of the fenestration. The design draws on selected elements found in Pennsylvania German/Dutch design; it should be noted however that it is a very free interpretation.

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~ TUDOR (Plan A Design No. 3) ~

'Multum In Parvo', Latin for 'Much in Little' well describes this cheerful little design. The body of the cottage is a crisp, smoothly stuccoed rectangle, snugly wrapped on the second story by bands of pronounced and contrasting half-timbering in the manner of 'Wattle and Daub' English Tutor. Despite the symmetrical composition and orderly arrangement of parts, the small scale of the structure causes the general effect to be picturesque rather than pretentious, more quaint than formal. A residence of this size might well receive one or more additions in the future; were these to be made asymmetrically, the building would take on an even more romantic character. As pictured above, large windows are admitted into a high basement, allowing for additional rooms, useful and pleasant, to exist on that level. This would provide, at the same time, increased privacy from the street for the rooms of the first floor.

This compactly designed house is so efficiently arranged that it incorporates all the features of much larger homes while allowing the construction to remain modest. The deeply recessed entranceway embraces visitors while protecting them from the elements. One's first impression upon entering the beautifully proportioned foyer is that of a roomy, traditional American home. A living room fireplace answers on axis the dining room french door clear across the building-passing through two perfectly aligned archways (on either side of the foyer) along the way. Only steps away from the entrance, though concealed from view, is a coat closet and a guest lavatory. In the living room, curved corners, which can easily and at a reasonable cost be included at the time of construction, imbue an aura of sophistication to this very civil and stately space. Both the living room and the formal dining room is so designed as to eliminate the need to negotiate table and chairs when moving from one room to another. Two long walls are provided to accept a china closet, a sideboard or both. The purpose of this room and its regular shape lend themselves to an ornamental ceiling treatment, such as a center medallion, exposed beams, or crown molding. The kitchen boasts generous counter space and a useful floor to ceiling pantry; the kitchen discreetly disappears from view behind pocket doors when the owner entertains. A triple window bathes the stair landing with light and illuminates the wide second floor passage. This passage leads to the three bedrooms and to one of the two bath rooms. Both the minor bedrooms enjoy cross-ventilation and feature arched alcoves whose purpose it is to receive furniture, such as dressers, which would ordinarily protrude into the room. Flanking these alcoves are matching doors; one to a closet, the other the entrance. A generously sized master bedroom, with cross-ventilation, two closets and a private bathroom completes the upper floor.

~ NEW ENGLAND COLONIAL (Plan B Design No. 4) ~

Simple, foursquare, solid and dignified, this first-rate interpretation of early nineteenth century architecture is an uncluttered and balanced composition. A carefully placed wooden ‘Belt-Course’ separates the clapboard cladding of the first floor from the shingles above, making this building an excellent candidate for receiving paints of more than one color, or even of different shades of a single hue. Of the many subtle details, undoubtedly the finest is the extra-wide casing (trim) surrounding the windows and doors. Though conservatively done, this trim imparts a richness to the building's appearance at an almost inconsequential expense. A large roof over a roomy attic will allow for future expansion, and will easily accept the addition of dormers or skylights.

FEDERAL (Plan B Design No. 5) ~

A precursor to the American Greek revival era, the Federal style was the first to turn the building's gable end toward the street. Here the gable is occupied by a distinguished fanlight window and is surrounded by a restrained cornice. The cornice is repeated below the windowsills of the second floor. Worthy of comment is the forceful, central archedentrance, flanked by handsome wood Doric columns. The cladding depicted is of flush clapboards throughout, though brick, or brick below with clapboard above, or even a smooth stucco would also serve attractively. This design lends itself to the inclusion of a paved motor court out front, which historically gives an air of importance to any residence.

~ COLONIAL REVIVAL (Plan B Design No. 6) ~

Despite the variety of roof contours and dimensions, window and door sizes and types, a sense of balance in this building is maintained by the clarity of its three-part composition -- a central block supported on either end by complimentary smaller parts. Wide clapboard, as shown, or shingle cladding are the two types of siding most true to the spirit of this 1920's colonial revival style. The additions of garage and porch to either side of this version extend the street facade to an impressive breadth; half-dormers in the central section draw the eye upward -- altogether a very active, vigorous and expansive from facade. The ample porch is more than just decorative; its depth allows for outdoor furniture and provides a wonderful setting for summertime entertaining. Note the charming features of small wood finials located at the end of each half-dormer roof, and that of the curving wood trim with molding above the entrance.

Architectural plans and other basic information for these and all the homes shown on this site, along with dozens of beautiful illustrations and extensive descriptive text are available in our 75 page, soft-cover publication "THE AFFORDABLE HOUSE"

To receive a copy send a US$25.00 check or money order to:
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CONTENTS ~ INTRODUCTION ~ PLAN A ~ PLAN B ~ PLAN C ~ PLAN D
PLAN E ~ PLAN F ~PLAN G ~ PLAN H ~PLAN I ~ PLAN K ~ PLAN L
PLAN M ~ PLAN N ~ PLAN O ~ PLAN P ~ GLOSSARY