IT is becoming increasingly apparent that more and more people are not content to purchase the ready-made article, but desire to have their house built to their own special ideas. This is as it should be, for it still remains true that There is no place like home, especially if one feels that it contains just what is desired.
Incidentally it may be added that when a Better Homes movement was instituted in the United States, a replica of the house of John Howard Payne, the English writer of the immortal song, from which the above line is quoted, was erected to inspire ownership. The original building is still standing in Easthampton, Long Island, though it was built by whalers in the early colonist days of 1660, when monarchial England was founding the colonies which afterwards developed into the greatest republic in the world. Selecting the Site IN selecting the plot of land on which a house is to be built there are many points which need careful consideration. The locality itself must be suitable for the type of house proposed, and if the would-be owner is a man and has not retired from business; must be within a reasonable distance of his office or works. In this connection the frequency of the train or bus service, and the time occupied in travelling, must be considered.
The proximity of sports clubs, golf clubs, shopping centres and the social activities of the district should not be overlooked. In all these matters the prospective house-owner must regard the interests of the whole family, not only at the present time, but also with an eye to the future.
Until the selection of the site has been decided upon, it is inadvisable to begin the designing of the house. The type and nature of the architecture of neighbouring houses must be taken into consideration. This is not always done, with the result that an otherwise comely house may look positively grotesque.
A well-known architect has already sounded a much-needed note of warning, by drawing attention to the fact that many of our villages and towns are losing their distinctive look because local material, when such is available, is no longer a consideration with many builders.
Much of the peaceful appearance of an unspoiled village is due to the absence of any discordant note. Thore may be a sameness about the cottages, but they harmonize.
Planning a House Build
THE question of whether the front elevation shall be north, south, cast or west is important. The advantage of a house built east and west is that one gets the sun on the front of the house in the morning, and it gradually travels round on the south side to the back of the house in the cvenng, or vice versa if the position is reversed.
If one prefers to have the main reception rooms facing a road running say from east to west, a plot on the north side should be chosen so that these rooms may face south; if, on the other hand, one wishes to have the main living rooms and bedrooms overlooking the garden, the choice should be the south side. Each of these colls for a totally different layout.
In all these cases it should be borne in mind that in planning the house such If one has only a limited amount of money to spend, it is a much better plan to economize either in the size of the house itself or in the interior fittings. Providing the structure is sound, one can always add to or alter the internal fittings and decorations at a later date for a comparatively small cost.
It should always be borne in mind that WB live in the interior of the house, and that well-shaped rooms are both easier to furnish and more pleasant to live in. Nevertheless, it is foolish to be too economical in the matter of the front elevation. Some day you may wish to sell and a good elevation attracts buyers.
There is a tendency, as Anita de Campi has pointed out, to substitute shoddy for tried and tested materials, and an inclination to spend money on decorative effects and outward appearances which can be 1 shown off. It is the substantial foundations, walls, safe electric wiring installations, and other essentials not so readily susceptible of exhibition which, with the passing years, inevitably maintain the original value of construction, and save endless annoyance and expense. Architect, Builder, and Surveyor DRESUM1XG that one has not a full knowledge of architecture and the building trade generally, it is most certainly advisable to obtain the services of a good architect or builder; in the latter case a competent surveyor should also be employed.
No good builder objects to this; in fact, the majority of builders prefer it. Providing they intend to carry out the work according to specification, they have nothing to fear and overything to gain by working in conjunction with a man who thoroughly understands the task in hand.