Building a farm manager’s home in phases

In this instalment of HillbillyHomes, a client requests a design for an affordable, three-bedroom home that is small but comfortable.

Building a farm manager’s home in phases
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Dear Jonno,
I’ve been inspired by your practical architectural design ideas in Farmer’s Weekly, and now need your help on a relatively straightforward structure.

I intend building a farm manager’s home on our farm in the south-eastern Free State. I want to build the house in stages, as and when the finances become available.

Hopefully, the cost of the house will be tax-deductible as this is staff accommodation.
What I am looking for, in a nutshell, is an affordable, easy-to-build, three-bedroom
family home that is small but comfortable.

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Looking forward to see what you come up with.

Kind regards,

Dear Kobus,
Thanks for your interesting request for what almost everyone would want: building for cash and avoiding possible home loan interest and tax on excess savings.

Here is a sketch of a home that incorporates simplicity of styling and low structural costs.

The initial essentials of any starter home are facilities that cater to cooking, toilet/washing, sleeping and relaxing.

This is the central structure (double-storey phase 1) of the three-phase development. Going for a double storey will not involve great cost; there are extra outer and inner walls, windows and floorboards, but the house still has one roof over the two floors.

The added phase 2 bedroom wing is another cost-effective addition.

Phase 3 could have a similar extended roof, but is shown as a leisure sundeck. Additional rooms could be incorporated. 

There are many options for styling and accommodation. The veranda is perhaps a phase 4 addition.

Shown with dotted lines on the layout are some optional changes. Let me have your ideas and we’ll put it together.

Kind regards,

Jonno Smith is a registered architect. He can be contacted at Hillbilly Homes: tel 036 352 3178, fax 088 036 352 3178, cell 082 412 4459 or email [email protected]. Please provide details of the proposed development. Visit