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.

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.

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 Please provide details of the proposed development. Visit

Published by
Jonno Smith

Recent Posts

  • South Africa

Agri industries record far better growth than SA economy

The growth of the primary agriculture sector in South Africa is far outstripping the economic growth of the country as…

7 hours ago
  • Featured Home Image
  • Letter from the editor

Climate change: let farmers lead the way

As details about South Africa’s economic mess becomes clearer, and government fails to respond with any clear plan to navigate…

8 hours ago
  • By Invitation
  • Featured Home Image

Grain hedging: lessons from the farmers who get it right

Since South African agriculture converted from control boards to the free market system in the 1990s, farmers have had to…

1 day ago
  • South Africa

New African swine fever outbreak in Gauteng

Gauteng’s Department of Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment is scrambling to contain yet another outbreak of African swine fever (ASF).

1 day ago
  • Empowerment
  • Featured Home Image

Joburg chef partners with local farmers

Jack Coetzee, chef of Johannesburg-based Urbanologi restaurant and a believer in sustainable living, sources all his ingredients from within a…

2 days ago
  • Caxton
  • South Africa
  • Use only text

Empowering small-scale women farmers in SA

The Women Farmers Programme, piloted in 2018 by the Vodacom Foundation in partnership with UN Women and South African Women…

2 days ago