Employee accommodation

In this week’s issue of FW, Jonno assists a reader Benjamin with a design for employee accommodation on his farm.

Dear Jonno,
My father and I live on a farm in Eastern Cape in the shadow of the Winterberg and are looking at putting up new housing for our staff. We have two permanent staffers, one married, the other unmarried. We also need space for shearers or fencing teams, roughly 12 men. Is there any possible way to achieve cost-effective but good-looking buildings? We also have large quantities of stone and river sand on hand, or would you suggest bricks?

Regards, Benjamin

Dear Benjamin,
As you’ll appreciate, there are umpteen layout designs that can be contrived for staff accommodation. Here is a rendition I think would suit your casual shearers and others. In fact, something similar to this with a little upgrading can serve as a travellers’ stop-over as well. But then it’s preferable that each bedroom has a shower and toilet en-suite.

In the sketch I’ve provided, I’ve changed the roofing to a mono-pitch over the dining area, and included some fibreglass profiled sheets to allow for more light and ventilation for the kitchen area below. As regards the accommodation for your two permanent staff members, I’ll need you to give me more detail about their (or your) requirements, such as how many bedrooms are needed in each cottage. Or whether you would need a kitchen in each cottage, or a shared kitchen between the two.

Let me know and I’ll send you some sketches already drawn that might be suitable.Regarding the building materials available on site – using stone and river aggregates can certainly save on super structure costs. In the working drawings I prepare I will detail a ‘shuttering’ building method that your farmhands can easily employ. Let me have your further thoughts.

Regards, Jonno