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Building Today, Volume 1 Number 2 (January 1937)

Houses or Homes?

page 36

Houses or Homes?

In the hearts of many it is the hope that one day they may be able to build their own house and home. To build for oneself is a worthy enterprise. It expresses a state of adventure—the creative urge that every true man possesses. To venture upon an undertaking such as building without the help and advice of a qualified architect is like going to sea with no navigator. One has often heard it said that architecture is the greatest of all the arts and is the only art seen by every user of the streets and thoroughfares of the country. Since very few men build more often than once or twice in a lifetime, it seems foolish not to obtain the best (which rarely means the most expensive).

To be able to design and specify for even a small house requires an immense amount of expert knowledge, and it can only be the man who has had the widest experience and the most intimate acquaintance with all movements revealing what the market offers who is qualified to suggest what is best and give the most useful and suitable advice.

If you are going to build you are contemplating the expenditure of a considerable amount of money—more money, perhaps, than you will spend in a lump sum at any other time in your life. Naturally, in carrying out this project, you will want the greatest possible value for every pound you invest.

When a home site is to be selected it would be advisable to consult a competent architect, who can investigate the suitability and potentialities of the site for your purpose, check up on the ground for foundations or its distance from facilities, such as drainage, etc., and so can estimate approximately any additional cost involved in placing your home or building on that particular site as compared with another site. Obviously this information should be sought before any definite purchase is made.

Possibly you have formed some idea in your own mind of the home you desire. When the time comes to convert your ideas into reality, take your architect into your confidence, tell him what you desire and he will interpret your ideal in a practical form, and so your home will have the uniformity you seek and will embody in the design the details you prefer, the result being a home of permanent comfort that will justify your pride of ownership and will remain a satisfactory investment.

Depreciation in the value of a residence is hastened by the changing of building style and practice, and thus you should guard against a design which is likely to become "oldfashioned," and obviate the risk of being classed as "out of date." A well-designed, well-built house will retain its value and will return to its owner increasing profit as an investment. Its value is not the result of accident, but the product of skilled craftsmen handling correct materials under qualified supervision.

Circumstances mav arise to compel you to sell your home. Real estate agents state that houses well designed, well built under expert supervision, invariably have higher resale values. No more labour and materials are required to produce a well-planned structure of architectural beauty, skilfully fitted to its intended uses, than would go into a badly-arranged, wasteful and inconvenient building of the same size.

page 37