Here are a few plans for modest little cottages from AUDELS GUIDE to CARPENTRY – circa 1906.
Audels is a series of guide books for almost every ‘mechanical, engineering, and building trade’
These pictures are from my fathers four volume set ‘Carpenters and Builders Guide’ published in 1906.
The books cover every aspect of the carpenters trade; from mathematics – geometry and trigonometry, to drafting, planning, estimating and architectural contracts, tools and their maintenance; rough framing, trim out, and cabinetry. A long entry on joinery contains over 125 pen and ink drawings of wood joints from simple butt and mitre to half lap diminishing dovetails .
A lot of families started out in houses much like these. Some moved up to bigger homes, some simply added on as the need arose untill very little was left of the original.
I doubt if you could find this size of house being built in this country today, and that’s a shame.
I’ve often thought if I could get the financing and the land I could sell these things as fast as they could be built. Countless people are looking for just such a modest little home to start out with. The biggest single obstacle would be getting approval from a city’s planning and zoning department; Politicians love every thing BIG, and have little empathy for such modest projects as these.
It’s a shame.
Of course a lot of genuine improvements have been made in methods, tools, and materials in the hundred plus years since these drawings were made. But time doesn’t make everything obsolete, it verifies the value of some things.
Inside the front cover of each volume of AUDELS GUIDE is this quote from the English Critic John Ruskin;
Not a bad thought for any job, a hundred years ago or a hundred years from now.