ONeil Building Systems

Key Architectural Details for Your Post-Frame Farmhouse


Post-frame building is a style of construction based on using large poles buried in the ground as the framework of the structure. Girts provide the horizontal support for the roofing. Some advantages of postframe construction include greater strength, fewer building materials, and extra room for insulation.

Post-frame construction is an ideal method for farmhouse-style homes. If you’re considering having a postframe farmhouse built, look into some of the architectural details that characterize the style.

Two-Story Rectangle

Traditionally, farmers didn’t hire architects and engineers to design their houses. They often erected the house themselves with the help of neighbors and family. While you may hire an architect and engineer, you still want to keep the overall style of the house rustic.

Farmhouses are usually rectangular. What’s more, to account for large families, they often feature two stories. If you add any additions, keep the shape simple. For example, a square jutting out of the back might provide your patio space.

Rustic Siding

Farmhouses shouldn’t look too polished on the outside. Therefore, rustic styles of siding are ideal. One option is the board-and-batten design. With this style, wide boards are attached together with thin strips, called battens, covering the seams. The boards can be vertical or horizontal.

If you want slightly more polished siding, consider clapboard siding. This style features traditional panels that overlap slightly. The result is still rustic enough to be appropriate for the farmhouse style.

While both board-and-batten and clapboard siding are traditionally made of wood, you can have contractors hang vinyl or fiber cement that resembles wood in the above styles.

Shingle Roofing

As with the siding, wood is the traditional material for roofing a farmhouse. However, real wood roofing is expensive and difficult to maintain. Therefore, most homeowners opt for asphalt or fiber cement that resembles wood.

Nonetheless, you want a roof that looks like it’s made out of either wooden shingles or shakes. Shakes are the more rough-looking of the two. Actual wooden shakes have been split on one or both sides, leaving more texture on the surface. Shingles are sawn on both sides, resulting in a smoother finish. Manufactured materials can simulate either style.

Simple Gabled Roof

For the shape of the roof itself, you want a simple style. That comes in the gabled roof, which features the traditional sloping sides that meet at a peak in the middle. You might also see the gambrel roof, which adds a break in each of the slopes. You may be familiar with gambrel roofing because it is commonly used on barns.

Concerning any roof structures, they should be likewise simple. For instance, if you’re adding dormer windows, a shed roof would be an ideal topper instead of fancy hipped styles.

The center of farm life was the hearth, and that includes a sturdy chimney. A stone chimney with a simple cap is ideal for the farmhouse style.

Functional Porch

A traditional farmhouse must have a front porch. Historically, the porch was a transitional space for entering the home. This space was the predecessor to the mudroom in that farmers and visitors would leave their dirty shoes outside before entering the house. What’s more, the porch served as the site of outdoor entertaining.

You have a lot of leeway in how you incorporate your porch into the farmhouse design. At bare minimum, you want a space right in front of the door with an overhang. However, if you want more outdoor living space, you can expand the length of the porch significantly, even to the point of wrapping around the house. A screenedin porch is another possibility.

Even if you live in the city, enjoy a slice of country life with a post-frame farmhouse. Contact O’Neil Building Systems, where we specialize in custom post-frame buildings.

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