When planning the house, even for a small plot, much consideration should be given to the proper location. The aim should be to secure comfort, pleasure and enjoyment for the occupants, not only from the interior, but as well from as much of the exterior as may be embraced. Some thought should be given, too, to the presentment of the best architectural features of the house to the view of those from without.
The course of the sun in relation to the principal rooms of the house should be of the first importance. Fig. 7 shows the points of the compass and the comparative value of each exposure.
The location of the majority of small houses is governed by the street. The highways usually run north and south, or east and west, and so the houses are placed accordingly, invariably facing the street. This is a practice that should be discontinued if we are to get all the enjoyment possible out of our homes. There is no good reason why we should not turn the house entirely around if necessary to get the best exposure. By careful planning of the house and grounds, the kitchen wing may, if advisable, face the street with more pleasure and comfort to the occupants, and without objection to the passerby.
Figs. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 show houses variously located on small lots.
On larger estates the house should really be planned for the house site, and not the site for the house, as is so often the case. Here, too, we have the question of best exposure, and, in addition, consideration must be given to the background, views, and drainage.
STUDY OF A HOUSE LOCATION ON A SMALL LOT.
Fig. 14. - A house on an eminence with rising ground in the rear. - See page 20.
The house should always be on an eminence, but need not necessarily be on the highest point of the ground (Fig. 14). In fact, it is often advisable to select a site with rising ground at the rear. If the rising ground be wooded the house will appear more attractive and fit more snugly into the landscape. For the best view one can always ascend to the higher point for observation and the scene will be more enjoyable for the occasional visit than it would be if it were continually within the line of vision.
It is often possible to locate the house so that the principal rooms are on the axis of some beautiful distant view. This point should not be overlooked when the site is selected.
The question of drainage is an important one. To secure comfort and health in a home the cellar and foundation should always be dry. The ideal location is one where the ground slopes directly away from the house on all four sides (Fig. 15, page 77). When such a location is not available the character of the soil should be considered and, if the ground is wet, underdrains should be provided.
The attitude usually assumed that no consideration need be given to the landscape treatment when locating houses on small plots, needs modification. While the house must be the dominant feature, a careful study of surrounding conditions, of exposure and exterior adornment, will well repay the owner.
It is much to be regretted that, on account of the generally inconsiderate placing of the house, most of our lawn area is in the rear of the house. Certainly this gives a larger measure of privacy, but too often this privacy is a detriment. People grow careless of that which is not open for all to see. Backyards provide a convenient place for the accumulation of trash and rubbish and soon the lawn is in danger of being neglected. In older communities where more consideration is given to landscape design in modeling the home grounds this condition is on the wane and the rear is considered of equal importance as the front (Figs. 11 and 12). A much better scheme is that of placing the house well to the rear of the lot, leaving but a small space at the back; or of placing the house well to one side, allowing a more extended lawn from the front to rear line. If the exposure is good the principal rooms of the house may be planned to face the lawn rather than the street.
BEST EXPOSURE FOR THE HOUSE IN RELATION TO THE SUN.
Fig. 7. - "There Is no good reason why we should not turn the house entirely around if necessary to get the best exposure." See page 19.
5. 8. - House ated well to e rear of the t with raight box ordered proach. - See page 19.
Fig. 9. - House facing the street with straight approach. - See page 19.
Fig. 10.-House located well to the rear of lot, showing treatment with curved walk, entering from the side to give apparent breadth to the property. - See pages 19 and 29.
Fig. 11.-House located with kitchen wing facing the street; hidden by the planting. - See pages 19 and 20.
Fig. 13.-House facing the street, with curved approach; lawn in rear protected by the extend-ing border plantings. - See page 19.
Fig. 24A. - Dominant main walk with smaller service walk somewhat removed. - See page 33.