Styles and characteristics of country homes
A typical English
country house refers to a large house,
mansion or manor located in the English countryside, which was often
an individual’s second home, with their first residence situated in
the city. A country house allowed such individual and family members
to spend time in the country whenever they pleased, and the term
‘country home’ distinguished between their country and city
But what does this term
refer to in South Africa? Seeing as a second home is a far-fetched
concept for most South Africans, the term generally refers to any
residence situated in a rural setting, such as a farm house or a log
cabin, for instance, in the mountains. However, a country house is
not always a primary home structure inhabited by residents, for
numerous holiday- and wedding companies make use of the term “country
home” to describe their units and venues.
Style-wise, a country
house is usually designed in the country-, colonial- or rustic
architectural styles. Although a thatched roof is a common
occurrence, it is not a prerequisite. However, most country houses do
possess large terraces and/or balconies to provide a better view of
the surroundings to residents and guests.
The pros and cons of
Did you fall in love
with the countryside’s wide open spaces during your previous visit
there, and decided that you were going to purchase a house in that
area? Yes, relocating to the countryside, whether it’s for farming
purposes, retirement or just a change of scenery, does bring a
certain excitement, especially when one starts to imagine all the
country décor and vintage-style furnishings that can go with your
new country house, but think twice – perhaps visit that area during
the ‘off season’ or winter to see what it looks like then. And
take the pros and cons into consideration.
One of the main reasons for people relocating
to the countryside is the rising expenses in cities. On average, one
can acquire a neat countryside house (perhaps even bigger than the
option you were eyeing in the city) for much less than a house in the
Living in the countryside provides more
opportunities to spend time with nature, such as hiking. And let’s
not forget the fresh air.
Countryside properties have more room than
city-centre homes, which is ideal if you’re looking to start a
family. And plenty of outdoor room is also a major bonus.
The number one danger of living in the
countryside in South Africa is the crime rate, seeing as it puts
considerable distance between you and other people. This is the
reason why a lot of people choose properties situated in estates and
gated communities outside towns and cities instead of singular,
stand-alone country residences, as a certain sense of security and
community is involved. Of course the price range of country estates
and complexes is also considerably higher.
City life is all about convenience, which means
that should you find yourself in need of a plumber or some milk, or
just the urge to go out for a drink, for instance, quickly rushing
out isn’t always an option when living in the country.
Moving to the country can put a damper on your
social life, seeing as it’s harder for you to join friends for
last-minute plans in the city. On the other hand, a bigger country
house presents you with more space for when it’s your turn to host
Unless you’re able to work from home or are
retiring, you’ll need to head into the city for work, which will
add time onto your daily commute.
It is also important to
keep the following in mind when opting to purchase an existing
Restoration and renovation costs, if
The risk of overpaying for a home and then
being unable to sell it afterwards.
The possibility of over-stretching your
finances, for example, taking on a mortgage that you realise only
afterwards you can’t afford.
The costs of country
When it comes to
constructing a country house, there is no final price, as the costs
can differ dramatically based on fixtures, fittings, finishes,
locations (for example, residential construction like free-standing
houses, townhouses and flats is most expensive in KwaZulu-Natal),
size and the choice of building company. However, a safe price range
to look at is between R6,000/m² and R7,500/m².
Compare these figures
with the general costs per m² for building a flat (R8,163), a
townhouse (R6,802), and a free-standing houses (R5,932).
Let homify help
Dreaming of enjoying a
countryside lifestyle? homify can definitely help to inspire you,
thanks to our ever-increasing range of housing examples (from
free-standing homes and manor houses to prefab buildings and city-bound flats), sporting a range of different
styles, sizes and designs. In addition, we also put you in contact
with an amazing range of professional services (such as architects,
carpenters, interior designers and much more) to help put the
finishing touches on your home (and room and garden etc.).