In Summary

With the growing population in the cities due to rural urban migration, some people have been forced to construct up-country to avoid the negative effects of a large population

Enock Kibbamu, an architect at Plantex consultants, describes a country home as a large set up in an open rural environment other than an urban restricted environment.

Albert Lapyem, an architect at Critical concepts Ltd, explains that there are many things that people should consider including a client beginning by sharing with your designer your thoughts of why you need a country home.

“Country homes are a good retreat from all the hustle and bustle in the city and hence need to be designed to create a feel of relaxation, peace and quiet. This can be achieved by designing spacious airy living rooms, and also having covered outdoor spaces or verandas,” Mr Lapyem explains.

Factors to consider
Lapyem explains that these homes serve to entertain big numbers especially during the festive seasons. Since guests will stay over, bedrooms should be big enough to allow for shared occupancy with separate bathrooms.

In most country homes, many would prefer using fire wood, Lapyem asserts that Kitchens would also need to be designed factoring in the fuel you would mostly be using to cook in your home.

He adds that country homes usually double as farm houses so storage of farm produce needs to be given consideration. “The design process gives guidance to the builder, so key thought needs to be given to the materials specified for the construction so that you do not have to break the bank to get it built. The rule of thumb is that you use the materials readily available in your locality,” Lapyem explains.

Power and water
Make consideration for renewable energy sources such as solar backup power solutions, and Bio gas. For water, rainwater harvesting into reservoir tanks would save you quite a bit. The other option that comes with a price tag is sinking a borehole. However, this comes with benefits.

House and neighbourliness
The size of the house is usually determined by the number of users. For country homes, on average a four bedroom house would suffice.
Create a good relationship with your neighbours. Lapyem says fencing with chain link, and thorn bush hedges would be quite sufficient. The doors and windows need to be fabricated against burglar intrusion.

“Doors and windows will need to be made burglar proof by having the locking hasps located where its impossible to access from the outside.However, be sure not to make the burglar proofing to the windows hideous to a point that they compromise the aesthetics of the building,” Lapyem advises.

Trees in the compound
For those who love trees, he explains that when considering trees with a wide span crown, six metres from the external wall of the building would be adequate. An interesting fact about trees is that the reach of the roots from the stem, is approximately equal to the reach of the branches from the stem. So, when the branches reach your house, the roots are damaging the foundation of the house.
“The architect should be able to guide you be it a general or land architect. You need tall trees to act as wind breakers but they should be spaced,” Kibbamu says.

When building, sustainability should be considered because you go there occasionally so you need material that can take long to be repaired and washed.

For an ordinary person, he says that fencing is not needed but it rather defines your boundary.

Kibbamu asserts that one should also be mindful of the environmental aspect, “For example if am in the Eastern region will be affected with earthquakes, wind and in Bududa things such as land slides have to come into question”.

QUICK CHECK
Going about it. Country homes are a good retreat from all the hustle and bustle of the city and hence need to be designed to create a feel of relaxation, peace and quiet. This can be achieved by designing spacious airy living rooms, and having covered outdoor spaces or verandas.

Make consideration for renewable energy sources such as solar backup power solutions, and Bio gas, a tank for rainwater harvesting into reservoir tanks.


jkigongo@ug.nationmedia.com