Come see this collection of more than 30 classic home designs and house plans from 1958, during the mid-century housing boom when millions of residences were being built in America.
Mid-century house designs: What are home buyers looking for in 1958?
Today’s home builders have been taking a long, deep look at today’s home buyers. These houses are, quite literally, created out of the stuff that dreams are made of — your dreams, when you describe the kind of a dwelling you’d like to make into your family castle.
See these mid-century house designs & floor plans
Click on any image to see a larger version, and to start viewing all of these vintage house designs!
Who are the buyers?
A composite picture of Mr. and Mrs. Modern Home Buyer goes about like this:
Mr. Modern Home Buyer is probably in his early thirties — and there is a 50 percent chance that he has already owned a home, but is looking for another more exactly suited to his tastes which, in most cases, have changed as his family expanded! If Mr. Home Buyer chooses an older house to try, he is likely to be a little older than the median age. If he selects a new home, he may very well be a little younger.
Mr. Modern Home Buyer makes a median income of close to $5,000. Half of all his home-buying colleagues will be in the $4,000 to $7,500 bracket. Of these, 30 percent will earn less than $4,000 a year — while only 16 percent will earn over $7,500.
He has an average of two children — both under eighteen. If he is like one out of three families who have been buying homes, there will be a second wage earner living in his family, probably his wife.
New homes from the ’50s
Mr. and Mrs. Modern Home Buyer have lots of company — because out of every five households in the United States, three live in homes which they own. When, this September, he sets out to look for a new house — or, at least, to dream a little about buying — just what will he be looking for? The builders know the answer to that one, too.
If he is like most homebuyers. houses in the $12,000 to $18,000 bracket will hold particular interest for him. He will want three bedrooms and two baths — and he likes to think that he might be able to have a den he could call his own, as well.
SEE MORE: 7 budget small house designs (1956)
The fact that he favors a double carport — or a double garage — indicates the strong trend toward two-car families. He’d like, too, to have both a screened porch and a patio — but if he has to settle for one, the screened porch has a slight edge.
Mrs. Home Buyer comes into the picture in firmly wanting a basement for added storage space. And the whole family prefers homes on one level, with the split-level taking second place. They picture the house having a low-pitched roof, and brick is a high favorite among exterior material choice.
The home buyers would like to have a fireplace, at least in their living room, they are willing to put as much as $500 extra for air conditioning, and would be glad to pay the builder $200 to handle the landscaping for them, instead of doing it themselves.
About these mid-century house designs and home floor plans
As the well-read homeseeker may quickly notice, the homes shown are rather closely patterned to reflect the recommendations of the Women’s Congress on Housing.
As might be expected, the several basic plans and functional features which they thought most important for different families in different price ranges required many compromises in detail. So also were they subject to further modification in order to achieve a variety of personalized exteriors, without which so few would be permanently satisfactory.
In the interest of conveying “reality,” our previous plan books have favored the use of actual photographs of existing homes; but in order to assemble a greater collection of wanted features into immediate form — as well as secure them in production printable colors — this book is made up primarily as an artist would “materialize” an architect’s “custom plan” — to show a home as planned, but not yet built.
Building costs can be determined only by a competent contractor from plans and specifications. Naturally, a material list is helpful, and the more complete the plans, the closer or more accurate the estimate. Our plans show 5 to 7 large sheets. They are designed to meet the requirements of all lending agencies, and will help any builder to construct a better home.
In order to help you arrive at approximate costs of these homes, we have included with each plan the Square Footage. Your local lumber dealer, lending agency, or builder can suggest the price range, as applied to different types of construction. Quite naturally, this can be only approximate, might need a little “uppage” if the house is undersized or “loaded” with equipment, and could be lower where rooms carry more space for the same number of doors, windows and closets.