AskDefine | Define farmhouse

Dictionary Definition

farmhouse n : house for a farmer and family

User Contributed Dictionary



farm + house


  1. The farmer's residence.


Extensive Definition

Farmhouse is a general term for the main house of a farm. It is a type of building or house which serves a residential purpose in a rural or agricultural setting. Most often, the surrounding environment will be a farm. These buildings are usually 2 stories, but early buildings were single story. Many farm houses are shaped like a T. The perpendicular section is referred to as the ell.
These buildings tend to be more pragmatic than aesthetic, but often well-stocked or well-furnished in terms of food, insulation or in other aspects dealing with daily necessities. The supply of agricultural products from its environment tends to be a factor for this, as well as stressing the need for productivity and pragmatism in the survival of the farm. The farmhouse allows the farmers, workers and often their families to reside in proximity to their workplace - namely the farm in question. This allows the farmers and workers to arrive at the workplace earlier, increasing the productivity of the farm.


Sometimes it may refer to a building design style, or a building's former purpose. This may occur when the farming area has been developed for other purposes, but the building itself still stands. Architectural styles vary, but very often they are of Cape Cod design.
In general styles vary from region to region, but more often the style is simplistic so to serve the needs (and the budget) of the owners.

Canadian Farmhouse

Canadian farmhouses were influenced by European settlers. In Quebec, the style varied from Gothic to Swiss. In Ontario, the farmhouses of the late 19th Century was of Victoria influence. Earlier ones used clapboard and later variations had brick. Many had porches out front. A dirt road would lead to the nearest concession road. As for out west, dwellings varied from single story wooden homesteads to straw huts. Wooden houses were built later as railroads allowed wood to be shipped from the Rockies (Alberta, BC, Montana) by 1915 they could be purchased as kits from the Eaton's catalog. Canadian homes often differ from their American counterparts in that the porch is enclosed.

Norwegian Farmhouse

Norwegian farmhouses used timber or logs and built in the Scandinavian Vernacular style. The first examples are traced back to the 1200s to the 1900s.

Farmhouses as country estates

Lately, "farmhouse" has come to be used to mean an expensive housing estate in the countryside, away from the city. In this modern extended use of the term, the farmhouse may or may not be related to an actual farm - frequently, in fact, "farmhouses" are not based around any actual farm. While farm produce sustained the traditional farmhouses, sustenance for the modern farmhouse is provided by outside resources. These modern farmhouses are often a rural retreat for wealthy people who come to these places for vacation and rest, or to escape the atmosphere of the city. While many of these farmhouses have been handed down through generations, where originally farm produce could have been the main revenue source, other such farmhouses are being built new.


See also

External links

farmhouse in Japanese: ファームハウス
farmhouse in Norwegian: Våningshus
farmhouse in Swedish: Mangårdsbyggnad
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