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A farmhouse 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 storeys, but early buildings were single story.
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 close 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. Styles vary from region to region, but more often the style is simiplistic so to serve the needs (and the budget) of the owners.
Canadian farmhouses was 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 storey wooden homesteads to straw huts.
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. Frequently identified with a rash and arrogant lifestyle of the nouveau-riche, many of these modern farmhouses are seen as incongruent and garish protrusions in a rural setting, an infestation of the countryside by the city. In India, the nouveau-riche are infamous for building many of these farmhouses, supposedly with corrupt money.
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