Below are links to free online books about planning and building houses, barns and other types of buildings. All contain illustrations and most have floor plans.
For tips on reading online and downloading, see the note at the bottom of this page.
Illustrated Homes: A Series of Papers Describing Real Homes and Real People
Boston: Osgood 1875
Gardner, E. C.Go to Book
Convenient Houses with Fifty Plans for the Housekeeper …
NY: Crowell 1889
Gibson, Louis H. Go to Book
(title continued) “… Architect and Housewife; a Journey through the House; Fifty convenient house plans; practical house building for the owner; business points in building; how to pay for a home”
Also see: Section 728 Residences. Outbuildings in Architecture through History and Home-Design
Domestic Architecture: Being a Series of Designs for Mansions, Villas, Rectory houses …
London: Longman 1833
Goodwin, FrancisGo to Book
(title continued) “… Parsonage houses, Bailiffs’ lodge, Gardener’s lodge, Game-keeper’s lodge, Park gate lodges, etc. in the Grecian, Italian, and old English styles of architecture. With observations on the appropriate choice of site; the whole designed with strict reference to the practicability of erection, and with due attention to the important consideration of uniting elegance, convenience and domestic comfort with economy … With accurate estimates appended to each design. With colored plates”
Barn Plans and Outbuildings
NY: Orange Judd 1881
Halsted, Byron D.Go to Book
Two Hundred and fifty-seven Illustrations.
Barns, Outbuildings and Fences
NY: Woodward 1870
Harney, George E.Go to Book
“Illustrated with a series of 120 original designs and plans, with descriptive matter.”
The House, a Manual of Rural Architecture, or, How to Build Country Houses …
NY: American News 1866
Jacques, D. H. Go to Book
(title continued) “… and Out-buildings embracing the Origin and Meaning of the House; the art of house-building, including planning, style and construction ; designs and descriptions of cottages farmhouses, villas and out-buildings, of various cost and in the different styles of architecture, etc., etc. ; and an appendix containing recipes for paints and washes, stucco, rough-cast, etc. ; and instructions for roofing, building with rough stone, unburnt brick, balloon frames, and the concrete or gravel wall ; with numerous original plans”
Wilderness Homes: A Book of the Log Cabin
NY: Outing 1908
Kemp, Oliver Go to Book
Radford’s Combined House and Barn Plan Book …
Chicago: Radford 1908
Radford, William A., ed.Go to Book
(title continued) “… being a complete collection of practical, economical and common sense plans of houses, barns, outbuildings, stock sheds, etc. : illustrated with over twelve hundred copper half tone plates and zinc etchings, and containing over three hundred house and barn designs”
NY: Craftsman 1909
Stickley, GustavGo to Book
Tips for Reading Online and Downloading
More than half the books on our website at History of the Great Lakes States are hosted by Internet Archive or Open Library. They are sister organizations and use the same online viewer application. In most cases this viewer will give you nearly perfect text if you;
1. switch from the double-page to the single-page view by using the icons in the bottom right corner, and;
2. Keep zooming in until the text snaps into a clear focus.
Using the single-page view allows you to scroll pages down with your mouse wheel.
You can download books from these two sites by clicking on the book name at the top-left corner of the page (in the viewer) to get to the download menu.