A New Book for 2010


Prosperity Plans: How to Create a Low-Cost Small Home That Can Grow Over Time

Has today's economy made you put off your dreams of a new home? The new book, Prosperity Plans, might get you dreaming again.

"Informative and creative ideas" A.H., Canada

Prosperity Plans Book Cover

Prosperity Plans - A complete reprint of the 1935 booklet, Farmhouse Plans, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with forty small house designs, in a twenty-first century edition with Internet sources of working drawings and construction details


Edited by Donald J. Berg, AIA


 "An interesting look back to where we were only a few generations ago...it's time to look at homes like this and abandon the 'McMansion' generation...well written and researched" J.D., West Central Florida

Today's architects, builders and prospective homeowners can all learn from a series of fascinating "Growing House" designs created in 1934. That was the time of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl droughts, when Americans faced economic horrors that make today's problems seem mild.

The designs, first published in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's booklet, Farmhouse Plans, show how low-cost, small houses can be planned to grow into larger, more comfortable homes, over time. The idea was to help homeowners spread the cost of construction over many years as houses were expanded in two, three or more stages.

The Growing Houses all started with attractive cottages, each with a kitchen, bath and one or two multi-purpose rooms. Carefully planned additional stages of construction added more bedrooms and more formal living spaces with very little demolition and little or no disruption of family life. Each stage created a new home that looked as good or better than the one before it.

1936 Kentucky Farmhouse 1937 North Carolina Homestead

Kentucky Farmhouse, 1936                            North Carolina Growing House, 1937

Prosperity Plans includes a complete reprint of the original 1935 booklet with forty home plans, floor plans, a new forward by architect Donald J. Berg, photos of the homes and the times, and links to Internet sources of free downloadable copies of the houses' original construction drawings and building details.

Softcover copies of the new book are available at Amazon.com and other booksellers. A free, downloadable preview, as well as links to the free construction drawings, are available below.

"Good historical reference...good starting point for those wanting an economical house" C.E.P., Tucson, AZ



Preview Prosperity Plans. Get a free, downloadable copy of the forward and samples of the Growing House designs and floor plans. Click Here >>>


See the original, 1934 blueprints and construction details. Get free downloadable plans and links to other free USDA home, barn and outbuilding plans. Read hundreds of free USDA Farmers' Bulletins online. Click Here >>>


Order your copy of the new book, Prosperity Plans, for just $11.95 today at Amazon.com >>>



"Great and very timely in the current financial situation. This book will offer you some great ideas and starting-off points ...it's a great way to start out small and add on as you add to your family" C.R., Northeastern Oklahoma

1936 Mississippi Farmhouse

Mississippi Growing House, 1936

New House and Old Cabin - Georgia 1935







                                                                                                       New House and Old House, Georgia, 1935   

See a sample of a Growing House Design >>>

Order your copy of the new book, Prosperity Plans, for just $11.95 today at Amazon.com >>>


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Other books by Donald J. Berg:

Country Barn and Farm Fields

How to Build in the Country  This revised and enlarged edition of the popular book presents time-tested design ideas and building advice from the best of last century's architectural books, builders' guides and farm journals..

American Country Building Design Rediscovered plans for 19th-Century farmhouses, cottages, landscapes, barns, carriage houses and outbuildings with a look at the ideas behind the buildings.


Free Plans for Country Buildings:

Barns and Outbuildings  These free building manuals and blueprints can help teach you how to construct your own small barn, tractor shed, barn-style garage, pole barn, horse barn or equipment shelter.

Country Homes, Cottages and Cabins These free blueprints and building lessons can help you build an economical, small, energy efficient home for your future. Select from over sixty small home designs to plan your retirement cottage, getaway cabin, guest house or rental unit.

Garages and Workshops  These free online guidebooks, downloadable construction blueprints and project plans can help you create a great new garage, workshop or carport.

Solar, Green and Energy Efficient Home Plans
Create an efficient home that saves energy and takes advantage of free energy from the sun, the wind and the earth with these free building plans, project plans and guidebooks.

Backyard and Garden Projects Get great gazebo, arbor, pergola, deck, shed, greenhouse, playground, playhouse, dog house, birdhouse and outdoor furniture designs and building guides that you can use for free.