Sustainable Home Sets New Standard For The “Classic Farmhouse”

The classic farmhouse has a strong tradition here in the valley. The big front porch, gathering space for the family, large kitchen to host friends and neighbors, and of course an incredible view. This time honored traditional design has a place in our hearts. We see farmhouses on classic television shows as part of the American Dream. We love this type of house. So how do you improve on something that is so loved and has been around for so long? How can we blend traditional with sustainable?


The ugly side of this traditional design is often overlooked. For anyone living in a classic farmhouse you know the joy is often tempered with a cool breeze inside during cold months. The windows are beautiful, but often are hard to open. The wood siding offers a warm texture to the home, but also needs to be painted on a regular basis. The classic farmhouse is often hard to maintain, not comfortable, and usually invites in many unwanted guests like spiders, snakes, and field mice.

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So we took this style of home and created a new Classic Farmhouse. This home in Rockingham County features a metal roof, cement siding that has a 25 year paint warranty, energy-efficient windows, and a high performance heating and cooling system. The warm elements used in traditional farmhouse design are all present in this new creation. We simply added a touch of attention to the healthy, energy-efficient, and durable design elements. From the open kitchen, large front porch and big deck, to the tall windows and abundant storage, this sustainable home sets a new standard for the Classic Farmhouse.

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There is plenty of space to enjoy the beautiful views of the farm.

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The stone fireplace adds texture and warmth to the living room.

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The large open kitchen allows for lots of entertaining family and friends.

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A classic claw foot tub and a luxurious walk-in shower provides an oasis away from the kids.

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A reading loft looks over into the living room and the kids bedrooms have impressive views.

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This fun touch is found in the kids bathroom upstairs.

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Mudroom / Laundry Room – a must for all farmhouses. The cubbies make a great place for the kids to stow all their gear in one organized space.

Built by Beck Builders

Photography by Susan Beck.

Give us a call if you are ready to create a new twist on an American classic design.



On the Road Collaborative: Sustainable Farm House Tour

North Fork Middle School

This past week our On The Road Collaborative student group had the opportunity to tour a sustainable farm house under construction. Eric Beck, Beck Builders, was our tour guide and helped the students understand the career of a builder.

North Fork Middle School

The students had lots of questions and the tour gave them a good idea of how big their rooms should be in the houses that they are designing. They had a chance to see cellulose insulation, precast concrete walls, and drywall dust. They experienced the cold and muddy conditions that he faces all winter. They got to see a partially complete house and use imagination to guess what it will look like finished.

North Fork Middle School

There were questions about plumbing rough-ins, porch railings, and electrical distribution. They wondered about door placements and kitchen layout. They are becoming designers.

North Fork Middle School

While the snow was falling and our tour was shorter than I hoped, the students learned a lot and all seemed to have a great time.

About “Design This”

“Design This”, led by Charles Hendricks and Deborah Smith with The Gaines Group, is an interactive course with On the Road Collaborative that introduces students to the world of architectural design. Using a 3-D software program called Sketch-Up each student will design a sustainable farmhouse for a family of 4. This class introduces spatial design, mathematics, programming, aesthetics, sustainability, and architecture in a fun and creative fashion. In the class each student will be introduced to typical construction terminology like wood studs, concrete, insulation, HVAC, flooring, shingles, siding, and foundations. They will have to decide how complicated and creative their homes will be as they work through the design. From the site tour of a house under construction to guest speakers talking about their role in the world of construction, this session will provide a glimpse into the wide array of career opportunities that exist. If you are interested in design or construction, this course will give you a first hand look into the exciting profession.

on the road collaborative


Harrisonburg Sustainable Farmhouse project update 2

Harrisonburg Sustainable Farmhouse project update 2

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I had a chance to stop by the Harrisonburg Sustainable Farmhouse project this week. Beck Builders is making great progress even with all the wet weather. The windows are flashed, the drywall hung, and the roof installed. I am looking forward to the interior finishes coming together. The house features high performance Marvin Integrity Windows, HVAC system, and insulation. Each room has lots of natural light even on a cloudy day. The wrap around porch will offer the appropriate shading in the summer for family gathering times. The walk-out basement has lots of storage. The views from every room in this building are incredible for being so close to in town. The low maintenance cementitious siding, metal roof, and energy-efficient design will make this a sustainable farmhouse for many years to come.

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Harrisonburg Sustainable Farmhouse Project Update

Another new project is under construction and enjoying this mild winter weather. The Harrisonburg sustainable farmhouse is located just north of Harrisonburg city limits with some amazing views. The 3-bedroom home features an open floor plan that provides a living room, dining room, and kitchen space the brings family together. The master-bedroom suite has plenty of closet space and a luxurious master bath. The family room located on the main living level will provide a gathering space for many hours of fun and togetherness. The second floor has two bedrooms, a study, and a reading loft that opens into the living room on the first floor. The unfinished basement provides plenty of storage and future expansion space.

Read more about the Harrisonburg Sustainable Farmhouse HERE.

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