Robert Wells Response to Leander Perry Letter, 1958

Letter Image Page 1 (98k)
Letter Image Page 2 (73k)

15 December, 1958

Leander Perry,
Carmanville, N. D. B.

Dear Mr. Perry:

I received your letter of December 2nd and discussed your questions with a representative of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. In the matter of the cost of a particular house in the Book of Small House Designs, it is impossible to give an exact estimate. The cost will vary, depending on where the house is built and how well it is finished. Thus, the cost of house (design No. 803) may be higher in St. John's than in an outport. Furthermore, one contractor may charge more than another. The only way to get a worthwhile estimate of cost is to buy a set of plans from Central Mortgage and Housing (price $10.00) and send them to a contractor who works in the particular place where you wish to build. He can then calculate the cost of that house in that place.

I cannot purchase the plans, but I will write to a contractor in Harbour Grace and ask him to give me rough estimates of the costs of the houses which you mentioned, both completed and partly finished.

One thing was very clear from my discussions with Central Mortgage and Housing, and it was that house design No. 803 is that of a rather expensive house. For instance, its area is large, it calls for two bathrooms, much cupboard space, and other items which drive up cost. The other house (No. 412)

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is much more economically planned with an eye to saving costs. Even so, it would be quite a bit more expensive than the minimum house of which you have the plan. One of the things which greatly increases the costs of houses is the pouring of the basement, which the minimum house does without, which in No. 412 is quite small, and which is much larger in No. 803.

With regard to the sheathing, Central Mortgage and Housing tell me that according to their regulations they must have it nailed on the outside of the stud, as shown on the plan. I am enclosing a diagram which would give you a better idea of their way of building. If I can get some more information from a contractor on particular costs I will send it along.

Sincerely yours,

Provincial Economist


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