Many believe the term “shotgun house” was due to a bullet could be fired through the front door and go right out the rear door without hitting any walls! More appropriately evidence has it the name shotgun house came from a corruption of the West African term “shogun” which means God’s House.
Reader Sheree from Frisco City wrote: “I want a building that looks like an old southern shotgun house is that a possibility? I wanted approximately 800-900 sf.”
Post frame construction lends itself aptly to the shotgun house style. Shotgun houses typically have one room leading into the next, without any hallways. It is particularly suited for hot climates, as the front and rear entry doors can be opened to allow for a breeze to flow through the entire house. On the front is a covered porch which provides shade for outdoor visiting.
The most typical width for shotgun houses is 12 feet, which happens to be a very economical width in post frame construction. The same can hold true for length – using a 12 foot long covered porch, then multiples of 12 feet in length, in order to get the most bang for the buck.
Post frame shotgun houses can be designed over open crawl spaces, several feet off of the ground. This affords yet another method of cooling as the shaded area beneath the porch and house will be cooler than the surrounding ambient air temperature.
By the use of bookshelf style wall girts, deep wall insulation cavities can be created. Raised heel trusses also afford a space for added insulation to help maintain comfortable temperatures,
The narrow width of the shotgun house, allows for them to be constructed on urban lots which would otherwise be unable to be built upon. Many older cities have lots which were originally laid out in widths as narrow as 25 feet!
Considering an affordable design for a shotgun house? If so, investigate post frame, the savings may be a pleasant surprise!