R.House, a prefab home for rural Scotland | Rural Design Architects

The R.House by Rural Design | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

With its rugged landscape and scenic natural beauty, Scotland’s Isle of Skye has become a popular holiday destination. But like many tourism hot spots where outsiders are snapping up properties, that popularity has resulted in a shortage of housing for locals. To address that, Rural Design Architects teamed up with James MacQueen Builders to produce the R.House, a line of small contemporary houses designed for the Skye and Highlands markets. At the same time, they wanted to stimulate the regional economy by using local workers and locally-sourced building materials.

The R.House has a simple gabled form and traditional exterior finishes inspired by local farmhouses and barns. The line-up now includes five base floor plans, offering from one to four bedrooms. Buyers can modify the internal layouts or add space with optional lean-to additions. They then choose from a selection of roofing and siding materials. These components are designed so that no matter how they are mixed and matched, the result is a low-key contemporary house that fits in comfortably with the vernacular architecture and landscape of Skye.

The R.House by Rural Design | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

One significant cost-saving measure was to prefabricate the houses indoors, sheltered from Skye’s often stormy and unpredictable weather. Wall and roof sections are panelized in a warehouse, allowing the workers to be much more productive. With a faster build time comes a lower price tag. Building inside also keeps the wood dry and makes it easier to apply materials, resulting in better quality and a tighter building envelope. That and high levels of insulation contribute to durable homes that require little energy for heating.

The R.House by Rural Design | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

Shown here is Skeabost Wood Cottage, which is based on the two-bedroom R2 floor plan. The owners customized it with a lean-to addition for an entry mudroom, as well as by opening up the living room to the original entry area. The exterior finish choices were board-on-board Scottish larch siding and corrugated aluminum roofing. Skeabost Wood Cottage can be rented for holiday stays through HolidayLettings.

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Photographs courtesy of R.House.

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