One of the most prominent house plan companies was National Plan Service, Inc. Specializing in middle-class house designs, the company worked to meet the almost insatiable desire for homes during the mid century.
The company dates back to at least 1920 according to David Reiff in Houses from Books. Over the ensuing decades, NPS distributed their plans in the same way most companies did at the time. They selected a series of plans and by arrangement with lumber and building suppliers, they would print sets of plans as a brochure to entice prospective home builders to purchase the complete plans and materials. Most catalogs bear the imprint of the of the lumber company with its location and contact information.
The assets of National Plan Service were acquired by HDA in 1997.
We've culled plans from a variety of books by NPS that range from colonial-inspired plans, minimal traditionals, transitional ranches, and contemporary moderns. Most are on the smaller side, given that Americans had a good sense of what they could afford and the average income during the 1950s hovered somewhere from $5000 to $10,000 year. Square footage in 1950 was a modest average of about 1000 square feet, but growing to just over 1200 by 1960.
© 2011 — Mid Century Home Style