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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 29th Apr 2021 at 8:19 AM Last edited by Softlism : 10th Jun 2021 at 8:48 AM. Reason: edited the thread title
Hood project: transforming Veronaville into a German village
I want to transform Veronaville into a contemporary Western-German rural village and I've been googling for landscape, housing, and village planning inspiration. The hood is a small agricultural village with a stream flowing through it (can be either a channel or a river/tributary) and has a lot of half-timbered houses.

However, I want to base the hood on a specific state/region of Germany so I can refine the geography and involve regional culture things in my storytelling. So can any German Simmers share their thoughts with me?

Edit: images are added in post no. 3
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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 29th Apr 2021 at 10:46 AM
Not German myself but your description reminded me of the Black Forest region, I can definitely envision an alternative Veronaville version in a valley with the Fachwerk houses, surrounded by hills and forests. That would be very cute
(then I imagined the Summerdream family with traditional carnival costumes and that is kinda terrifying )
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#3 Old 29th Apr 2021 at 12:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsieur_Oshima
Not German myself but your description reminded me of the Black Forest region, I can definitely envision an alternative Veronaville version in a valley with the Fachwerk houses, surrounded by hills and forests. That would be very cute
(then I imagined the Summerdream family with traditional carnival costumes and that is kinda terrifying )


Lovely idea! When doing a quick google search, I stumbled upon Schiltach, but I want to build the lots more in an "open construction" manner instead of a closed construction.

Here are my pics of both pregame Veronaville as well as my modifications on redandvidya's version:


Pre-made Veronaville

Agricultural village and


Redandvidya's Veronaville modified with a natural-looking stream and more hills (used the modifyneighborhoodterrain cheat + gridlines for desert terrain mod). Still a WIP.

I want to add more lots to the hood (either inhabited or as filler houses) and tweak further the hood deco.

Already renovated one of the half-timbered lots into a Fachwerkhaus.
Mad Poster
#4 Old 1st May 2021 at 3:51 PM Last edited by AndrewGloria : 1st May 2021 at 5:51 PM.
Southern Niedersachsen (sometimes translated into English as Lower Saxony). I'm a bit biased, because I've lived there. (I'm Scottish, not German, but I studied for two semesters at Göttingen University.) There are hills around Veronaville, so it must be far enough south for the plains of the north to have given way to the beginnings of the Mittelgebirge. On the other hand the Roman influences, especially the aqueduct, which I see as Veronaville's trade mark (Warenzeichen) might make you want to place Veronaville further west -- say somewhere around Trier. I think that's Nordrhein-Westfalen.

For myself I think I prefer to keep the precise location of Veronaville rather vague. Despite obvious American features (like yellow school 'buses), it's whole look and feel is clearly European. The actual name is the Italian city of Verona (the setting of Romeo and Juliet and some other Shakespearean plays) with the French ending -ville (=town) added on. It is widely seen as having an English side and an Italian side, divided by a canal where Venetian style gondolas ply for trade. In my game I see Veronaville and Downtown as parts of the same town, with Veronaville as the old town (Altstadt) and Downtown, a short taxi ride away as the modern commercial, shopping, and leisure centre. Personally I like the canal. There is a canal in Göttingen too, though it's much narrower than the Veronaville one and definitely not navigable. (I think its purpose must have been to bring water into the town, possibly supplying power to watermills.) I've definitely seen ducks swimming on the Göttingen canal, and I think I've seen them on the Veronaville canal too.

As you've noticed, the Veronaville Tudor houses are not all that different from German Fachwerkhäuser. One difference in a village, is that a German village will often contain a fair number of agricultural buildings (often old and quite possibly in the Fachwerk style), whereas in England, as a result of "Enclosures" from the Tudor period onwards, barns, pigstyes and cowsheds have been banished to large farms outside the village. So to make Veronaville look more like a German village, it would help if you added a few such buildings.

I haven't moved Veronaville to Germany, but I'm sure you've noticed that I've got a German family living there. I mean of course the Moltkes, a family I added very early in my game, back in December 2012. The family lives at 100 Via Veronaville. Julian, the oldest boy (he pronounces his name the German way), recently married his long-term boyfriend Andrew Jones, and moved in with Andrew and his mum at 19 Chorus Court. Still living at 100 Via Veronaville are Julian's parents Martin and Manuela, and his younger siblings Brigitte (13) and Hans (8). I believe Manuela originally comes from somewhere in Latin America.

The church that I built for Veronaville actually looks more German than English. I'll post about it in your WCIF thread.

It's interesting that you should think of Schiltach. I've never been there, but it's the location my friend chose it for the location for his model railway! An interesting idea to move Veronaville to Schwabenland, but one of the reasons why I play with aging off is to get away from the "Schaffe schaffe, Häusle baue" ethos that the vanilla lifespan tries to force onto my Sims! I prefer a rather more relaxed playstyle. As Manuela Moltke might say, "Mañana!"

[EDIT] You definitely can see ducks in the Veronaville canal. I saw a mallard today today, swimming in the canal beside the Moltkes' house at 100 Via Veronaville.

All Sims are beautiful -- even the ugly ones.
My Simblr ~~ My LJ
Sims' lives matter!
The Veronaville kids are alright.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#5 Old 1st May 2021 at 8:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewGloria
Southern Niedersachsen (sometimes translated into English as Lower Saxony). I'm a bit biased, because I've lived there. (I'm Scottish, not German, but I studied for two semesters at Göttingen University.) There are hills around Veronaville, so it must be far enough south for the plains of the north to have given way to the beginnings of the Mittelgebirge. On the other hand the Roman influences, especially the aqueduct, which I see as Veronaville's trade mark (Warenzeichen) might make you want to place Veronaville further west -- say somewhere around Trier. I think that's Nordrhein-Westfalen.

For myself I think I prefer to keep the precise location of Veronaville rather vague. Despite obvious American features (like yellow school 'buses), it's whole look and feel is clearly European. The actual name is the Italian city of Verona (the setting of Romeo and Juliet and some other Shakespearean plays) with the French ending -ville (=town) added on. It is widely seen as having an English side and an Italian side, divided by a canal where Venetian style gondolas ply for trade. In my game I see Veronaville and Downtown as parts of the same town, with Veronaville as the old town (Altstadt) and Downtown, a short taxi ride away as the modern commercial, shopping, and leisure centre. Personally I like the canal. There is a canal in Göttingen too, though it's much narrower than the Veronaville one and definitely not navigable. (I think its purpose must have been to bring water into the town, possibly supplying power to watermills.) I've definitely seen ducks swimming on the Göttingen canal, and I think I've seen them on the Veronaville canal too.

As you've noticed, the Veronaville Tudor houses are not all that different from German Fachwerkhäuser. One difference in a village, is that a German village will often contain a fair number of agricultural buildings (often old and quite possibly in the Fachwerk style), whereas in England, as a result of "Enclosures" from the Tudor period onwards, barns, pigstyes and cowsheds have been banished to large farms outside the village. So to make Veronaville look more like a German village, it would help if you added a few such buildings.

I haven't moved Veronaville to Germany, but I'm sure you've noticed that I've got a German family living there. I mean of course the Moltkes, a family I added very early in my game, back in December 2012. The family lives at 100 Via Veronaville. Julian, the oldest boy (he pronounces his name the German way), recently married his long-term boyfriend Andrew Jones, and moved in with Andrew and his mum at 19 Chorus Court. Still living at 100 Via Veronaville are Julian's parents Martin and Manuela, and his younger siblings Brigitte (13) and Hans (8). I believe Manuela originally comes from somewhere in Latin America.

The church that I built for Veronaville actually looks more German than English. I'll post about it in your WCIF thread.

It's interesting that you should think of Schiltach. I've never been there, but it's the location my friend chose it for the location for his model railway! An interesting idea to move Veronaville to Schwabenland, but one of the reasons why I play with aging off is to get away from the "Schaffe schaffe, Häusle baue" ethos that the vanilla lifespan tries to force onto my Sims! I prefer a rather more relaxed playstyle. As Manuela Moltke might say, "Mañana!"

[EDIT] You definitely can see ducks in the Veronaville canal. I saw a mallard today today, swimming in the canal beside the Moltkes' house at 100 Via Veronaville.


Thank you for the detailed answer!! This is very helpful.

I was also thinking of an German area with more Roman influences. Trier lies in the west of Rhineland-Palatinate btw (just checked Wiki), but I already was thinking of letting VV set in that state. The reason I want to pick a certain state is to involve some regional cultural aspects, like the way they celebrate Carnival and the German slang words they use.

I understood that a single small German village usually has a small creek flowing through instead of a river/tributary. I've already modified the channel into a more natural looking current in redandvidya's New VV version, but I was thinking of narrowing down the stream into a creek if it makes more sense for a German village. I want to add swans as well for a running gag in my story where my OC Sim regularly gets in a fight with them during breeding season.

When I played VV for the first time, I didn't knew back then that UK also has those timbered houses and the Shakespeare influences, so I associated it with Germany and created a story with my OCs that's set in Germany.

I haven't built a downtown yet because I am waiting for a 4t2 version of Windenburg (in my story, the nightlife facilities are far away from the village). However, I do want to create a shopping subhood to let the Townie Sims live there, such as Kendra. Which premade hood terrain would suit best for a German village, you think?

Ooh I'd love to find a German style church! I was planning to build more lots anyway since German villages are usually more closely built.

Regarding transport, I can always adjust the bus color or let teen/child Sims go to school by bicycle or walking out of the lot to an imaginary bus stop.

I also play with aging off because I want to create more stories for my teen sims.
Mad Poster
#6 Old 1st May 2021 at 11:55 PM
I don't know much about the geography of Germany, but my head cannon is that it would be in the Rheinland-Pfalz because I always wanted a Sims nhood near the famous Nurburgring race track...

zu, zu, zu matán
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 2nd May 2021 at 7:36 PM
Bavaria and Baden-Würtemberg were the first ones that came to my mind, though there are Fachwerk houses in lots of other areas of Germany as well.

One of the cities most famous for its Fachwerk style buildings is Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria, if you want to google for inspiration.
Top Secret Researcher
#8 Old 3rd May 2021 at 4:06 AM
Definitely Bavaria
Test Subject
#9 Old 3rd May 2021 at 10:13 PM
I am German and the original Veronaville does not remind me of any specific region. The way the houses and lots are arranged seems too atypical and too much like suburbia for me. I guess it will all depend on how your houses will look like.
There are many different variations of half-timbered houses in Germany. Maybe google for "Freilichtmuseum" (outdoor museum) and have a look at the houses from different museums to find your favorites and read the background information provided on these websites. As Rothenburg already has been mentioned: Maybe also google Colmar. It is part of France today, but has belonged to the Holy Roman Empire in the past. Colmar has a river that could inspire you how to include the Veronaville river.

Within a region, there is usually a predominant roof type (gable roof, hip roof, half-hip roof, etc.) and the dormers also look rather similar.
If you want to have farm houses, you might want to have a look at different house layouts at Wikipedia. At the bottom of the page, there are links to several other house types. You also could google different typical farm layouts (everything in one building, two, three and four-sided yards etc.). Your preferences for roof and layout might help you to decide on a region.
If you want to have town houses, you should be aware that there usually is no garden in front of the house and houses are built without gaps inbetween or with very narrow gaps. Building space in towns and cities was expensive. Therefore, many houses have less space on the ground floor and more space on upper floors as these floors protrude in direction to the street (see house on the right). If the original house owner was an artisan, it is quite likely that the ground floor was a workspace and only the upper floors were used for living. Depending on the profession of the original owner, many houses - even within towns and cities - have big gates. More expensive houses have a gate and a front door, less expensive houses only have a gate or the front door built within the gate.

You should look up how much stone is available in a certain region and whether brickstones were produced nearby. If there is lots of stone/brickstone available, houses usually were built with stones/brickstones. If there is only a limited amount available, the ground floor usually is built with stone and the upper floors are half-timbered. If very little is available, even the ground floor can be half-timbered. In the second and in the latter case, the use of stone is an indicator of wealth. Thus, the bigger and more expensive a house is, the more stone parts it contains.
You also should decide whether your Veronaville should be located in a catholic or protestant region. As far as I know, decorations are more common in catholic regions (although they also can be an indicator for wealth). In catholic regions, it is also quite common to have a madonna figure madonna figure or a crucifix on the outside of the house on a cornice or in an alcove.
Regarding the river/creek discussion: Both is possible. Water supply was important for establishing a settlement. As rivers enable trading by ship, settlements next to a river had a better chance of becoming a town or city, but not every settlement next to a river has turned into a town. As long as you do not plan to have a historic setting, the river should be the more realistic option as many creeks have been canalized within built-up areas several decades ago so that you cannot see them on the surface anymore.

If you combine some of these elements, you can make your Veronaville look like the region of your choice.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#10 Old 4th May 2021 at 7:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralna
I am German and the original Veronaville does not remind me of any specific region. The way the houses and lots are arranged seems too atypical and too much like suburbia for me. I guess it will all depend on how your houses will look like.
There are many different variations of half-timbered houses in Germany. Maybe google for "Freilichtmuseum" (outdoor museum) and have a look at the houses from different museums to find your favorites and read the background information provided on these websites. As Rothenburg already has been mentioned: Maybe also google Colmar. It is part of France today, but has belonged to the Holy Roman Empire in the past. Colmar has a river that could inspire you how to include the Veronaville river.

Within a region, there is usually a predominant roof type (gable roof, hip roof, half-hip roof, etc.) and the dormers also look rather similar.
If you want to have farm houses, you might want to have a look at different house layouts at Wikipedia. At the bottom of the page, there are links to several other house types. You also could google different typical farm layouts (everything in one building, two, three and four-sided yards etc.). Your preferences for roof and layout might help you to decide on a region.
If you want to have town houses, you should be aware that there usually is no garden in front of the house and houses are built without gaps inbetween or with very narrow gaps. Building space in towns and cities was expensive. Therefore, many houses have less space on the ground floor and more space on upper floors as these floors protrude in direction to the street (see house on the right). If the original house owner was an artisan, it is quite likely that the ground floor was a workspace and only the upper floors were used for living. Depending on the profession of the original owner, many houses - even within towns and cities - have big gates. More expensive houses have a gate and a front door, less expensive houses only have a gate or the front door built within the gate.

You should look up how much stone is available in a certain region and whether brickstones were produced nearby. If there is lots of stone/brickstone available, houses usually were built with stones/brickstones. If there is only a limited amount available, the ground floor usually is built with stone and the upper floors are half-timbered. If very little is available, even the ground floor can be half-timbered. In the second and in the latter case, the use of stone is an indicator of wealth. Thus, the bigger and more expensive a house is, the more stone parts it contains.
You also should decide whether your Veronaville should be located in a catholic or protestant region. As far as I know, decorations are more common in catholic regions (although they also can be an indicator for wealth). In catholic regions, it is also quite common to have a madonna figure madonna figure or a crucifix on the outside of the house on a cornice or in an alcove.
Regarding the river/creek discussion: Both is possible. Water supply was important for establishing a settlement. As rivers enable trading by ship, settlements next to a river had a better chance of becoming a town or city, but not every settlement next to a river has turned into a town. As long as you do not plan to have a historic setting, the river should be the more realistic option as many creeks have been canalized within built-up areas several decades ago so that you cannot see them on the surface anymore.

If you combine some of these elements, you can make your Veronaville look like the region of your choice.


Thank you for the detailed answer, tips and links! I'm gonna check those links you've sent .

Since I want to retain the Italian/Roman influences, what are your thoughts about letting it set somewhere in Rhineland-Palastinate?

I haven't decided yet to involve catholic or protestant influences -- also because I couldn't find much variation in timbered walls that also match with plain white plastered walls.

The original Veronaville buildings had stone walls on the ground floor, but aren't the ground floors with stone walls usually used as cellars?

For the sake of ease in building houses, I was thinking of building mainly detached houses with gardens, but with the lot plots next to each other, so the construction type isn't too open. Is this type of construction in villages a regional characteristic, or not? And where can I find which roof type is mostly predominant in a certain region?

On a side note, I've managed to transform the Veronaville channel into a natural-looking tributary kind of river and elevated the hills ^^. But I still have to think about how to decorate the hood with farm fields and more trees.


Test Subject
#11 Old 5th May 2021 at 5:19 PM
Italian/Roman influences: Here is a list of aqueducts or part of aqueducts in Germany. As there is no English overview for this on Wikipedia, I had to link the German version. When you click on one of the articles, you can see on the left side whether there is also an English version for this particular entry. Most of the articles are about the Eifel aqueduct or certain parts of it. This aqueduct connected the Eifel region with Cologne (both located in Nordrhein-Westfalen).
The Italian/Roman-style houses are not typical for Germany at all. They remind me of Tuscany, but maybe I have the same kind of stereotype thinking as some people have about Germany/Bavaria.
If you go by temperatures, the Upper Rhine Plain is pretty much the warmest part of Germany so that this kind of architecture could fit there better than in other regions.

Ground floor/cellar: Ground floors were not suitable as cellar because the temperature was not constant enough. If you want to have cellars, vaulted cellars would be the most typical ones. In towns, the stairs are inside the house while on farms, they also can be inside a subsidiary building or outside.
Stone and brickstone was the preferred material for buildings as they are stable and durable. Thus, if they were available in your region and if you could afford them, you would use these materials for buildings. It also was a way of showing of your wealth and if at least the ground floor was made from stone, there also was a lower risk for fires due to the fireplace in the kitchen. Sleeping rooms usually did not have any heating so that the risk for fires was lower on the upper floors.

Detached houses: I think that detached houses really are an exception so that having more than one or two of that type would look unnatural. The space of towns was limited by town walls so that people tried to squeeze in as many buildings as possible. In the middle of the town, you have a few buildings that stand out, like church, town hall, maybe the house of the major and priest. These buildings might be less jammed than the other buildings and even might have a bit of green around, although not on all four sides. Then there is a ring of buildings that are built without any unneccessary gaps inbetween, frequently adjoining just small alleyways, not bigger streets. In the outskirts, you might find some houses that have a small garden behind the house. Even in rural areas with farms, buildings usually are very close to the buildings on the next lot (some exceptions exist, but mainly in northern Germany). Houses and subsidiary buildings frequently are arranged in a U-shape or in a rectangular shape with a paved yard in the middle. As no wall limits the village, the lots can be very long with a big garden behind the buildings. There also might be a small, decorative front yard, but more than just 1-2 ingame squares would be too much imho. Fields and meadows are outside of the village. A few farms also are located outside of a village, but these farms are surrounded by many, many fields so that usually there is no other building and no big road nearby. Most detached houses have been built within the last 100 years and are not half-timbered style anymore. Thus, I think that for a realistic atmosphere, you will have to use the lot adjuster.

Roof type: I do not think that there is a single website that provides you with this information for every region. The best option should be to google for "Freilichtmuseum" and have a look at different houses on the website of each museum. They usually have lots of information on where the house originally came from, when it was built, the profession of the owner etc.

Location somewhere in Rheinland-Pfalz: I think it is difficult to use today's 16 states to define the location. These states have been formed after the second world war. Both the half-timbered houses and the cultural elements that you want to include are older than this. While the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation etc. existed, there were a few hundred individual states, imperial cities etc. Thus, some regions with the same culture are part of different states today while there are big cultural differences within one state.

I looked up some more towns and villages with half-timbered houses so that you get some more impressions. I just picked on picture per place, but there should be many more for each place. I mostly chose places in Western Germany and close to the Rhein.

Bad Dürkheim
Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Bad Bergzabern
Ladenburg - also has many walls dating back to Roman times, although they are not Veronaville style
Weinheim
Bensheim
Marburg
Monschau
Freudenberg
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#12 Old 5th May 2021 at 10:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralna
The Italian/Roman-style houses are not typical for Germany at all. They remind me of Tuscany, but maybe I have the same kind of stereotype thinking as some people have about Germany/Bavaria.
If you go by temperatures, the Upper Rhine Plain is pretty much the warmest part of Germany so that this kind of architecture could fit there better than in other regions.


Thanks for the links and suggestion! I will take a look at the Upper Rhine Plain for hood deco inspo. However, I was thinking to give the Italian-style houses a German touch, but with southwestern influences (e.g. südwestdeutsches Einhaus or Lothringerhaus).

Quote:
Stone and brickstone was the preferred material for buildings as they are stable and durable. Thus, if they were available in your region and if you could afford them, you would use these materials for buildings. (...)


Do you know by chance which regions in the west/southwest had more stone available?

Quote:
Detached houses: I think that detached houses really are an exception so that having more than one or two of that type would look unnatural. The space of towns was limited by town walls so that people tried to squeeze in as many buildings as possible. In the middle of the town, you have a few buildings that stand out, like church, town hall, maybe the house of the major and priest. These buildings might be less jammed than the other buildings and even might have a bit of green around, although not on all four sides. Then there is a ring of buildings that are built without any unneccessary gaps inbetween, frequently adjoining just small alleyways, not bigger streets. In the outskirts, you might find some houses that have a small garden behind the house. Even in rural areas with farms, buildings usually are very close to the buildings on the next lot (some exceptions exist, but mainly in northern Germany). Houses and subsidiary buildings frequently are arranged in a U-shape or in a rectangular shape with a paved yard in the middle. As no wall limits the village, the lots can be very long with a big garden behind the buildings. There also might be a small, decorative front yard, but more than just 1-2 ingame squares would be too much imho. Fields and meadows are outside of the village. A few farms also are located outside of a village, but these farms are surrounded by many, many fields so that usually there is no other building and no big road nearby. Most detached houses have been built within the last 100 years and are not half-timbered style anymore. Thus, I think that for a realistic atmosphere, you will have to use the lot adjuster.


I guess I'm better off building 2x3 lots or 3x3 (bigger houses) if they have a long backyard, but I have to keep some space for like two cars since it's not possible in the game to park cars on the sidewalk AFAIK (I want to give every household a car because village). I will also mix in some newer houses that aren't Fachwerk because I understood from my googling that most villages have a mix of modern houses and Fachwerkhäuser. I want to give Veronaville small/rural-village characteristics instead of a town, with the exception of those premade mansions by Capp/Monty/Summerdream :P

Were small/rural villages also limited by town walls? Can you find pictures of a "ring of buildings" and U/rectangular shaped buildings with a paved yard in the middle? Is it comparable with a "hofje"?

Also, do you have any suggestions what kind of lot/deco would be sensible to place within those "turnaround" kind of roads at the Monty side? I was thinking of a playground or a church but it doesn't have to be Italian-esk.


Quote:
Location somewhere in Rheinland-Pfalz: I think it is difficult to use today's 16 states to define the location. (...)


I understood that there are many cultural and regional differences (is it comparable with the variety within the US?). Eventually, I want to keep the exact location of Germanized Veronaville ambiguous, yet I want to make some sense of the geography, architecture and cultural aspects I want to throw in into my storytelling (and it's fun for me to learn more about the history and architecture about a different country )

Thank you for the images!
Test Subject
#13 Old 6th May 2021 at 9:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
Thanks for the links and suggestion! I will take a look at the Upper Rhine Plain for hood deco inspo. However, I was thinking to give the Italian-style houses a German touch, but with southwestern influences (e.g. südwestdeutsches Einhaus or Lothringerhaus).

Giving the Italian-style house a German touch should work. The most important thing is that the open arches are gone as winters can be cold in Germany.

Quote:
Do you know by chance which regions in the west/southwest had more stone available?

No, I do not know this. I assume that stones were not the type of product that merchants would transport long distances as they were heavy and the profit was not big enough. Thus, the situation can be completely different in two villages that are just a few kilometers apart from each other. I would suggest that you have a look at Google Maps, pick the name of a town and then google pictures for that town and "Altstadt". That way you will immediately see whether a town has old stone houses, half-timbered houses or modern houses (usually if the town was destroyed during WW2).

Quote:
I guess I'm better off building 2x3 lots or 3x3 (bigger houses) if they have a long backyard, but I have to keep some space for like two cars since it's not possible in the game to park cars on the sidewalk AFAIK (I want to give every household a car because village). I will also mix in some newer houses that aren't Fachwerk because I understood from my googling that most villages have a mix of modern houses and Fachwerkhäuser. I want to give Veronaville small/rural-village characteristics instead of a town, with the exception of those premade mansions by Capp/Monty/Summerdream :P

Close to the center of a village, most lots only should have a width of 1, a bit further away from the center of the village, I could imagine a width of 2 for some of the houses. A width of 3 really should be an exception, not the rule. The density of population in Germany is seven times higher than in the U.S. while having only very few really big cities. Even new single family houses usually just have 100-120 m². Judging by the length of beds, 3 ingame squares equal 2 m. Thus, a two-story house would have a layout of 12x12 or 9x15 or something like that and a three-story house a layout of 8x10.
Most old houses usually are smaller than that because several children used to share one room and the families as a whole owned a lot less stuff than we do today. As you want to go for a village setting, the original owners (farmers, winegrowers, a miller, a shoemaker, a smith etc.) of the houses also were rather poor and not the ones that cold afford big houses.

Regarding cars: Half-timbered houses were built at a time when there were no cars. Thus, it is not realistic that the layout of all lots leaves space for cars. I would suggest to use the rotable driveways mod so that you can place cars on the street/sidewalk. This is the way how most cars are parked in Germany. If your house has a gate or if there is an arch to a yard, you also could place a driveway extension in the ground floor or in the yard and place a car there. I would go for an old-fashioned gate or arch, not for one of the regular garage doors and I also would only place an extension without a driveway so that you can build the house close to the street. I assume that not every car animation will work, but the cars still should be functional.

Mix of older and newer houses: The old houses are protected which means that you are not allowed to demolish it and have very strict rules for changing the house, especially on the outside. Thus, when there is a mix of old and new houses, that is usually because some older houses got destroyed (fires, wars etc). The style of the newer houses can vary a lot depending on when they were built. During the 70th, a lot of "construction sins" were built, but in recent years, most communities have lots of rules on how new houses have to look like. That is why new houses match neighboring houses better than houses that are a few decades old. In the centers of towns and villages the percentage of old houses is higher, in the outskirts it is much lower and there even might be development areas with just new houses.

Quote:
Were small/rural villages also limited by town walls? Can you find pictures of a "ring of buildings" and U/rectangular shaped buildings with a paved yard in the middle? Is it comparable with a "hofje"?

Town walls: Villages usually do not have town walls. You might have some buildings with fortifications, like a wall around the church and the graveyard with some small towers with arrow slits. When there was an attack, people would leave their homes and go there to be protected. There are also fortified houses ("Festes Haus" - e.g. this house from 1291 ), however, your Veronaville might be too rural for something like that.
Space in villages was limited, nevertheless. A local noble ruler had to give his permission for a settlement and definied the area for this settlement. In the beginning usually there only was a linear settlement alongside a street and only when all the space next to this street was taken, more roads were added. Roman settlements usually have to main streets and the crossing of these two streets is the city/village center and a forum is located there. I do not think that the Veronaville terrain matches either option.

Regarding "Hofje": As far as I understand, these Hofjes were just for living and for many households on one lot. Dreiseithof und Vierseithof are a combination of house(s) and subsidiary buildings, mostly farms, but also vineyards or homes and workplaces of artisans. There usually is one house for the family of the current owner and maybe a smaller house for the parents of the current owner. If there is no separate house for them, the only house would have an area that is just for them. All the other buildings are subsidiary buildings although some of them nowadays are converted into houses or apartments as well.

Here are some examples of U-shaped farms ("Dreiseithof"):
Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
Here are some examples of rectangular farms ("Vierseithof"):
Example 4
Example 5
Example 6
I am sorry that I could not find better pictures.

All the pictures show farms, many of them located outside of the village to which they belong. There are no rules on whether there should be one big building or several individual buildings and sometimes buildings also are placed slightly diagonally. The lots in villages are more narrow, the ones outside of villages are a bit wider. Please be aware that the bigger farms from the pictures above are from other regions within Germany where it was usual that a sole heir would inherit everything. In Pfalz, Baden, Württemberg, Rheinland province and big parts of Hessen (thus, all the regions in discussion as location for your Veronaville) the heritage would be distributed between all children (bigger parts for the sons upon the death of the parents, smaller parts for the daughters as dowry upon their marriages). As the average number of children usually was higher than two, this means that with each new generation the people got poorer and had less land and less income. Maybe look up "Flurbereinigung" on Wikipedia (There is an English entry for that term). Even with Flurbereinigung, I think that the standard neighborhood decoration fields are too big for a Veronaville located in (south) west Germany. Maybe you can place some more different looking fields and make them overlap so that it looks like there are many small fields?

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Also, do you have any suggestions what kind of lot/deco would be sensible to place within those "turnaround" kind of roads at the Monty side? I was thinking of a playground or a church but it doesn't have to be Italian-esk.

For the turnarounds: Definitely not a church. The church usually is in the center of a village. The turnarounds look too remote for that. When you place the church, there should be enough space for a square next to it and most of the other important buildings (school - nowadays usually repurposed, house of the priest, maybe an administrative building, sometimes also a barn to store the tithe - nowadays frequently turned into a town hall for events) should be built around this square, a maypole can be placed on the square and the village green with a small lake also should be somewhere near. A playground might be possible if the previous buildings were destroyed somewhen.

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I understood that there are many cultural and regional differences (is it comparable with the variety within the US?). Eventually, I want to keep the exact location of Germanized Veronaville ambiguous, yet I want to make some sense of the geography, architecture and cultural aspects I want to throw in into my storytelling (and it's fun for me to learn more about the history and architecture about a different country )

Thank you for the images!

I cannot really tell you whether it is comparable with the U.S. as I do not know enough about the U.S. You should be aware that Germany was not a united country in the past. It was just a union (sometimes a closer one, sometimes a less close one, sometimes there even were wars) of a few hundred different states with individual rulers. The emperor was above these rulers, but that mostly meant that the rulers had to pay a bit of money and send some troops as support in case of war and apart from that they were free to do whatever they wanted. The states had different laws, different currencies, measuring units etc. People did not even have a common language, but very different dialects. Martin Luther was the first one to establish some kind of harmonized language when he translated the bible to German. However, this harmonized language is mostly for written language and many people still have some dialect and it can happen that you do not understand what other people are saying when you are in another region. Germany was settled (mixing with the already existing population) by several Germanic tribes during antiquity which means that some cultural differences and rivalries have their origins more than 2000 years ago.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#14 Old 7th May 2021 at 2:45 PM Last edited by Softlism : 8th May 2021 at 4:12 PM.
Thank you again for the suggestions and more modding tips!

Your neighboring country, where I live, is even more densely populated, but I notice in the countryside area of the villages/towns that the farmhouses are widely spaced (but I guess those houses aren't *that* old, and/or it's easier to build like that on flat grounds).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ralna
The lots in villages are more narrow, the ones outside of villages are a bit wider. Please be aware that the bigger farms from the pictures above are from other regions within Germany where it was usual that a sole heir would inherit everything. In Pfalz, Baden, Württemberg, Rheinland province and big parts of Hessen (thus, all the regions in discussion as location for your Veronaville) the heritage would be distributed between all children (bigger parts for the sons upon the death of the parents, smaller parts for the daughters as dowry upon their marriages).

Which regions/states are more known for those bigger farms instead that were inherited by a sole heir? Bavaria, BW, NRW, or rather further in the north or east?

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When you place the church, there should be enough space for a square next to it and most of the other important buildings (school - nowadays usually repurposed, house of the priest, maybe an administrative building, sometimes also a barn to store the tithe - nowadays frequently turned into a town hall for events) should be built around this square, a maypole can be placed on the square and the village green with a small lake also should be somewhere near.

Which roads of the Veronaville would slightly work to build the village center with a kinda-sorta square and the important? The open area on the Capp side? (I'm aware that mansions aren't common in small German villages, though)
Or would it otherwise make more sense to add a separate subhood with a more "Euro-realistic" terrain to utilize that as the village center and picture the main Veronaville as the "outskirt"?

I also wonder, what kind of "community lots" did a countryside village usually contain during the 00s, besides playground, small Tante-Emma-Laden shops, bakery, butcher and the football club? Supermarket, Kiosk, restaurant, Biergarten, basketball club, small bar/pub, Gemeindezentrum (e.g. for arcade stuff or bowling)? And are most rivers/tributaries/creeks safe or clean enough to swim if there isn't a lake nearby (I want to create a beach community lot at the river)?
Test Subject
#15 Old 9th May 2021 at 11:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
Thank you again for the suggestions and more modding tips!
Your neighboring country, where I live, is even more densely populated, but I notice in the countryside area of the villages/towns that the farmhouses are widely spaced (but I guess those houses aren't *that* old, and/or it's easier to build like that on flat grounds).

I do not think that the landscape really matters. Many houses close to the Alps also are bigger than the houses in the regions that we discussed so far. I think that it mostly is related to the heritage system. Any kind of bigger property was sooner or later divided and distributed amongst the heirs. There are a few bigger farms in these regions as well, but they usually are isolated farms outside of villages and they mostly were built after the Flurbereinigung.

Btw: Germans like curtains and they do not like when someone is able to look into the house. In many houses, thin curtains in light colors cover the windows permanently. If you are in the house, you can see through them to look outside, but from the outside, you cannot look inside (unless the light is turned on). If the window does not have rolling shutters or folding shutters, there might also be a second curtain with a thicker and more opaque texture that are used at night. I do not know whether this comment is useful for you as there are a few countries with denser population, but at least for the people from one of these countries, having lots of curtains might seem strange and unusual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
Which regions/states are more known for those bigger farms instead that were inherited by a sole heir? Bavaria, BW, NRW, or rather further in the north or east?

As far as I know, having just one heir was common in the north of Germany, like Niedersachsen, and in Altbayern (part of Bavaria). In most of the south and east of Germany all children or all sons were entitled to inherit. But as always: Germany consisted of many different states and each state had its own law. Thus, there are exceptions, special stipulations etc. in many places. In east Germany, it is not possible to see anymore whether the heritage was divided or not because after WW2, farmers in East Germany were forced to form bigger cooperatives with other farmers (similar to kolkhoz).

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Which roads of the Veronaville would slightly work to build the village center with a kinda-sorta square and the important? The open area on the Capp side? (I'm aware that mansions aren't common in small German villages, though)
Or would it otherwise make more sense to add a separate subhood with a more "Euro-realistic" terrain to utilize that as the village center and picture the main Veronaville as the "outskirt"?

I do not think that the road layout is typical for either village center or the outskirts of a village. Usually the main road does not cross a river and in Veronaville the bridge is pretty much in the middle of the village. I guess it is better if you use your imagination and make necessary adjustments instead of just adding a subhood that you otherwise do not want and need. Here is a link to the most common village types in Germany.

Some additional information regarding "Weiler" (as this layout might look like the best choice for you): Weiler are smaller than villages and usually consist of less than ten houses. This type of settlement would give you the option to have big lots. However, these settlements usually only consist of residential and subsidiary buildings - no church, playground, shops etc. The origin of the term "Weiler" also could be interesting for you as it is derived from "villa" and in the narrower sense referred to the main building of a big farm. In the broader sense, it included all the buildings nearby which also consisted the residential buildings for farmhands and all the subsidiary buildings. Veronaville has too many lots to form one Weiler, but you maybe could have three Weiler on one map - one for each of the families.

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I also wonder, what kind of "community lots" did a countryside village usually contain during the 00s, besides playground, small Tante-Emma-Laden shops, bakery, butcher and the football club? Supermarket, Kiosk, restaurant, Biergarten, basketball club, small bar/pub, Gemeindezentrum (e.g. for arcade stuff or bowling)? And are most rivers/tributaries/creeks safe or clean enough to swim if there isn't a lake nearby (I want to create a beach community lot at the river)?

Your list is much too long. In rural areas, villages usually have less than 1000 inhabitants and the inhabitants are used to go to a nearby town for many activities. You do not have Tante-Emma-Laden, bakery, butcher, supermarket and kiosk. If you are lucky, you have one of these shops, many villages do not have any shop anymore at all. If you plan to have a farmer family, this family maybe could have a small farm shop.
Football club/basketball club: Usually there is a sports club that covers everything and shares the gym and football ground. I do not think that villages usually have enough people who are interested in basketball. Frequently there is a gymnastics group for children and table tennis is popular for middle-aged and older men. The building frequently also contains a restaurant although nowadays these restaurants usually are permanently closed because it is not possible to operate them in a profitable way.
Which leads us directly to the next point - restaurant, Biergarten, bar/pub: Similar to shops, more than one restaurant would be unrealistic, many villages even do not have any business like this anymore. If there is a restaurant, it usually has a regulars' table where older men meet to have some drinks. The restaurant also could have a terrace. I would not use the term Biergarten for that because Biergärten used to belong to breweries and there are some legal differences (e.g. you may bring your own food to a Biergarten). In many villages, the restaurant (if they have one at all) is open only on weekends and for special events while the owners have regular jobs from Monday to Friday. In regions with wine, there also is a special type of business: Vineyard owners may sell their own wine and non-alcoholic drinks along with simple dishes to guests for a limited time per year. These kind of "restaurants" (Häckerwirtschaft/Heckenwirtschaft/Besenwirtschaft/etc.) works quite well even in small villages as the owners have another business (growing and selling wine) and because the "restaurants" attract people from further away. Traditionally, these "restaurants" have a besom placed somewhere visible from outside so that people know that it is open.
Gemeindezentrum: Not as a place where you can go whenever you want to. Most villages have some kind of multi-purpose building for elections, as meeting place for the village youth group, rehearsal place for the choir and the music society and as rentable location for celebrations. For bowling, you would go to a town or city and I have never seen arcade stuff outside of amusement parks. Arcade games have disappeared from restaurants in the 90ths and I have only seen them in amusement parks and on annual fairs since then. Maybe, they still are in some pubs in cities, but not in the ones that I visit. In several villages that I know, the former parsonage now serves as building for the communnity and is still owned by the church, not by the state. In some places, people are allowed to harvest from the garden of the parish building.
In addition to the above-mentioned buildings/lots, villages usually have a church with a graveyard, a kindergarden, a playground and maybe a primary school, a fire station for the voluntary fire brigade (frequently with some sort of big hall that can be used for parties for the whole village), a central square (with a decorative well - in many parts of Germany extensively decorated with painted Easter eggs during spring - and a may pole) and/or village green ("Anger" - could be turned in to a small, rather natural park) and a fire pond. Not a real community lot, but something that also marks the villagescape: In the outskirts of many villages, there are small lots with gardens without houses. These gardens usually belong to the people who live in the village center in houses without gardens/with small gardens. If you go for one of the village layouts except for Weiler, you might also want to add an old-looking stone oven somewhere. Not all inhabitants of a village had an appropriate oven for baking bread at home so that there frequently was (and in some villages still is - although it is not used anymore) a stone oven for the whole community.
I do not know the percentages, but many rivers and creeks are clean enough to swim. In some places the water, after some processing, even is used as drinking water. The fire pond is filled with clean water so that you also can swim in there. During cold winters, they also can be used for ice skating.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#16 Old 12th May 2021 at 6:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralna
Btw: Germans like curtains and they do not like when someone is able to look into the house. In many houses, thin curtains in light colors cover the windows permanently. If you are in the house, you can see through them to look outside, but from the outside, you cannot look inside (unless the light is turned on). If the window does not have rolling shutters or folding shutters, there might also be a second curtain with a thicker and more opaque texture that are used at night. I do not know whether this comment is useful for you as there are a few countries with denser population, but at least for the people from one of these countries, having lots of curtains might seem strange and unusual.


At my home, we also have double curtains (thin curtain + inner roller blinds or thick curtains), though my country is known for people who leave their curtains open or don't even own them despite being even more densely populated.

I would love to hear more details about the typical German interior in family homes! Were Shrankwands a thing amongst Boomer/Gen X parents during the mid-00s? What kind of hobby/fun utilities does a big backyard usually have? Are a Gartenhaus and/or harvestable gardening ground common if there's enough space in the yard, or is it also in villages a thing to have public gardens instead?


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I do not think that the road layout is typical for either village center or the outskirts of a village. Usually the main road does not cross a river and in Veronaville the bridge is pretty much in the middle of the village. I guess it is better if you use your imagination and make necessary adjustments instead of just adding a subhood that you otherwise do not want and need. Here is a link to the most common village types in Germany.

Thank you for the link! This image is very helpful for me.

Do you know by chance any custom hood terrains that have more sensible road arrangements for a small European/German village? (I don't own SC4).
And is it correct that Fachwerkhäuser were still built in rural areas until the 1950s?

I think you are very knowledgeable about the history and urban planning! Have you done a study in a field like that?
Test Subject
#17 Old 13th May 2021 at 8:34 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
At my home, we also have double curtains (thin curtain + inner roller blinds or thick curtains), though my country is known for people who leave their curtains open or don't even own them despite being even more densely populated.

I would love to hear more details about the typical German interior in family homes! Were Shrankwands a thing amongst Boomer/Gen X parents during the mid-00s? What kind of hobby/fun utilities does a big backyard usually have? Are a Gartenhaus and/or harvestable gardening ground common if there's enough space in the yard, or is it also in villages a thing to have public gardens instead?

Renting/House ownership:
Germany has the second lowest quota of house ownership in Europe (only Switzerland has less) with about 50 % of people living in their own houses/apartments. In rural areas, the quota is higher as houses there are cheaper than in cities, but there will still be lots of people who have to rent because they cannot afford a house or want to rent because they do not (yet) want to be tied to one place. Smaller houses usually are rented as a whole, bigger houses might be devided into several apartments.
In average, Germans only move 4,5 times in their lives. Most of the moves take place as young adults related to university and the first job afterwards. Then they can save some money (because you need some own capital to get a credit for a house) to buy a house, if they want to. When people buy a house, that usually is the place where they live until they die.

Regarding the interior:
Half-timbered houses usually have small rooms and sometimes also strange layouts as the purpose of the rooms has changed. The older the inhabitants are, the more likely the layout still is like that. If younger people buy such a house or if it is renovated before being rented, people often try to have a more open layout by just leaving the wooden parts of the half-timbered structures and removing the mud/clay/straw parts inbetween. Google for "Fachwerkhaus innen" and you will find some good pictures. Maybe you can have something similar by using columns and half-walls.
For modern houses, you just can look up house plans of companies that sell houses to get an impression.
Many houses have cellars. In modern houses, you have a room with a central heating for the whole house in the cellar and heating elements in all heated rooms (or floor heating). Tubes usually are hidden within the walls. In older houses, there were no central heating systems so that you might find night storage heaters in every room unless a central heating was added during a renovation.
For the walls, I would suggest painting most of them in one color (per room), occasionally with a wall tattoo. The wallpapers look extremely old-fashioned. I guess wallpapers like that were used maybe in the 70s and now should have fallen off from most walls. Today, the most common wallpaper is white woodchip paper. This is very common for rental objects as the wallpaper can be painted several times before having to be replaced and tenants usually have to paint all the walls and ceilings before moving out. Walls usually have to be painted in a neutral color that does not lower the chances of the landlord to find a new tenant. Because of this, people usually choose white as color to be on the safe side.
In bathrooms, floor and walls usually are tiled. In kitchens, the floor is tiled while there only is a backsplash on the wall. A bigger house can have a small pantry room next to the kitchen to store non-perishable food there and maybe to have a second fridge and/or a freezer there.
When you go into a house, you usually are a stairwell first. From this room, you can go into the hallway (sometimes, the stairs also are in the hallway) and from the hallway you can reach (almost) all the other rooms of that floor. Thus, a front door will not lead directly into the living room like frequently in the U.S. In the stairwell or hallway, you also have a shoe cabinet and a coatrack so that you do not have to bring shoes and coats into your living room, bedroom or wherever.
En suite bathrooms are quite unusual. A small house usually just has one bathroom (plus maybe a half bathroom) even if there are several bedrooms. For bigger houses, having two bathrooms (plus maybe a half bathroom) is common, more bathrooms are quite unusual, except for mansions. When there are kitchens and bathrooms on several floors of a house, they usually are in the same position on each floor so that the water tubes can be used for more than one room.
In rural areas, it is still common that three generations live in the same house. In such constellations, the grandparent(s) usually live on the ground floor (to avoid stairs) or garden level floor (on sloped lots) and the younger generations live on the upper floor(s). On garden level, you usually have a separate apartment with a separate entrance. On ground floor, you usually share the front door and it can be a separate apartment, but it does not have to be.
When the older houses were built, the attic usually was left in a pretty basic state and used as a storage (for old furniture, baby and children stuff etc). In newer houses and some renovated older houses, the attic is fully usable as living area.

Regarding furniture:
Houses in Germany usually are empty when being sold. Bathroom appliances, kitchen furniture, built-in closets (not just for clothing, also in other rooms to store stuff) lights etc. are the only stuff that still could be in the house. Thus, the furniture usually depends a lot on the people living in the house/apartment.
Schrankwand: I guess the zenith was quite a bit before the 00s. I only would place them in the house of an elder, not of adults. Maybe also google "Gelsenkirchener Barock" if you want to make your elderly sims suffer. Nowadays, you would rather have a set of several matching items that can be placed however you like and that does not look so massive. Younger people usually buy their furniture at IKEA or similar shops. As buying a house is expensive, many people take their old furniture with them to the new house and will start replacing it some years later, one room at a time, if they want to. Antiques may be passed on to children and grandchildren, but may also be sold - depending on the character and personal preferences.

Hobby/fun utilities:
Swing(s) and sandbox are the most common things. Paddling pools (small ones for children, but also bigger ones for adults), tree houses, climbing frames (maybe combined with the swing) and trampolines also seem to be relatively common. Water slides (lying on the ground) like in Sims 4 also might be an option with CC. Outdoor pools are relatively rare as they are expensive and due to the temperatures. Some wealthy people have a pool in their cellar. Whirlpools and saunas/sweating huts also are not that common. Cosy outdoor sitting areas and barbecues are quite common and outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular (also due to Corona).

Gardening:
When you have a garden, it is quite common to have an area for growing fruits and vegetables. Some people without a garden next to their house even have bought small pieces of land at the outskirts of their villages for gardening. When you have a garden next to/around your house, you usually have some flowers in front of the house and maybe next to the way leading to the front door. Some people have big bushes close to the lot boarders to block the view on the lot for neighbors and people on the street. The area for growing harvestables usually is behind the house and the size just depends on how much time you can and want to afford for gardening. The remaining garden area usually is a meadow where you would place all the hobby/fun stuff mentioned above, maybe have some fruit and/or nut trees and maybe a terrace.
Gartenhaus: As far as I know, garden sheds for gardening tools, lawn mower etc. is quite common. Bigger garden houses are not really common.
Green houses also are not that common. I just know them from people living in towns with a very small garden who are trying to get the maximum of harvestables out of the limited area. For villages, cold frames are much more common. Raised-bed gardening is also a common thing, although I do not know how to do that in Sims. Winter gardens also are relatively common. However, they usually have a regular floor, e.g. tiles, so that the gardening options are limited. The winter gardens that I know usually are used as an additional living room, e.g. for parties, as a place to store potted plants during winter and for the first days or weeks of growing certain vegetables in pots before planting them in the garden when it is warm enough.
Public gardens are not that common in Germany as there are other options like Schrebergarten and Kleingarten. If you live in a city or town and do not have a garden at your house/apartment, you can rent a Schrebergarten or Kleingarten from an association. These gardens have standardized sizes and are relatively cheap. You have to use a certain area of that garden for growing harvestables, but there is also an area for decorative plants and for recreation. In these kind of gardens, garden houses are quite common (although limited in size by law). These kind of gardens frequently are rented by the same people for decades and they spend a lot of time there during summer, some people even live there during summer although that is not legal. In rural areas, there usually are no such associations, but if you need some land for gardening, you usually can buy a small plot of land somewhere in the outskirts of the village or a few hundred meters outside of the village quite cheaply and without the legal limitations. In some places, there also are weekend cottages (Wochenendhaus) close to villages for inhabitants of nearby towns and cities who also do not want to comply with the legal limitations.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
Thank you for the link! This image is very helpful for me.

Do you know by chance any custom hood terrains that have more sensible road arrangements for a small European/German village? (I don't own SC4).
And is it correct that Fachwerkhäuser were still built in rural areas until the 1950s?

I think you are very knowledgeable about the history and urban planning! Have you done a study in a field like that?

Custom terrains:
None that is really fitting imho. Although that maybe is not possible in Sims 2 anyway because the only options are straight or 90° turns. There should be one road from one end of the map to another that existed before the village did (more roads to the end of the map are okay, but not needed). That road usually is relatively straight unless the terrain makes a turn necessary. Other streets should be connected to this street like an arc (thus, my problem with the 90° turns) with some intersecting streets as additional connection.
I had a brief look at the terrains here on MTS, but pretty much all of them lack the main street. Either there is just one road leading to the village and the village then forms the end of the road or there are several roads, but with unneccessary turns or they lead to two parallel streets so that there is no main street. Usually the terrains also are built for medium-sized and big lots which is not fitting for a village center and symmetrical terrains also are no option as hardly any village was built with a preplanned layout.
Another thing about Sims terrains is that there frequently is free space between lots and there is neighborhood decoration within the settled area. This is not usual for Germany. One lot is directly next to the other and apart from a few exceptions, you have lots on both sides of every street. If there are no houses, there usually is no reason to built a street.
Please keep that in mind when you look at the following neighborhoods:
- West Weasels: It is really a pity that the two roads from the end of the map just go to the ring street instead going to the middle of the map. The good thing about this terrain is that you automatically will have smaller lots in the middle and bigger lots in the outskirts.
- Port White Water: This terrain has a main street. Unfortunatelly, it ends in the village. You could use the three small squares (quadrats) and the rectangle as village center with older, smaller houses and the big square and the remaining roads for newer, bigger houses.
- Jackferry Point: This terrain has a main street that seems to continue to the ends of the map. The number of streets on this map might be too low and the streets enclose too much space for a village center.
- Bitville: Has two main streets. You would have to completely fill the two rectangles with houses to make it look realistic.
- Arbor falls: Also has two main streets that would have to be filled with houses. The streets on the hill could be some development area with bigger lots.
Sorry for not using links, but as you can find them all on MTS, I am too lazy to do this. As they all are neighborhoods and not just terrains: Mootilda created a Hood Replace Tool (also here on MTS) that you can use to copy terrain, roads and even decorations from one neighborhood to another without copying lots and sims. If you want to use any of these terrains, that should be the best way of doing it.

In Germany, classical half-timbered houses only were built until about 1900 in bigger numbers. The last one in my home village was built in 1908 and it already has brickstones within the gaps instead of clay etc. Nowadays, for similar constructions usually other materials are used, e.g. steel instead of timber and glass for the gaps. Other houses might look like a bit like half-timbered houses, but the construction is made in a different way or the timber is purely decorative without being a supporting structures. As there apparently are a few companies in Germany that still offer to build classical half-timbered houses, it is possible that a few half-timbered houses even have been built in recent years, but considering that I have never seen such a house, I assume that these companies make the biggest part of their turnovers by renovating existing houses instead of building new ones.

One more topic: Streets and sidewalks
The standard streets and sidewalks do not look very German at all. Most sidewalks are tarred and there is no gap or green between sidewalk and street. The sidewalk is a few centimeters higher than the street and they are separated by a curb with drain gates, where needed. Squares and the sidewalks close to them can be paved instead of tarred for decorative reasons. Street lamps are on the sidewalks every 20-50 m in built-up areas.
Streets in residential areas usually are tarred without any lines on it. Bigger streets may have white broken likes. Streets in residential areas usually do not have traffic signs like the neighborhood decoration stop signs. People have to give way to the right, thus making traffic signs unneccessary. The crosswalks also are not needed as there hardly is any traffic and you usually do not have to wait for more than a few seconds before you can cross the street. Bigger streets might have priority so that there might be traffic signs next to these streets, but even then you usually have a give way sign and stop signs only are used at intersections with a high risk of accidents.

Thank you! No, I just have a degree in a completely different field. But I like history and old buildings and for vacations, I prefer sightseeing to hiking or going to the beach. And I have a good memory (except for those things that I have to remember) so that I can compare your postings with my impressions of several dozens of villages and towns. Although frequently I just have a first thought that your descriptions and reality do not match, but then I have to think a bit longer to figure out why and google some terms and pictures to be able to explain that.

And just for the record: I am trying to give you as good an impression as possible, but of course it is completely up to you how much of that impression you include in your neighborhood.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#18 Old 13th May 2021 at 12:31 PM
Thank you again for giving me impressions! I haven't visited Germany for 15 years and cannot visit it soon for obvious reasons, hence I have to rely on the internet, media, and my own frame of reference based on the infrastructure in my country. I understand German to a certain extent -- if some translated text looks off, I can hover to the original language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ralna
If younger people buy such a house or if it is renovated before being rented, people often try to have a more open layout by just leaving the wooden parts of the half-timbered structures and removing the mud/clay/straw parts inbetween. Google for "Fachwerkhaus innen" and you will find some good pictures. Maybe you can have something similar by using columns and half-walls.

Thanks for the term! Do you know by chance where I can find ceiling beams (links aren't needed)? When I tried to google it myself, my results got cluttered with TS3 and TS4 stuff despite excluding those keywords.

When I was browsing for architectural inspiration, I noticed terms like "Zweifamilienhaus" or "Einfamilienhaus", so now it makes more sense to me. In my country, it probably less common to live with three generations in small villages. My house has a single hallway with the staircase and built-in meter closet in one room, and the coats and shoes are stored in the vented staircase closet. We also have a small bathroom (WC) adjacent to the hallway.

In the case of a medium to large-sized house, is the dining table usually located in the kitchen room, the living room, or a separate room (only if there's enough space)?
Is the floor in the hallway usually made of stone or wood, or highly variable? Do the bedrooms and hallways on the upper floors usually have wooden floors or carpet?

On a side note: I've understood it's a common social habit over there to take off your shoes in the hallway when entering a home, but since that's getting complicated to apply this detail in TS2, I'll leave it to my imagination.

Thanks for the hood suggestions and details! Do you know by chance which hood and sidewalk road replacements would work best? I have Criquette's 2008 rural road mod on the radar but I'm not sure if it's still up to date. I yet have to find a European-style sidewalk hood replacement, though.

And I wonder, can you recommend to me some objects (buy or build mode) that would be fitting for a German-inspired hood and houses, such as certain type of streetlights or public waste bins? I already want to look for separated waste bins for the households, and here on MTS I've already found German Farmers Kitchen "Bauernmalerei", though I don't know how old-fashioned it looked if the story is set in the 00s. And I've already found 3t2 madaya74's tilt-and-turn windows, which are also typical windows for Germany.
Links aren't needed if it's too time-consuming and I can easily find it myself through Google/MTS.
Test Subject
#19 Old 13th May 2021 at 10:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
Thank you again for giving me impressions! I haven't visited Germany for 15 years and cannot visit it soon for obvious reasons, hence I have to rely on the internet, media, and my own frame of reference based on the infrastructure in my country. I understand German to a certain extent -- if some translated text looks off, I can hover to the original language.

Thanks for the term! Do you know by chance where I can find ceiling beams (links aren't needed)? When I tried to google it myself, my results got cluttered with TS3 and TS4 stuff despite excluding those keywords.

No, unfortunately, I do not know where to find ceiling beams. I play with very few CC because I really like short loading times. And, a few years ago, I decided that my sims live on another planet. Thus, I do not even try to built anything too realistic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
When I was browsing for architectural inspiration, I noticed terms like "Zweifamilienhaus" or "Einfamilienhaus", so now it makes more sense to me. In my country, it probably less common to live with three generations in small villages. My house has a single hallway with the staircase and built-in meter closet in one room, and the coats and shoes are stored in the vented staircase closet. We also have a small bathroom (WC) adjacent to the hallway.

Zweifamilienhaus refers to a house that has two cleary separated apartments. Thus, not every house where three generations live is a Zweifamilienhaus and not every Zweifamilienhaus is inhabited by relatives. It also can be a house with two apartments of similar size and the apartments also can be rented to people completely unrelated to each other and the landlord. The two apartments can be on different floors or in different sides of the house. There can be one or two entrances. The house is built on one lot so that garden etc. are shared.

Doppelhaus is similar, but not identical to Zweifamilienhaus. A Doppelhaus consists of two separate houses that share one wall with each other. They usually are built on two neighboring lots and have separate entrances, gardens etc. Both houses usally look very similar. One of the reasons for building a Doppelhaus is that for an Einfamilienhaus, nowadays, you have to keep a certain distance to the lot boarder. Especially for smaller lots that can be quite limiting regarding the house layout and you might end up with a small garden strip all around the house but without a really usable garden area. By building a Doppelhaus, you do not have to obey the distance to one lot boarder and might have a bigger, more enjoyable garden that way. Doppelhäuser are quite common for as new houses also in rural areas. You can built them relatively easily with the help of the lot adjuster. In towns and cities, you also might find terraced houses, but in villages they are not that common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
In the case of a medium to large-sized house, is the dining table usually located in the kitchen room, the living room, or a separate room (only if there's enough space)?
Is the floor in the hallway usually made of stone or wood, or highly variable? Do the bedrooms and hallways on the upper floors usually have wooden floors or carpet?

Dining table: All three options exist. It depends on house size, room layout and the inhabitants' preferences. Kitchen island counters usually are just used for preparing food, not for eating. If you want to have an alternative to a regular dining table, a higher bar table might be an option (e.g. dining table in a dinging room and bar table in the kitchen).

Floors in hallways: That is highly variable. Wood, stone, laminate etc. I guess laminate is the most common option as it is rather cheap and not that damageable. Parquet might be an option for wealthier sims and tiles for pet owners. Carpet seems to be less popular today, but has not died out completely yet. Hallways on different floor levels frequently have the same type of floor. All bedrooms usually also have the same type of floor because you decide on a certain type of floor when you built the house and do not change it every couple of years depending on your sims' preferences. Thus, you will rarely find any loud colors. For individuality, rugs and maybe wall colors might be the better options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
On a side note: I've understood it's a common social habit over there to take off your shoes in the hallway when entering a home, but since that's getting complicated to apply this detail in TS2, I'll leave it to my imagination.

I know that it is not possible to take off the shoes in Sims 2. I just wanted to give you an impression of what decorative furniture could be placed in these rooms. If you have a house with older inhabitants and a bigger hallway, there also might be a small cabinet with a telephone on top of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
Thanks for the hood suggestions and details! Do you know by chance which hood and sidewalk road replacements would work best? I have Criquette's 2008 rural road mod on the radar but I'm not sure if it's still up to date. I yet have to find a European-style sidewalk hood replacement, though.

I do not think that there is any German-looking road default replacement. Criquette's default replacement does not look like streets in Germany as most streets in Germany are tarred and have a dark color, just without the lines on it. I use some defaults by dreadpirate that have a second row of concrete tiles to eliminate the grass. Unfortunately, the concrete is even lighter than the original concrete tiles so that the sidewalks appear very light in neighborhood view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Softlism
And I wonder, can you recommend to me some objects (buy or build mode) that would be fitting for a German-inspired hood and houses, such as certain type of streetlights or public waste bins? I already want to look for separated waste bins for the households, and here on MTS I've already found German Farmers Kitchen "Bauernmalerei", though I don't know how old-fashioned it looked if the story is set in the 00s. And I've already found 3t2 madaya74's tilt-and-turn windows, which are also typical windows for Germany.
Links aren't needed if it's too time-consuming and I can easily find it myself through Google/MTS.

No CC recommendations, just some picures and terms to look up the real items.

Most street lights are rather simple ones like this one.
I think communities are free to choose the street lights themselves so that there is a lot of variety. More decorative street lights might be an option for squares and highly frequented streets with shops. (It is quite common that the ground floors of houses in the main street or another street with lots of shops are used as shops and the upper floors are used as apartments. If you also want to have this in your game, there is a mod that enables both on the same lot.)

For public waste bins it is similar to the street lights. Just google for "Mülleimer Innenstadt" to get some impressions (make sure that google does not try to change "Mülleimer" to "Mülheimer" because then you just will see pictures of a town called Mülheim). This waste bin seems to be quite popular as I have seen it in many different places.
If you also are interested in private waste bins: This type of waste bin should be used (almost) everywhere in Germany. Black is for residual waste, yellow for recyclable materials, blue for paper and paper card, brown for organic waste. People in villages usually have all four waste bins, in cities, there might not be a waste bin for organic waste because people used to throw too much waste of the wrong type in there in the past. One addition regarding gardens from my previous postings: Compost piles still are popular in Germany.

The kitchen set does not look like any kitchen that I ever saw (including old kitchens in old people's houses). Therefore, I do not know, whether "old-fashioned" is the right term as I do not think that this type of kitchen ever was in fashion. Bauernmalerei is common in Altbayern since the middle of the 20th century. Thus, it is not really some old tradition. And it is mostly used to sell "typical" Bavarian souvenirs for tourists and much less common for furnishing your own house. Thus, if you want to use that set, it might be better just to use one or two pieces per room. And even then, the items wih the green background seem to be "too much" for my taste. Or maybe add a mountain vacation subhood and turn it into the Bavarian stereotype.

Yes, tilt-and-turn windows are extremely common in Germany.
One more thing regarding windows: In older houses that are closer to the lot boarder than today's standard, windows might have opal glass so that your neighbor still can enjoy their privacy.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#20 Old 17th May 2021 at 6:26 PM
Default RE: Germanize Veronaville
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralna
Floors in hallways: That is highly variable. Wood, stone, laminate etc. I guess laminate is the most common option as it is rather cheap and not that damageable. Parquet might be an option for wealthier sims and tiles for pet owners. Carpet seems to be less popular today, but has not died out completely yet. (...)


What kind of floors are the most used for bedrooms? Laminate or carpet? In what cases are some of the interiors walls built of wood?
And what kind of fences are common around the lot border, besides hedges or big bushes? Were Jägerzaune lattice fences common during the 00s? Are outdoor modular stairs usually made of stone or concrete?

Now I've gathered many impressions, I'm ready to build/renovate some residential homes. However, how would you renovate Via Veronaville 26 into a countryside Fachwerkhaus style construction? What tile ratio would you pick for the foundation of such a house? Is the main roof ridge + gable usually pointed parallel or perpendicular towards the main street for detached Fachwerkhäuser? Is the wall dormer usually at the center or is putting the dormer at the end of the walls not uncommon? What kind of cross-gabled roof shape would look realistic here?
I want to remove the nook walls and make the foundation rectangular while retaining the front dormer and rebuild it on a 2x3 plot instead of 3x2, so the lot gets an elongated backyard and utilizes the empty space behind at the back street. I want to keep it a detached Einfamilienhaus but reduce the amount of space between the horizontal borders of the lot. I want to add a 2nd floor (attic) with the aid of a (wall) dormer, replace the hipped roof with a gabled roof and extend it to max 52° (perhaps I could raise it to 60° with cheats). I already had built a hallway + guest toilet since that's also common in my country, and already have collected floorplans through German real-estate websites. But I'm going to replace the stairs with 90° winding stairs now I've finally found that type as well. I want to build a cellar underneath for hobby/party and decorative storage and a single attic room at the dormer for e.g. sleepovers. I have to think about whether I want to paint the untimbered ground floor walls plastered or in stone.
Some weeks ago (before I posted this thread), I already tried to renovate it towards something more German-like, but the double dormers looked off to me.

Where I live, gabled roofs are also common, but farmhouses usually have huge hipped roofs and a big lot (probably just like in Northern Germany). For renovating the mansions of especially Capp and Summerdream, I want to look for images of Herrenhaus, Forsthaus and/or one of the Bauernhofanlage. For the Monty mansion, I will look for Vierzeithof inspiration and give it an Italian touch.
Test Subject
#21 Old 19th May 2021 at 9:50 PM
Floors:
I did a bit more research regarding floors and these are the most common floor types in Germany (in random order): parquet, linoleum, cork, natural stone, tiles, carpet, laminate and vinyl. Stone and tiles are not that common for bedrooms, but all the other materials are. Carpet still seems to be relatively common which surprises me because only a few people that I know had carpets in their houses/apartments and they all decided to replace it with some other floor within the last 10-20 years. None of the websites detailed how these eight floor types were picked. Thus, maybe it is related to sales as carpets have to be replaced more often.
In general, I would associate natural stone and parquet with people with average or higher than average income/wealth, linoleum and laminate with people with average or lower than average income/wealth and with rentable apartments. However, as it also is a question of personal taste, you will find plenty of exceptions. Cork and vinyl have become more popular in recent years so that I would use them in some newer houses/apartments or newly renovated houses/apartments regardless of wealth/income. Tiles are common regardless of age, income and whether you own a house or live in an apartment. I would associate carpets with houses that have not been renovated during the past 20-30 years, but that is just my personal impression as I do not know any people with carpet floor today.

Walls:
I think wooden walls just have a decorative function. Thus, you can place them whereever you like to. For half-timbered and timber houses, you simply can use the same wall outside and inside. Some people also like to have a (fake) wooden wall e.g. in their living room to highlight a fireplace, TV or the like. Most people would use special wall papers for that instead of really using wood. I think that this approx. 70 cm high wooden panels with wall papers above are not really common in Germany. Skirting boards for wall/floor and wall/ceiling are common.

Fences:
You will find pretty many different fence styles, but Jägerzäune were not really popular at that time nor are popular today. You might find them occasionally, but other types/styles are more common. You can google for "Zaun" to get an impression. Wooden fences are common, but the wooden parts usually are parallel to each other and not crossed. Metal fences and "Maschendrahtzaun" also are common.

Outdoor stairs:
I think stone is more common for that. Concrete can be very slippery when it is wet and not all outdoor stairs are covered by some kind of roof.

Tile ratio:
I think that 6-10 tiles width and 80-150 tiles per floor could be realistic. However, the big free space next to the house is not realistic. It is really a pity that lot sizes are so limited because 10 will be too small for your taste (and if all/many houses are that wide, it might also look boring) and 20 is too big to make it look realistic. A combination of lots that are 10, 12 and 15 tiles wide would be perfect.

Roof/gable direction:
Both options are common, but they usually are not mixed with each other. Thus, decide for one option for a group of houses (e.g. in the same street) or maybe for the whole village with just a few exceptions (like the mansions that you want to keep).

Dormer:
If you have just one dormer, it usually is relatively central (exceptions possible, as always). If there is more than one dormer, they usually are evenly distributed.
Regarding your picture: I think that it is a combination of several things. Your dormers are relatively big, the roof with ridge makes them look even bigger and having two dormers like that attracts even more attention.
Maybe go for two small dormers (just as wide as the windows like in this picture ) instead with that roof type for the dormer and if every room has at least one window (either a regular window or a dormer with window), it is also not necessary to have dormers on both sides of the house.
As there are different types of dormers, you should have some variety in your houses as well, but maybe it is better not to combine all factors in one house that make the dormer look so big.
Roof angle: Such high angles do exist, but the majority of Fachwerkhäuser has lower angles. The high angles are most common in very densely settled areas which does not really fit a 2x3 lot.
If the roof style does not look convincing enough to you, you also could try a half-hipped roof by using the hipped roof on the highest floor and the other roof on the floor with the attic.

Just for the record: It is called Vierseithof with "s" instead of "z". Although I think that Google would suggest to correct the spelling as well.

One more thing about the interior (although probably difficult to do in Sims 2): German kitchens frequently have the fridges inside a cabinet that matches the kitchen counters. Stoves and dishwashers are placed in an opening of a kitchen counter so that they are not placed directly on the ground but 15-20 cm above. The cooktop of the stove also is surrounded by the work surface and the dishwasher might have a matching hatch. It might sound like a little detail, but in Sims 2, it always attracty my attention because the colors of the non-CC kitchen appliances do not match the counters 100 % and the edges might not be in line either.
And if you plan to add washing machines: front-loading washing machines are much, much more common than top-loading ones in Germany.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#22 Old 20th May 2021 at 6:39 PM
Thanks again for the detailed answers, @ralna! Time for me to build and renovate houses

I just have tried to recreate this one in TS2 (an execptional case of a house with a wall dormer at the corner). However, I noticed it has two front doors but only one mailbox, so I wonder, what kind of house is this, you think? A Zweifamilienhaus, a duplex house or an Einfamilienhaus attached to a public facility like a restaurant?
Top Secret Researcher
#23 Old 20th May 2021 at 10:56 PM
Just a thought; if you have Apartment Life, and you enjoy playing Apartment, you could add some public housing-project looking apartment lots on one end of town for added authenticity. From what I know Germany has one of the largest percentage of apartment dwellers in...uh, it was either Europe or the (western?) world and even smaller towns and villages sometimes feature them.

Avatar by MasterRed
Taking an extended break from Sims stuff. Might be around, might not.
Test Subject
#24 Old 21st May 2021 at 8:05 PM
@Softlism
I am not sure whether this is really considered one house. As the roofs have different colors and forms, I assume that there are two houses that may or may not have a wall breakthrough.
I would not pay too much attention to the mail box, as this type of mailbox (standing on a post) is rather uncommon in Germany. Usually, mailboxes are attached to one of the walls of the house or you might just have a mail slot in the front door. I cannot see another mailbox, but mail slots in the doors could be possible.

The dormer looks like it was added at a later point. The walls look different and the roof is the only part that is not bend in any way. Have a look at the windows on the left side of the house as well. As the opening on the third floor does not have a window, I assume that this part of the house is only used as storage or not used at all. The second floor apparently was not used for living either before the dormer was added. I assume that the bigger window on the right was added when the dormer was added. The small window on the left should be older and apparently was sufficient for whatever purpose that floor originally used to have. Depending on the floor plan of the two floors beneath, it might be a good option to have a bathroom there.

If you want to have some kind of business in that house, I could imagine one of those wine "restaurants". In that case, the whole building would belong to the wine grower and the upper floors might be used for living. The bigger left side of the house could be for the younger family with their children and the smaller right side could be for the grandparents.

You also could turn the house into an apartment lot. The smaller house on the right could be an apartment and the bigger house on the left could either be one big apartment or you could have two apartments (ground floor and first floor - second and third floor) or even three apartments (ground floor - first floor - second and third floor).

My personal preference would be turning the houses in two separate lots. With the lot adjuster, it is possible to make the houses look like they still are connected. The right house would be the home for one family and the left house either could be the home for a very big family or divided into several apartments.


@Ophalesion
May I ask where in Germany you have seen something like this? Because to me, it sounds quite untypical.

Being a tenant does not necessarily mean being poor and depending on public housing. Being a tenant does not even necessarily mean living in an apartment. You also can rent a house - this is especially common in villages because rents are more affordable there.

As I have mentioned before, Germans move house/apartment relatively few times in their lives compared with other countries. And when you buy a house or apartment, moving in there usually is the last move of your life. Reasons for this could be that the initial costs for buying (for notary, land register etc.) are higher than in many other countries. If you decide to move out and sell the house/apartment again, this money is lost. And it is more difficult to get a credit (at least compared with the U.S.) as banks require you to have lots of savings as own contribution which means that people have to work for several years and save a lot of money before being able to apply for a credit.
And it can be difficult to find a house that you really want to buy. Houses in attractive locations are rather expensive (even small terraced houses in not that popular cities cost more than half a million euros and in popular cities, you usually even have to pay more than one million). And new houses usually are in the outskirts of a city/town/village where not everybody wants to live. Therefore, it might be more convenient, to stay in a rented apartment. I know many couples (some of them with children) with high income who prefer to stay in their rented apartments relatively central in the city because there they are close to all places and shops that they regularly visit and can walk there instead of depending on a car. In a village, in contrast, you might need two cars as frequently the public transportation system is quite bad there.

Due to the German welfare system that includes several forms of housing subsidies, poor people are able to rent regular apartments/houses and the vast majority of them prefers regular housing.

Most public housing in Germany was built during the decades after the Second World War to replace the houses destroyed during the war because many people did not have enough money to build new houses themselves. Therefore, most public housing was built in cities as these were more destroyed than villages and insteadt of having big areas just with public housing buildings, the buildings are spread all over the city because they filled the gaps left by the destroyed buildings. Even if public housing was built at one end of a city back then, it now would be surrounded by the city as cities are growing. Villages did not need public housing as much less houses and apartments were destroyed and due to rural depopulation, some other houses/apartments became available.
However, most cities see less need for public housing nowadays and have sold most of the public housing to companies that have turned it into regular rentable or owned apartments. There are just a few cities that want to increase public housing again, but they usually buy existing apartment buildings instead of building new ones somewhere. Currently, only about 1 million of more than 40 million houses/apartments are public housing and I am quite sure that authorities actively try to avoid having bigger complexes of public housing as such complexes can get a bad reputation quite easily so that applications for jobs could be discarded by companies just because the candidate has the wrong address.
Top Secret Researcher
#25 Old 21st May 2021 at 8:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralna
Being a tenant does not necessarily mean being poor and depending on public housing. Being a tenant does not even necessarily mean living in an apartment. You also can rent a house - this is especially common in villages because rents are more affordable there.


I didn't mean to imply poverty. Especially modern government subsided housing can be very nice in some places.

Avatar by MasterRed
Taking an extended break from Sims stuff. Might be around, might not.
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