What's Your Home Style?
Styles of houses vary across the country. From the New England Cape Cod to the Victorians of San Francisco, the choices are almost endless.
Following is a quick guide to help you recognize and use the professional terms for many of the most prevalent house styles:
- Arts & Crafts (Craftman) 1905-1930 A Craftsman home is is typically one story tall and has a low, gentle sloping roof, although some also have attics and dormers. The house usually has wide eaves above a deep porch, which has distinctive square pillars that taper. The roof rafters are traditionally exposed, while the inside of the home has many built-in cabinets, nooks, seating, and shelving. The interior beams of the house are usually exposed and used as decorative elements as well.
- Bungalow: 1905-1930 Bungalows are 1 or 1 1/2 story houses, with sloping roofs and eaves with unenclosed rafters, and typically feature a gable (or an attic vent designed to look like one) over the main portion of the house. Bungalows commonly have wood shingle, horizontal siding or stucco exteriors, as well as brick or stone exterior chimneys and a partial-width front porch.
- Cape Cod: 1600-1950 This compact story-and-a-half house is small and symmetrical with a central entrance and a steep, gable roof. Brick, wood or aluminum siding are the materials most commonly seen.
- Dutch Colonial: 1625-1800 The Dutch Colonial has two or two-and-one-half stories covered by a gambrel roof (having two slopes on each side, with the lower slope steeper than the upper, flatter slope) and eaves that flare outward. This style is traditionally made of brick or shingles.
- Eichler: 1949-1974 An Eichler House is essentially a one-story Ranch, but Eichler's company reinvented the style, creating a revolutionary new approach to suburban tract housing. Eichler House is a term used to describe homes constructed by California real estate developer Joseph Eichler. Between the 1949 and 1974, Joseph Eichler's company, Eichler Homes, constructed about 11,000 houses in California and three houses in New York state.
- Georgian: 1690-1830 Popular in New England, the Georgian has a very formal appearance with two or three stories and classic lines. Usually built of red brick, the rectangular house has thin columns alongside the entry, and multi-paned windows above the door and throughout the house. Two large chimneys rise high above the roof at each end.
- Mediterranean: 1965-Present Mediterranean is a house style that incoporates a fanciful mix of details suggested by the architecture of Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco, and the Spanish Colonies. A low-pitched, tile roof, often red, is the most distinctive characteristic of this style of home plan. Usually finished in stucco, these home plans often include a courtyard or patio, columns and arched windows and openings. Wrought-iron balconies and details are also common characteristics of these homes.
- New England Colonial: 1600-1740 This two-and-one-half story early American style is box-like with a gable roof. The traditional material is narrow clapboard siding with a shingle roof. The small-pane, double-hung windows usually have working wood shutters.
- Pueblo / Santa Fe Style: 1908 to Present Popular in the Southwest, these homes are either frame or adobe brick with a stucco exterior. The flat roof has protruding, rounded beams called vigas. One or two story, the homes feature covered/enclosed patios and an abundance of tile.
- Queen Anne / Victorian: 1870-1910 Developed from styles originated in Great Britain, these homes are usually two-story frame with large rooms, high ceilings and porches along the front and sometimes sides of the house. Peaked roofs and ornamental wood trim, many times referred to as “gingerbread,” decorate these elaborate homes.
- Ranch: 1945-1980 These long, low houses rank among the most popular types in the country. The ranch, which developed from early homes in the West and Southwest, is one-story with a low-pitched roof. The raised ranch, which is also common is the U.S., has two levels, each accessible from the home’s entry foyer, which features staircases to both upper and lower levels.
- Southern Colonial: 1600-1900 This large, two-to-three-story frame house is world famous for its large front columns and wide porches. The Southern Colonial is typically set back a wider distance from the road to create a feeling of stately elegance.
- Split-levels: 1945-1980 Split-level houses have one living level about half a floor above the other living level. When this type of home is built on three different levels, it is called a tri-level. Split-levels maximized their curbside presence, square footage, and minimized costs without requiring larger lots and full basements. The upper level may be cantilevered over the lower level providing additional square footage without increasing the footprint. The facade is plain with little decorative ornamentation.
- Tudor: 1890-Present Modeled after the English country cottage, Tudor styling features trademark dark-wood timbering set against light-colored stucco that highlights the top half of the house and frames the numerous windows. The bottom half of the house is often made of brick.
These are just a few of the many styles of homes available across the country - some are more prominent in different areas than others.