A-Frame houses were designed with a dramatic, sloping roof and cozy living quarters. A-frame style house is ideal for colder regions with lots of snow. A-Frame houses are generally triangular in shape and have steeply sloping rooms that often extend to the ground, front and rear gables, deep-set eves, many large windows on the front and rear facades, generally small amounts of living space with few vertical wall surfaces.
The Cape Cod originated in the early 18th century as early settlers used half-timbered English houses with a hall and parlor as a model, and adapted it to New England’s stormy weather and natural resources. Cape house plans are generally one to one-and-a-half story dormered homes featuring steep roofs with side gables and a small overhang. They are typically covered in clapboard or shingles and are symmetrical in appearance with central door, multi-paned, double – hung windows, shutters, a formal, center-hall floor plan, hardwood floors and little exterior ornamentation.
Carriage houses get their name from the out buildings of large manors where owners stored their carriages. Today, carriage houses generally refer to detached garage designs with living space above them.
Swiss-style Chalet house plans were introduced to America in the mid 1800’s by architect Andrew Jackson Downing and began appearing in Northeastern United States where their picturesque style fit in perfectly with the cold and snowy landscape. Constructed of rustic rough-cut wood, Chalet building plans often feature wide exterior galleries and balconies to view the countryside, large windows, a steeply overhanging roof, and elaborately cut decorative woodwork that gives this home its characteristic Alpine look.
Colonial revival house plans are typically two to three story home designs with symmetrical facades and gable roofs. Pillars and columns are common, often expressed in temple-like entrances with porticos topped by pediments. Multi-pane, double-hung windows with shutters, dormers, and paneled doors with sidelights topped with rectangular transoms or fanlights help dress up the exteriors which are generally wood or brick. Additional common features include center entry-hall floor plan, fireplaces, and simple, classical detailing.
The common characteristic of this style includes simple, clean lines with large windows devoid of decorative trim. The exteriors are a mixture of siding, stucco, stone, brick and wood. The roof can be flat or shallow pitched, often with great overhangs.
A cottage is typically a smaller design that may remind you of picturesque storybook charm. Sometimes these homes are referred to as bungalows.
A backlash against the elaborate Victorian style of the turn of the 20th century, the Craftsman house displays the honesty and simplicity of a truly American house. Its main features are a low-pitched, gabled roof (often hipped) with a wide overhang and exposed roof rafters. Its porches are either full or partial width, with tapered columns or pedestals that extend to the ground level. A combination of natural materials, such as wood and stone, are used; and often a combination of more than one type.
Dutch Colonial is a style of American domestic architecture, primarily characterized by gambrel roofs having curved eaves along the length of the house. Modern versions built in the early 20th century are more accurately referred to as “Dutch Colonial Revival,” a subtype of the Colonial Revival style. Central to the style is a broad gambrel roof with flaring eaves that extend over the long sides, resembling a barn in construction. Earlier homes were a single room, with additions added to either end (or short side) and very often a porch along both long sides. Typically, end walls were made of stone and a chimney was located on one or both ends. Common were double-hung sash windows with outward swinging wood shutters and a central double Dutch door.
Going back in time, the American farmhouse reflects a simpler era when families gathered in the open kitchen and living room. This version of the country house usually has bedrooms clustered together and features the friendly porch or porches. Its lines are simple. They are often faced with wood siding.
Rooted in the rural French countryside, the French Country style includes both modest farmhouse designs as well as estate-like chateaus. At its roots, the style exudes rustic warmth and comfortable designs. Typical design elements include curved arches, soft lines and stonework. Inside, you’ll find wood beams, plaster walls and stone floors as common thematic features
Georgian architecture is characterized by its proportion and balance; simple mathematical ratios were used to determine the height of a window in relation to its width or the shape of a room as a double cube. The most common building materials used are brick or stone. Commonly used colors were red, tan, or white. However, modern day Georgian style homes use a variety of colors.
With details reminiscent of the Parthenon, stately, pillared Greek Revival homes reflect a passion for antiquity. Features generally include pedimented gable, symmetrical shape, heavy cornice, wide plain frieze, bold, simple moldings, and entry porch with columns, decorative pilasters, and narrow windows around front door.
This house is usually a one-story design with shallow roofs that slope, making a wide overhang, to provide needed shade is warm climates. Courtyards and open arches allow for breezes to flow freely through the house and verandas. There are open, big windows throughout. Verandas can be found on the second floor. Typically, the Mediterranean house is constructed with a stucco exterior and has a tile roof.
Prairie-style home plans came of age around the turn of the twentieth century. Often associated with one of the giants in design, Frank Lloyd Wright, prairie-style houses were designed to blend in with the flat prairie landscape. The typical prairie-style house has sweeping horizontal lines and wide open floor plans. Other common features of this style include overhanging eaves, rows of small windows, one-story projections and in many cases a central chimney.
A ranch typically is a one-story house, but becomes a raised ranch or split level with room for expansion. Asymmetrical shapes are common with low-pitched roofs and a built-in garage (in rambling ranches). The exterior is faced with wood and bricks, or a combination of both.
To accommodate the warm, humid air of southern climates, houses of the south are sprawling and airy with tall ceilings, large front porches, usually built of wood. A wrap-around porch provides shade during the heat of the day. Pitched or gabled roofs are usually medium or shallow in height, often with dormers.
Southwest home plans embody the aesthetics of adobe homes. They can either be built out of massive adobe walls which stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter or in the adobe style. True adobe walls make the inside of an adobe home quiet, as they absorb and insulate from sounds both inside and outside of the home. A well-designed adobe home will need no cooling system, whereas stick construction probably will. The combination of adobe with natural plasters, wood ceilings, exposed exterior beams and other traditional finishes results in a rich blend of tradition, comfort, and elegance.
Split level homes offer living space on multiple levels separated by short flights of stairs up or down. Frequently you will find living and dining areas on the main level with bedrooms located on an upper level.
A traditional home is the most common style in the United States. It is a mix of many classic, simple designs typical of the country’s many regions. Common features include little ornamentation, simple rooflines, symmetrically spaced windows.
Considered a step up from the English cottage, a Tudor home is made from brick and/or stucco with decorative half timbers exposed on the exterior and interior of the home. Steeply pitched roofs, rubblework masonry and long rows of casement windows give these homes drama.
Although developed and popular from about 1820 into the early 1900’s, the Victorian style is still desirable today. Strong historical origins include steep roof pitches, turrets, dormers, towers, bays, eyebrow windows and porches with turned posts and decorative railings. Ornamentation and decoration are used along with shingles or narrow-lap wood siding. These homes are mostly two-story in design.