Architectual Styles

Architectual Styles



  • Colonial style home plans are generally two to two and one half story homes with a very simple and efficient design. This architectural style is very identifiable with its very simplistic rectangular shape and the large columns. These homes are also very symmetrical with equally sized windows generally spaced in a uniform fashion across the front of the home with decorative shutters. Colonial plans usually have one gabled roof from side to side or a hipped roof. Entrances are often accentuated with tall columns extending up both stories.
  • 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.
  • Return to Top


  • Many of us may have had a cape cod style home as our fist home since they are generally smaller in size and more affordable. These smaller homes became very popular in the 1920’s and allowed thousands of people the opportunity to own a home. Many of these homes were left unfinished in the attic and later finished as families could afford it. Some of the most prominent features of cape cod style homes are:
  • Small rectangular sizes designed for small families.
  • 1.5 story structures with gables roofs and usually two or more small dormers.
  • The exteriors vary from brick, wide clapboard siding and sometime stucco.
  • Usually the garages on Cape cod style homes are detached and positioned towards the rear of the home.
  • These homes often had fireplaces with masonry chimneys.
  • The 1-1/2 story style of a cape cod home is often found in plans categorized as Country style or farmhouse style homes. Since these homes are in a more rural setting large covered porches are often times added.
  • Cape Cod style house plans have been a significant part of our country’s history since many soldiers returning from World War II were assisted by the government with guaranteed loans and low interest rates to purchase them. These homes were often referred to as GI (general issue) homes because of the government programs that helped the soldiers get back into the workforce and enjoy the benefits of home ownership.
  • 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 a central door, multi-paned, double-hung windows, shutters, a formal, center-hall floor plan, hardwood floors and little exterior ornamentation. Some cottage house plans share Cape-inspired elements.
  • Return to Top


    • Side-gabled, gambrel or hip Roof: moderate or varied pitch,
    • Slight eave overhang, boxed with modillions, dentils, or other classical moldings
    • Gabled or pedimented dormers
    • Segmental arched doors, windows, porches
    • Architectual Styles
    • Transom lights above doors
    • Six- or eight-panel door
    • Pilasters to sides of doors (may have pediment)
    • Pediment (doors and windows)
    • Quoins, belt course
    • Pilaster
    • The word or term "Georgian" refers to the period of architecture in America beginning around 1700. Georgian style house plans were the dominant style of the English colonies for most of the 1700’s during the reigns of Kings George I, II, and III.
    • The overall features of Georgian house plans can be described as a symmetrical composition enriched by classical detail. The structural and detail aspects of Georgian house plans show distinctions among regions as do other architectural styles. Georgian home plan architecture also share a unique set of characteristics which includes one or two story boxed floor plans usually two rooms deep, windows that are symmetrically balanced (aligned horizontally and vertically — never in adjacent pairs), windows usually five-ranked on front facade, less commonly three- or seven-ranked. The windows on a georgian house design have small panes of glass usually 9 or 12 panes per sash, paneled front door with decorative crown supported by pilasters, front door that’s uncovered or covered by porch. Other georgian house plan features include side gable, hip, or gambrel roof on the main body of the building, a centered gable of the front facade, and cornice detail with dentils and other decorative molding. Georgian house plans are one of several colonial house plan styles.


      • (DUTCH COLONIAL) Side-gabled or gambrel Roof: low pitch
      • Shed dormers
      • Flared eaves
      • Full-width one-story porch
      • Dutch Colonial house plans are usually identified as one stories (sometimes 1 1/2 and 2 stories) with gabled or gambreled roof with little or no overhang. The roofs of dutch colonial houseplans are usually moderate to steeply pitched with flared eaves. In earlier original examples, the entrance door is divided into upper and lower halves. Today, this is more commonly a single unit door. The fireplace chimneys are at the end of the dutch colonial house plans (one or both side walls).
      • There is one main distinction that sets the dutch colonial house plans apart from the other colonial styles. That would be the unusual roof which is called a gambrel roof. This roof became common as a means of increasing the roof span and making use of the attic space as livable space. With this type of roof, the homeowner was able to use the main floor for business operations and the upper floors for the family living quarters as seen in the urban tradition of Dutch colonials.

      Common features of dutch colonial house plans include a gable or commonly gambrel roof with little or no rake overhang, parapeted roof with paired end chinmeys, flaring eaves, and shed or gable or radius type dormers.



      The Cottage home is typically a smaller design with picturesque details and informal but romantic styling. Consider images of a cozy and inviting storybook home. Sometimes referred to as Carpenter Gothic Revival, cottages will have whimsical medieval details such as balconies, lacey gingerbread bargeboards and ornamental chimneys. Windows can be expansive bay windows or casement windows with diamond or rectangular panes. Shingled gable roofs are accentuated by rafter brackets and projecting eaves. Natural materials fit best on a cottage home — vertical or horizontal siding accented by stone or brick on different walls, porch columns or chimney. The open floor plan is asymmetrical, flexible and flows casually from room to room.

      Due to the overall warm and inviting appeal, cottages are perfect vacation homes that do well in a lake or wilderness setting. Cottages have also been referred to as bungalows or cabins because of their size and tendency to be vacation homes, but the style also translates effortlessly to more generous dimensions.


      The American farmhouse is a country home style that highlights the simplicity of rural living. Coming up the drive, you will notice a large front porch or wraparound porch with the door centered, second-floor dormer windows and a gable roof that often runs parallel to the main road. The roof frequently flares out to cover the porch, which is an important part of the home plan. These large porches were originally designed to help cool the interior of the home also provide a shady spot for guests to gather and enjoy the outdoors. With functional shutters, decorative porch railing, and dormer windows that increase interior light and living space, the architecture of a country home is minimally ornamental but very efficient. Large, symmetrical windows help to accentuate the exterior and bring the outside in. The exterior is typically faced with horizontal siding.

      Farmhouse floor plans are usually square or symmetrically shaped, sometimes with side wings. The typical large Farmhouse footprint makes it well suited for large lots, though examples of this style can be found in many areas around the country, including urban environments.

      The interior of a Farmhouse boasts a large "country kitchen" and a cluster of bedrooms on the upper level. Farmhouses contain at least one fireplace and large family gathering areas designed for relaxation. This country home is casual, functional and comfortable. Influenced by a number of different home styles, the Farmhouse is an elegant fixture in America’s landscape.



      • Side-gabled or hip Roof: moderate or varied pitch, or low pitch
      • Slight eave overhang, boxed with modillions, dentils, or other classical moldings
      • gabled or pedimented dormers
      • segmental (sometimes round) arched doors, windows, porches
      • round fanlight or elliptical fanlight with sidelights
      • six- or eight-panel door
      • Pilasters to sides of doors (may have pediment)
      • Unbroken pediment on windows
      • Classical one story columns
      • Quoins, belt course
      • Garlands, floral ornament
      • Pilaster
      • The Adam or Federal house plans style was the dominant style in the United states around the period of 1780-1820’s. It came about as a refining development of the earlier georgian style house plans.
      • Identifying features of the federal colonial house plans include a fanlight over the front door with or without sidelights. The fanlight is usually a semi-circular or elliptical shape. The front door is often emphasized with decorative mouldings. The windows are double-hung sashes with 6 panes per sash and are aligned horizontally and vertically in a symmetrical pattern five rank on the front facade. The windows are never in pairs; however, palladian style window in three parts are common above the front door. The roofs are mostly hipped and can be seen gabled as well. Federal style house plans are commonly seen with and without covered entries.
    • Return to Top

    • Leave a Reply