Home Styles and Types Index

Glossary of Home Terminologies!

RealEstateBuySellExchange.com has listed below the various home styles that have helped shape the United States and the rest of the world over the past few centuries.

RealEstateBuySellExchange.com has selected only the major styles or types of homes. Obviously each of these styles can have numerous variations.

A

A-Frame

Named from the appearance of the structure. Ends of the structure form the letter A, with very high ceilings that come from a very steep roof incline. This type of home is ideally suited for regions with large snowfall.

Adobe or Pueblo

Usually found in the Southwest United States and Spanish speaking countries, this style home refers to the adobe bricks, often made of earth, clay and straw. More modern versions use Portland cement and lime to help waterproof. In countries where cost is critical, fermented cactus juice is used for waterproofing.

American Foursquare

Popular from 1895 through the 1930's, American Foursquare was a very well received style through all regions of the United States. This simple box shape home featured a four room plan, 2.5 stories tall with a full width porch with side stairs.

Antebellum

This refers to homes that we built approximately 1830's and before in the Southern part of the United States. By all rights this is not a house style as it is used to demonstrate a time and place in history. These homes are best known for having a symmetrical facade with Greek columns or pillars and a grand staircase. This style was also known as Prairie Box and was an ideal design for placing of a home on a small land area.

Art Deco

These homes are best known for being dramatic, sleek futuristic homes built in the 1920's and 1930's. They were the future of home styles in the eyes of the buildings. The term Art Deco comes from the 1925 showing of The Exposition des Arts Decoratifs held in Paris. Art Deco flair has many early Egyptian aspects.

Art Moderne

Often confused with Art Deco, a true Art Moderne will be more sleek and overall a plain look. The Art Moderne era lasted in popularity from the 1930's through the end of World War II, 1945. These homes looked cube in shape, with aluminum and stainless steel window and door trim, rounded corners, a flat roof and asymmetrical and very little if any ornamentation.

B

Beaux Arts

Beaux style homes have many similar characteristics such as, large columns in the front of the home, several balconies, grand stairways with lavish decorations, large arches, and a symmetrical facade. This style of home was popular in the 1885 through 1925 and usually found on large, mansion homes.

Bungalow

Bungalows took shape in the United States in the early 20th century and originally could be divided into three main groups, California Bungalows, Chicago Bungalows and Craftsman Bungalows. Even though varieties exist, most bungalows have the following characteristics, one and a half stories, connecting rooms without hallways, low pitched roof, centralized living room, and built in cabinets and shelves.

C

Cape Cod

Very popular in the Northeast part of the United States, this type of dwelling is usually small with a combination house and a bungalow.

Castles

Castles originally came from Europe and the use of these home in the United States are modern versions of the large fortresses of centuries past. Designed as large, fortress structures, these palaces are means of keeping the wealthy safe.

Colonial Revival

Becoming famous after it appeared at the 1876 US Centennial Exposition, the Colonial Revival style was popular until mid 1950's. These homes are usually 2-3 stories with symmetrical facade, a temple like entrance, living area downstairs with bedrooms upstairs and several fireplaces.

Cotswold Cottage

Popular from 1890's through the 1940's, this style home is usually small with a quaint English country style look. Usually with irregularly shaped rooms, asymmetrical design, prominent chimney and very steep cross gables, these Cotswold Cottages appear as if they should have been in a storybook setting.

Craftsman

Craftsman, often referred to as a Craftsman Bungalow was the rage between 1905 and the mid 1930's. These small structures incorporated Arts and Crafts into the making of these distinctive homes. The outside of these homes usually had wood with stone decoration, stone porch supports, exposed roof rafters, few hallways, low pitched roof and a exterior chimney made from stone.

D

Deck House

This type of home is built using high-quality woods and masonry with custom built post and beams.

Detached

As the word means, these types of homes are separated from its neighbors or other buildings. The more popular version of Detached are Bungalow, Backsplit, Frontsplit, Sidesplit, and Ranch.

Domes

Geodesic Dome style of building is nothing more than a series of triangles assembled to build strength to the structure. Very few domes were built in United States, even though it is an ideal way to create a home for nominal cost. Not that popular as a home, this style has been used around the world in weather extreme conditions.

E

Earth Sheltered

Often called underground homes, an Earth Sheltered home is inexpensive to heat and cool and usually has concrete walls. Construction costs for these type of homes usually cost 10-30% more than a standard home. Mankind has been living in these structures for thousands of years.

Eastlake Victorian

Starting with a Victorian style home, and then adding numerous fancy spindles and decorative/ornamental details, the finished product is very fancy and eye catching. This style was widely used in the 1860's through 1880's.

F

Federal

A true Federal style home of 1780's through the 1840's had a semicircular fanlight over the front door, narrow side windows on both sides of the front door, circular or elliptical windows with shutters, and oval rooms and arches. Often confused with Georgian Colonial, a Federal home has more details and uses more decorative gesture with curved lines effect.

Feng Shui

Using a 3,000+ year old ancient art of creating harmony and balance throughout the structure offering a positive energy - called ch'i, this style is often seen in many famous structures throughout the world.

Folk Victorian

During the 1870's through the 1920 era, Folk Victorian style was square symmetrical shape homes with spindle work or jigsaw cut trip on the porches. Because decorator trip could be shipped by railway, the Folk Victorian era took advantage of the new delivery system of various decorative items to be placed on plain homes.

French Creole

From 1700's through the 1900's, French Creole was used mostly in the South part of the United States and was used from the east coast to the Mississippi Valley area. Ideal for the hot, wet climates, these homes contained thin front columns on wide porches, living quarters raided above ground level and no interior hallways.

French Inspired

From 1915 through 1945, this style of home was popular with a flared eaves and a distinctive hipped roofs combined with a round tower at the entryway. An arched doorway took visitors into a French Inspired structure and gave them the feeling of a stone mansion.

G

Georgian Colonial

Throughout colonial United States, the Georgian Colonial style was a symmetrical look which was popular from late 1600's through 1830's. This spacious design included decorative crown over the front door, paired chimneys, five windows across the front of the home and a paneled front door at the center of the structure.

Greek Revival

As the 19th century got into full swing, the Greek Revival style was popular until the 1860's. This style was reminiscent of the Parthenon, with pillars on the front facade, symmetrical shape, front gable design, and narrow windows around the front door.

H, I , J, K, L

Log Cabins

From 1700's to present day, log cabins have been widely selected as the style of choice. Originally log cabins were selected because of lack of other building materials, however today, a true log cabin are often spacious and very elegant. Original American log cabins were influenced by the Homestead Act of 1862 which gave homesteaders land if they cultivated it and built a home measuring 10 feet by 12 feet with one window. Therefore, logs were plentiful, and the lack of nails needed to construct, these sturdy and inexpensive homes helped move Americans westward.

M

Mission

Around the turn of the 20th century, the Mission style construction was popular in the southwest part of the country. These Spanish influenced buildings used smooth stucco walls, twisted columns, rounded arches, large square pillars, shaded porches, dark interiors and usually had a red tile roof. This style is often called Spanish Mission and California Mission.

N

Neo-eclectic

Starting in the mid 1960's to current day, the Neo-eclectic home style is really the combining of many different styles all into one. Using windows, roof pitch, arches, entry ways, staircases, porches and many other aspects of other styles to complete your modern day custom home, the Neo-eclectic style was born. Often confused with Postmodern, a neo-eclectic home is not an experimental looking structure, it is simply the borrowing of other styles and assembling into a new look.

O, P

Prairie School

Frank Lloyd Wright was the originator of this style starting around 1890's and into the 1920's. Prairie style homes consisted of low linear style, with open interior spaces, low pitched roof, central chimney and often had furniture built into the structure. Prairie homes were constructed in numerous shapes, such as L-shaped, Square, T-shaped, Y-shaped and sometimes a pinwheel shape.

Postmodern

During the open and changing times of the 1960', the Postmodern style of home made its way into the hearts of many. Basically this is an anything goes, free spirited style that does not rule out any possibilities. Famous for exaggerated or abstract detailing, combining shapes in unusual ways and many people claim Postmodern style is nothing more than shocking, surprising, bizarre and funny looking at best.

Q, R

Ranch

From the mid 1930's to present, a true Ranch home is one story, usually with large windows, open floor plans, low pitched gable roof, often a finished basement and this style is what you see in most suburbs throughout United States. Variations occurred from the standard Ranch style and soon a Raised Ranch or Split Level style was transformed. Split levels seem to become the more popular and their characteristics include an attached garage, asymmetrical, sliding glass doors leading onto a patio, two or more stories.

Richardsonian Romanesque

Boston architect Henry H. Richardson created a castle style of rounded wide arches similar to ancient Rome. These structures were made out of rough faced, square stone, cone shaped roofs, patterned masonry arches over each window, columns with spirals and lead decoration. Romanesque design was ideal for grand buildings and homes, but few could afford because the cost to construct.

Renaissance Revival

From 1840's through 1915, the Renaissance Revival style has the following characteristics, symmetrical facade, smooth exterior walls of cut stone or finished stucco, wide eaves, square windows on top floor, roofs topped with balustrade, and usually cube shaped. This style was used to build grand palaces / mansions throughout the United States because of the expensive costs associated with this type of building.

S

Second Empire

Keeping with a Napoleon flair and a Paris highly ornamented architecture look is the key to a Second Empire style created from 1855 to 1885. The common characteristics of Second Empire is a square shape, a U shaped window crowns, single story porches, Mansard roof and brackets beneath the eaves and balconies.

Shingle

As the name implies, this style of home was named because of the continuous overall covering of shingles not only on the roof, but the sides of the home as well. These structures often blended into the countryside because of the uniform color of the home. The main common characteristic of this style is only the shingles covering the home, with asymmetrical floor plan, several porches, and eaves and cross gables. Since the actual structure often borrowed from many other styles many variations exist, but the fully covered in shingles aspect is always prominent.

Spanish Revival

Between 1915 and 1940, the Spanish revival style was popular in the sun belt area of the United States. Inspired by many cultures, this style has characteristics of stucco archway, flat roof, asymmetrical shape with cross gables and side wings, tiled courtyards, tile floors, red roof tiles and carved doors. This style became even more popular because of the opening of the Panama Canal.

T

Tidewater

The southern part of the United States made this style famous, it was ideal for the hot, wet climates. Usually two stories, the premier characteristic is the extensive porches that wrap the home, and over the porches the main roof extends without interruption.

Tudor

This medieval style looking homes have decorative half timbering, steep pitched roof, narrow windows with small window panes and massive chimneys. Popular between 1890 to present, Tudor homes often resemble small medieval cottages right out of a fairy tale.

U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Victorian Italian

During 1840 to 1885 the most popular style of homes in United States, except the deep south, was the Victorian Italian. The characteristics of this style is usually 2 or more stories, square shaped, balustraded balconies above large porch, low pitched or flat roof, double doors with heavy molded and arches above all windows and doors.

Victorian Queen

Popular between 1880 though 1910, Victorian Queen style will have characteristics such as wrap around porches, towers, turrets, complicated asymmetrical shape, very steep roof, ornamental spindles, patterned masonry or half timbering, and front facing gable.

Victorian Stick

As the name states, Victorian Stick is recognizable by the exterior walls ornamented with stick work or decorative half timbering. Often confused with Tudor style, a true Victorian style have the following features, rectangular shape, ornamental trusses, overhanging eaves, and a steep roof