A Guide to America's Most Common Home Styles
Copyright © 2004, W. Troy Swezey
Author of *Real Estate Secrets Exposed*
Styles of houses vary across the country. From the New England
Cape Cod to the Victorians of San Francisco, the choices are
almost endless. Knowing which style you prefer is one of the
basic elements in your hunt for the perfect home.
Following is a quick guide to help you recognize and use the
professional terms for many of the most prevalent house styles:
· Ranch: 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 room. 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
· Cape Cod: this compact story-and-a-half house is small and
symmetrical with a central entrance and a step, gable roof.
Brick, wood or aluminum siding are the materials most commonly
· Georgian: Popular in New England, the Georgian has a very
formal appearance with tow 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.
· Tudor: 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.
· Queen Anne/Victorian: 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.
· Pueblo/Santa Fe Style: - Popular in the Southwest, these homes
are either frame or adobe brick with a stucco exterior. The
flat rood has protruding, rounded beams called vigas. One or
two story, the homes feature covered/enclosed patios and an
abundance of tile.
· Dutch Colonial: - the Dutch Colonial has two or two-and-one-half
stories covered by a gambrel roof (having two lopes on each
side, with the lower slope steeper than the upper, flatter
slope) and eaves that flare outward. This style is
traditionally make of brick or shingles.
· New England Colonial: - This two-and-one-half story early
American style is box like with a gable roof. The traditional
material is narrow clapboard siding and a shingle roof. The
small-pane, double-hung windows usually have working wood
· Southern Colonial: -this large, two-to-three-story frame house
is world famous for its large front columns and wide porches.
· Split-levels: 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
These are just a few of the many styles of homes available
across the country - some are more prominent in different areas
than others. Knowing home style terms will help you zero in on
the type of house that will fill your needs and suit your taste.
W. Troy Swezey is the author of "A Guide to America's Most Common
Home Styles." As a Realtor at Century 21 Paul & Associates, he
has helped many individuals with their real estate needs. Visit
his web site to download his free e-book, "REAL ESTATE SECRETS