What’s Your Exterior Style?

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Matt and I talk about interior style all the time, but what about the style of the exterior of your home? Well, here’s a brief history of home styles, see if you can figure out what style home you live in!

Cape Cod Style
Some of the first homes between 1600 and 1800 were built by English colonists, and they are now called the Cape Cod style home. They are modest 1 story, sometimes 1 1/2story wooden shuttered homes with a step roof line; wood clapboard or wood shingled siding and multi-pane double hung windows. Sometimes special details like dormer windows were added to increase the attic space and add light and ventilation.

Georgian Style
Then, in the 1700’s there were the colonial style homes with Georgian Colonial being the one that is most common today. Georgian Colonials have a very rectangular, symmetrical and formal style to them. They are all built around the center hall and staircase. There are always 5 windows evenly spaced across the front of the house. Quite often there is dental molding along the eaves and dormers were popular jutting from the roofs. Columns or pilasters, which are shallow columns, would be surrounding the front door.

Victorian Style
Matt spent quite a few years living in California, and one of the predominant styles in San Francisco is of course the Painted Ladies, or Victorian style homes. These homes were from the Victorian Era which was about 1860 to 1900. If you have a Victorian home, you probably already know it!

In the early 20th century from about 1905-1945 builder’s decided it was time to forgo the elaborate gingerbread of the Victorians and started making homes that were compact, informal and economical! They were what we call bungalows and they include everything from the basic bungalow to Craftsman style to cottages. They have one and half stories, low pitched roofs and a more or less horizontal shape.

Now we’re up to around 1945 when World War II ended and the soldiers came home. This created a huge need for housing so developers bought huge tracts of land and created homes that were very simplistic and affordable. These were our current ranch homes, raised ranches and split level ranch homes. These homes had new features that included attached garages and sliding glass doors out to a patio.

Next was the modern style home that really broke away from any conventional homes at the time. Some of the earliest were designed and built around the 1930’s and of course they are still being built today.

Last, we have the newest style to be built starting around the 1960’s to the present – it’s the ?neo-eclectic? houses or McMansions. Basically these are very large homes that borrow styles from historic homes and combine a variety of them with more modern features.

So, did you find a home that matches the style you have? I know these were pretty basic, but most homes will fit into one of these categories. This is the type of information that can help you when you are purchasing accessories, selecting colors, or even adding shutters, a new door or mailbox. Match the items you are adding to your home’s style and you’ll keep building a more beautiful exterior that you can be proud of!


Lauren Marburger :