One of the most basic and essential decisions that need to be made before building a home is choosing the style. While you can customize certain aspects of the layout and features when you build a new home, the home’s style has a huge impact on the look, functionality, and features of a house.
Keep reading to learn more about popular home styles and the top considerations for finding the style that’s right for you.
Defining Home Styles
Today, modern style homes are hugely popular. This may be because they feature open, free-flowing floor plans that let in a lot of light. Modern style homes have lots of large windows and clean lines. There isn’t ornate architecture, but the exposed building elements often serve as visual interest.
Contemporary homes are considered to be traditional style and are actually a collection of designs used in the later part of the 20th century. They are usually two-story with an asymmetrical facade, open living spaces in a variety of configurations, flexible floorplans and large windows. Instead of sharp, angular lines, contemporary homes feature softer, rounder lines.
When you think of large homes with towering columns up front, colonial homes are what you’re probably envisioning. Colonial homes are two stories with a relatively flat, rectangular facade and symmetrical windows with shutters. The roof is steeply pitched and there’s usually one or two fireplaces. A sub-category is a southern colonial style, which tends to be larger and is sometimes three stories.
The mid-century modern design is a thoroughly American home style that came about in the 1950s after WWII. There are three things that help define mid-century modern homes: clean, simple lines, natural materials, and blending of indoor/outdoor spaces. Mid-century modern homes are designed with functionality and easy maintenance in mind, which is why they’re minimalistic.
In Texas, you’ll find more ranch-style homes than anywhere else in the country. The most defining characteristics of a ranch style home are its single story, low-pitched hipped roof, moderate to wide overhangs, and outdoor patios connected to the home by a sliding glass door. L-shaped and U-shaped layouts are common in ranch style homes.
This home style first gained prominence on the West Coast, but today it’s popular all over the country. Craftsman homes feature front porches, square or round columns, exposed beams, low pitched gable roofs, triangular brackets, and wide eaves. Natural materials are paired with simple designs. It’s common for these homes to have wood shingles and stone accents.
On the East Coast, you’re likely to see examples of Cape Cod style homes. These homes typically have a moderately pitched gable roof, wood shingle siding, single story, symmetrical layout with a central hallway and chimney in the center of the home. They’re designed for comfort and practicality.
Like the homes you’ll see in Greece, Italy, and France, Mediterranean homes in the U.S. have a very distinctive look. They feature low, tiled roofs, stucco exteriors, large arched windows, arched doorways, balconies, and outdoor living spaces.
Choosing a Home Style
For many home buyers, the house style is a personal preference largely based on looks. However, as noted above, different home styles have certain characteristics and features that are common.
Another consideration is the layout. Some home styles are always one-story while others are usually two-story. Some styles are known for having an open layout, but others are more compartmentalized. This is something you’ll want to carefully consider before settling on a home style.