The USA is home to different types of houses. Some are large and grandiose, while others are smaller and more reserved. Some are more modern in their design, while others are like stepping into a time machine.
Knowing the different styles of homes across the country can help you choose the right one when buying and can even help you understand particular issues that may impact homes from a certain era.
Without any further ado, this guide will take you through some of the most popular home styles across the country and help you learn a little more about what makes them unique from one another.
Colonial homes date back hundreds of years to the Colonial Era but are still incredibly popular throughout the country today. However, this style has evolved dramatically from the past and revived itself with styles influenced by Dutch, French, Georgian, and Spanish architecture. The style is quite broad, and one colonial home can look quite different from the next.
These homes are likely best known for their symmetry. The front door is often in the middle of the home, and is flanked by an equal number of windows on each side of the home. Houses in the colonial style also have large entryways (often complete with a large staircase), are generally at least two stories tall, and often look quite formal.
They are normally rectangular in shape, and feature a gable roof. As far as the siding and exterior materials used, these homes can have brick, wood, stone, or shingles.
Contemporary homes are often seen as the homes of the modern age, and encompass a range of home styles and designs that have been built recently. These types of home styles often feature clean lines, have a focus on minimalism, and utilize natural elements when possible.
The interior and exterior colors of the home are generally quite neutral, as well. They often have an asymmetrical design, and there is a lot of experimentation in how the home looks and was designed, both inside and out. While this isn’t always the case, these houses may often feature a lot of windows and glass.
Also, contemporary homes are often made with sustainable and eco-friendly materials, and have a greater focus on energy efficiency than many other home styles will.
A cottage is among the coziest and most comfortable style of houss. What these homes may lack in their size, they make up for with their style and personality. These homes often have an asymmetrical exterior, feature wide doors and hallways, and feature small (but very comfortable) living spaces to relax with friends or family.
One cottage-style home can be slightly different from the next, and this is part of their charm and beauty. Each has their own unique personality and character that can come from their color, how they are designed, and their floor plan.
These homes originated in Europe but quickly made their way across the pond, and are often used as vacation homes across the country. Cottage style homes normally have a fireplace, often have wood siding, and many will feature a small porch.
The farmhouse style is one that is quite simple, and has become popular in all parts of the country. Farmhouses are best known for their relatively tall ceilings, exposed beams, and other rustic qualities like brick walls.
These are incredibly practical homes with rectangular floor plans that typically include a large porch at the front that potentially wraps around the entire home. Different parts of the country may have their own variations, and this style of home has evolved over the years, thankfully without losing its rustic charm and barn-inspired look.
Ranch homes began popping up in the 1930s, but took off in the 1950s and 60s. They can be found in cities, suburbs, and even smaller rural towns across the country. These homes are known for their single-story design, their roofs with a low pitch, and their attached garages.
Their floor plan is often rectangular, but in some areas you will see ranch style homes with an “L”-shaped design. These homes will often have a large yard, plenty of outdoor space, and often a back deck or patio. Ranch style homes are moderately sized and are often the perfect choice for a starter home.
Victorian homes are of the country’s most beloved styles of homes. Named after the Queen of Britain who reigned from 1837 to 1901, Victorian homes are all about the details. They have very intricate designs throughout the home, bay windows, and asymmetrical floor plans in many cases.
Victorian homes are often very complex in terms of their overall design, from the textures in the home, to the trim and woodwork. Everything from the archways, to the window frames and door frames often have some unique element that sets them apart from many other homes and show the amount of work that went into the creation of the home.
These homes are incredibly popular for people to purchase and restore today, showcasing a blend of traditional styling and modern contemporary appeal. They are normally two or even three stories tall, have relatively steep gable roofs, and some may even feature towers or points.
Among the most popular type of home styles, a craftsman home is often seen as the opposite of the Victorian homes mentioned earlier. Craftsman homes are all about handmade architecture that is well-made and sturdy, with a huge focus on simplicity. Exposed beams, columns, and gable roofs with a low pitch are all staples of this style of home.
The interior of these homes often includes a lot of woodwork and customized elements like built-in shelves or bookcases. These homes truly highlight the craftsmanship that goes into building and designing a home.
Colors used in and around the home are generally neutral and soft in tone, to compliment the wooden aspects. These homes first gained popularity after the industrial revolution during the “Arts and Crafts” era that began in England.
Massively inspired by Spanish, Italian, and Greek homes and villas, the Mediterranean style is very noticeable. These homes feature an exterior made of stucco, red-tiled roofs, and intricate arched windows and doorways.
Mediterranean homes are quite common in states with warmer climates like California, Arizona, and Florida. In these homes, the garden and yard is often an extension of the living space as many homes feature a “U”-shaped floor plan. They rose to popularity in the 1920s and 30s, and continue to be a popular choice for buyers. Mediterranean style homes are often quite neutral and don’t go over the top, but still give off a very luxurious and classy vibe.
Popular in the 1930s in the USA, this style of home actually has roots back to the 17th century. The homes were built with stability and hardiness in mind, to help them withstand difficult winters. Despite this, the homes still remain incredibly charming and feature wood siding, a central door, hardwood flooring, and normally a multi-pane window on each side of the door.
The original Cape Cod homes were relatively small, but modern takes on the style can often have a lot more space. These homes are simple, and are found primarily in the Northeastern part of the country, but can be anywhere.
A tudor home is instantly recognizable due to its timber framing and multi-gabled roof that is quite steep. The homes are tall, and most of the windows are narrow. Tudor homes began appearing in the USA in the late-1800s, but didn’t become popular until a few decades later in the 1920s.
These homes almost look like they are straight out of a fairy tale or story, and feature architectural elements from the Medieval times. Tudors are often asymmetrical, and feature a charming old-school look that simply takes you back in time.
Emerging after World War II, midcentury modern homes used new ideas and materials to completely reimagine home building. Using things like plywood, steel, and glass, these homes often feature a sleek and streamlined design, featuring large and plentiful windows.
They are normally flat, \horizontally wide, and normally only span a single floor. Their overall design is quite simple, and the presence of so many large windows helps the home integrate and connect to nature.
A townhouse is a home that is individually owned by one person or family, but shares at least one wall with a neighbor and has its own entrance. These can be found in almost any city, but are more prevalent and popular in areas with limited space.
Townhouses are usually two or three floors, make efficient use of vertical space, and aren’t very large horizontally. While these homes may lack privacy and yard space compared to others, the lower price point makes them an incredibly attractive option.
There are various types of houses and styles across the country. Some have been popular for decades (or even centuries) and evolved over the years, while others are just now becoming popular. We hope this guide helped you learn more about the various housing options, whether you are looking to buy or simply want to educate yourself.