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House Architectural Styles

This section contains brief descriptions of various architectural styles in single family homes.

  • Colonial. Cape Cod and Cape Ann styles are: generally quite small in size - minimum with good taste; symmetrical-windows balanced on both sides of front door; either one or one and one-half stories with little head room upstairs; fairly steep gable or gambrel roof covered with wood shingles; and exterior of wood siding.

  • New England Colonial. A square or rectangular, box-like structure having: maximum usable space; symmetrical windows balanced on both sides of front door; either two or two and one-half stories; gable roof covered with wood shingles; exterior of wood generally painted white; and impressive front entrance usually with transom fan of glass above the door.

  • Dutch Colonial. A moderate-sized home generally not more than 50 feet wide, with a symmetrical front having: an entrance at the center, balanced by the windows; low-sweeping gambrel roof; exterior generally of stone; and either one and one-half story with dormer windows or two and one-half stories with dormer windows.

  • Georgian and Southern Colonial. These styles have elaborate front entrances with plain or fluted columns; are generally of brick or wood; have prominent gabled roofs, often hipped; are very symmetrical; require large plots of land; large scale, not suitable for a small house; and either two, two and one-half or three stories.

  • English Elizabethan. This style has gothic refined lines with molded stone around windows and doors; generally of brick, stucco, or stone; steep pitched roof, covered with slate or shingle; usually leaded metal casement windows; and requires a large building site.

  • English Half-Timber. This style has protruding timber faces with stucco between the faces; lower story of heavy masonry; steep pitched roof; generally two stories; and requires a large lot area.

  • Regency. A generally symmetrical style with front entrance in center; exterior of brick or stone; shutters on each side of windows; low hipped roof; two stories in height; and octagonal window on second floor over front door.

  • French Provincial. Usually a large house on a sizable plot, masonry exterior walls with very high roofs; large high windows with long shutters; and one and one-half or two and one-half stories.

  • French Normandy. Generally has turrets at entry; walls of brick or stone; unsymmetrical; and steep pitched shingle roof.

  • True Spanish. Enclosed patios; red mission tiled roof; wrought iron decorations; and stucco walls (usually white).

  • Small California Spanish. Stucco exterior; flat composition roof with mission tile trim in the front; suitable for small lots; no patio; and one story only.

  • Monterey Spanish. Two stories; stucco (generally white); red mission tiled roof; second story balconies; and decorative iron railings.

  • Modern and Contemporary. Generally one story; usually flat or low pitched roof; often on concrete slab; large amount of glass; and indoor/outdoor living.

  • California Bungalow or Ranch House. One story; stucco with wood trim; often on concrete slab; shingle or shake roof; low and rambling; generally attached garage; and indoor/outdoor living.

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