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Different Types Of Houses
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement
Housing plans have evolved through out the years. The
discovery of new materials, the advanced design techniques, and
improved construction methods have altered the traditional house
plans. However, it remains true that geographic location, trends and
time periods have built a foundation for the general housing types
that are still used today through out the world.
• Cape Cod: Typically made of wood and covered in wide clapboard or
shingles. Characterized by 1 or 1˝ stories with a steep roof that
rest low to the ground. Large central fireplace that is connected to
each room in the house. Hard wood floors. Contains a recognized
center-hall floor plan. Windows and doors are symmetrically
arranged. Decorative shutters.
• Classic Cottage: Resembles a Cape Cod house style. However, the
roof of a classic cottage is much shallower and it has a higher
eaves-front wall. Typically, small windows line the top front of the
cottage. Main windows consist of multi-paned double-hung sash. There
is increased space and light with this house plan.
• Colonial: Contains a medium pitched roof with a square,
symmetrical shape. Front door has a decorative crown. Five windows
align the upper level of the front of the house. Lower level
consists of four windows and a centered door. Typically a 1˝ or two
story home. Eaves have classical detailing.
• Gable and Ell: Floor plan of this house is either L-shaped (with a
porch in the interior corner of the L) or T-shaped. 1 1/2 or 2
stories tall, with a gable roof at the same height as the main roof.
These homes generally have double-hung sash windows with
• Bungalow: Typically 1 1/2 or 2 stories tall. The roofs are hipped
which provides for large attics. Contain broad overhanging eaves and
big porches. Roofs are generally set in a gable, hip, or clipped
• Suburban Ranch: Can be rectangular, L-shaped, or U-shaped in
design. Horizontal appearance. Windows are typically large
double-hung, sliding, or picture. Modern ranches contain newly
engineered metal casement windows. Contains a low pitched gable roof
with deep set eaves. Attached garage.
• Raised Ranch: Same house plan as a suburban ranch but with an
added upper level. This style is also referred to as “Split Level.”
Split levels were created to accommodate to the separation of living
space from activity rooms.
• Four Square: Two-story home that contains four square rooms above
three square rooms and an entrance hall. Stairs are tucked to the
side on the first floor. Cubical shaped. Generally has crafty
detailing. Contains a wide front porch and sometimes a small dormer
on the second floor.
• Side Hall Plan: Common building material for these houses is wood
frame construction or masonry. Can be 1˝ to 2˝ stories high.
Gable-front design. Characterized with corner pilasters, railings,
columns, porches, sidelights, and a broad door frame.
• Saltbox: This house style maintains symmetry. Generally the design
omits detailing. Contains a flat front and steeply sloped rear roof
line. They are usually built from wood and have shutters. Fireplaces
• Shotgun: This house style is typically long and narrow with a
gable-ended entrance, one-room wide, and two or three rooms deep.
Contains front to back alignment. Suited for hot climates due to the
front and back door alignment. Often considered an African American
house design and commonly found in southern states.
• I House: Has its origins in 16th century England. Two stories
high, gable roofed house, only one room deep, at least two rooms
wide and often contains a one story rear addition.