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Different Types Of Houses
Written by Elizabeth Wood
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.

House Types:

• 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 wood-clapboard siding.

• 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 gable.

• 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 are common.

• 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.

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