Are you curious about the history and architecture of colonial style house or houses? Knowing the features and styles of these iconic homes can provide valuable insight into the past. From the Georgian to the Federal style, there is much to learn about colonial houses.
In short, A colonial style house is a type of architecture that originated in the United States during the 16th century. The style is based on the design of the homes and buildings of the colonial settlers in America, which featured a simple and symmetrical style of architecture.
In this blog, we explore everything you need to know about the classic colonial house, including its history, architectural features, and style. Get ready to learn all about this classic American style of architecture!
Table of contents
1- What Is a Colonial Style House?
Colonial style houses are the most common type of residential architecture in the United States, and they can be found throughout the country. The term “colonial” refers to any type of house that was built before the American Revolution. Colonial homes were commonly built in the 16th century, as a response to England’s imposition of taxes on colonial residents.
Colonial style houses are usually found in America’s eastern and southern states, and they are often associated with a particular period in American history. Although the style is no longer as popular as it once was, it is still a popular choice for homeowners looking for a classic look.
i- Colonial Style House’s Interior
The interior of a colonial style house is often simple and symmetrical, with a central hallway and rooms on either side. The interior walls are usually paneled, usually in wood. The floors are typically made of wood, although some homes have wood-look vinyl flooring.
Colonial style homes typically have a rectangular or square-shaped footprint, with a central hallway running through the center of the house. The front door is usually situated in the center of the house, with two windows on either side of the door. The windows are typically small and symmetrically placed, and may feature traditional shutters.
ii- Colonial Style House’s Exterior
The exterior of a colonial style house often features clapboard siding, which is wide wooden boards that overlap each other horizontally. The clapboards are often painted in neutral colors, such as white, grey, or beige. Shutters, a chimney, and a central attic dormer are also common features.
The roof of a colonial style house is most commonly a gable or gambrel style – a style with two pitches, one steep and one shallow. In a gambrel style, the second pitch starts at the middle of the roof and extends to the eaves, giving the roof a distinctive look.
2- Types of Colonial Style Houses
A colonial home style is amongst the most popular architectural styles in the United States. It has a classic, timeless charm that can fit into almost any style of home. Colonial style houses are typically characterized by symmetrical shapes, steep roofs, and large windows.
i- Historic Colonial
The most common type of colonial style house is the historic colonial, which dates back to the 1600s and 1700s. These homes were built in a simple two-story style, with a central door and two windows on either side. The exterior is usually clapboard or shingle, and the roof is usually steep and gabled.
ii- Dutch Colonial
The Dutch-style house is characterized by a gambrel roof with flared eaves, and a large central chimney. These homes typically have a symmetrical shape and two stories. Dutch-style house is usually made of brick, and the exterior is usually clapboard.
iii- Georgian Colonial
The Georgian colonial is a much larger and more formal style of a colonial home. These homes have a square shape, with a central pavilion and four wings. They also feature a large central staircase and a tall roof with a gable or hipped roof. The exterior of a Georgian colonial is usually brick, and the roof is usually hipped.
iv- Federal Colonial
The Federal colonial is another type of colonial style home. It is characterized by its symmetrical shape, with a central door and two windows on either side. These homes usually have a slate or shingle roof and a large central staircase. The exterior of a Federal colonial is usually brick and the roof is usually hipped.
v- Cape Cod Colonial
The Cape Cod colonial is another type of colonial-style home. It is characterized by its steep roof, with the eaves extending over the sides of the house. These homes typically have a symmetrical shape and two stories. The exterior is usually clapboard or shingle, and the roof is usually steep and gabled.
Colonial-style homes are a classic choice for any style of home and can fit into almost any neighborhood. Whether you are looking for a historic colonial, a Dutch colonial, a Georgian colonial, a Federal colonial, or a Cape Cod colonial, there is sure to be a style that will fit your needs.
3- Advantages and Disadvantages of Colonial Style Homes
Colonial style homes have been around for centuries, and have a timeless beauty that can be admired by many. These homes offer a unique charm and character and can be found throughout the United States. While these homes are often admired for their beauty, there are both advantages and disadvantages that come with owning a colonial-style home.
The first advantage of owning a colonial-style home is its durability. These homes were designed to withstand the elements and are often more resistant to damage than other types of homes. Additionally, these homes usually require less maintenance than other styles, as they are often made from sturdier materials.
Colonial style homes also often have great architectural elements, such as large windows, symmetrical designs, and decorative elements. These homes also often have spacious rooms, which is great for entertaining.
One of the main drawbacks of owning a colonial-style home is its lack of modern amenities. These homes often lack modern amenities such as air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems. As a result, you may need to spend more money on renovations and repairs to bring the home up to modern standards.
In addition, these homes often require more energy to heat and cool due to their large size and lack of insulation. This can result in higher energy bills.
Finally, these homes also often come with a hefty price tag. These homes are often more expensive than other types of homes due to their age, size, and location. As a result, they may not be the best option for those on a budget.
Overall, colonial-style homes offer a unique style and charm that can be admired by many. However, they also come with a few drawbacks that should be taken into consideration before making a purchase. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to owning a colonial-style home.
4- What to Look For in a Colonial-Style Home
First and foremost, when looking at a colonial-style home, look for symmetry. Symmetry is one of the fundamental characteristics of the colonial home style, so make sure that the facade of the home is balanced and even. Not all colonial-style homes will have the same symmetry, but the overall layout should be balanced and even.
Also, look for traditional features such as brick facades, clapboard siding, shutters, and symmetrical windows. Colonial-style homes are typically constructed from wood and brick, with the exterior often featuring clapboard siding and the windows featuring symmetrical panes. Shutters, which were originally used to keep the heat out during the summer, are also a common feature in colonial homes.
Other features to look for when looking for a colonial-style home include a central chimney, gambrel roofs, and dormer windows. A central chimney is a common feature of colonial architecture, while gambrel roofs are more common in New England-style homes. Lastly, dormer windows are a distinctive feature of colonial-style homes, as they allow for an extra area of light and ventilation.
Finally, look at the style of the home itself. Colonial-style homes come in a variety of styles, such as Georgian, Federal, Dutch, and Greek Revival. Each style has its distinct characteristics, so make sure to examine the details and identify which style of colonial home you’re interested in.
Colonial-style homes are a classic and timeless architectural choice that can be found all over the United States. From the New England states to the southern states, colonial-style homes have a special charm and beauty that draws people in.
When looking for a colonial-style home, there are some key elements to consider. Look for symmetry, traditional features, a central chimney, gambrel roofs, and dormer windows. Also, be sure to identify the style of colonial home you’re interested in before making a purchase. By following these tips, you’ll be sure to find the perfect colonial-style home for your needs. Also, read our blog on Buying A Home In Virginia.