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2010-11-03 10:27:25
Definition of Home Styles

What do all of the home styles mean?  For example, what is the difference between a condo and a townhouse?  Or, what is the difference between a twin home and a duplex? 

Here is a list of home styles and a brief definition.

A-Frame
The outer shape of a structure that has steeply sloped roofs and is in the shape of an “A”, hence the name.

Apartment
A room or a group of related rooms, among similar sets in one building, designed for use as a dwelling.

Bi-Level
A home that is built on two levels, with an entrance on a level between the two; it often has the garage and storage or recreation room in the lower level and the balance of the home in the upper level. Also see Split Level.

Brownstone
A nineteenth century style row house, usually having four to five stories with a front staircase from the street leading to the first floor.

Bungalow
A small one story house or cottage, often with a front porch.

Cape Cod
A style of wood frame house with a central entrance and a steep roof. Cape Cods have one or two stories, often with dormer windows on the second floor.

Condominium
A form of property ownership in which the home owner holds title to an individual dwelling unit and a proportionate interest (share or percentage) of all the land  in common areas and facilities of a multi unit project.  The main difference between a condo and a town home is ownership of the land.  The owner of a town home owns the land beneath the home whereas the owner of a condo owns a share or percentage of the total land of the entire development.

Craftsman Style
An architectural style that evolved near the turn of the century, characterized by low pitched, gabled roofs, large, overhanging eaves, usually with exposed roof rafters.

Duplex
A structure with one owner who owns both sides, used for residential purposes, and consisting of two living units with a common wall.

Dutch Colonial
A design that features a barn like gambrel roof, overhanging eaves and a ground level front porch. And, if it has more than one story, it will have dormers.

Eastlake House
A nineteenth century style house with plenty of distinctive three-dimensional ornamentation, an open front porch and a turret.

Georgian Style
A large English style home, usually two to three stories, characterized by paneled front doors, double hung windows and a simple exterior.

Greek Revival Style
A nineteenth century style whose most prominent feature is a pillar anchored pediment forming a portico in front of the house.

International Style
A type of architecture characterized by very functional design, with buildings constructed of steel reinforced concrete, and large walls of glass.

Loft
Residences created from old manufacturing or warehouse facilities prized for their high ceilings and open floor plans.

Mission House
A style of housing that resembles the old mission churches of Southern California. It has a tiled roof, widely overhanging eaves, arch-shaped windows and doors, stucco walls and a pyramid roof.

Monterey Style
A two-story house with a balcony design adopted from the early California Spanish period; the railed balcony runs across the front of the house at the second-floor level. Roofs are low pitched or gabled, and exterior walls are constructed in stucco, brick, or wood.

New England Colonial
An early American style home that has a symmetrical exterior with a central door way; the living room, dining room and the kitchen are downstairs; a central hall has a staircase leading to the bedrooms and bathrooms on the second level.

Penthouse
A luxury housing unit located on the top floor of a building. Sometimes, it is a unit built on the roof of a high rise building.

Pueblo Style
A twentieth century style made of adobe with a flat roof, stucco wall surfaces; usually earth-colored.

Queen Anne Style
A Victorian-era style of home, it is multistory and features steeply pitched roofs, turrets, high chimneys, and decorative trim. This style usually has one-story porches.

Rambler or Ranch House
A long, single story style home with the main living space and bedrooms on the main floor. This style was originated in mid-twentieth century California.  May or may not have a basement.

Saltbox Style
An early American, 2 or 2 1/2 story style from the Colonial period. The house is rectangular with a steep gable roof that extends down to the second floor in the front, and to the first floor in the rear of the building.

Shingle Style
A uniquely American style of architecture, shingle style houses can be relatively plain on the exterior often with porches set into the facade. The houses are covered in wood shingles stained a single color, suggesting the rustic homes of the New England settlers.

Southern Colonial
An early-American architectural style, elaborately built, symmetrical, with columns and a colonnade extending across the front of the house. This home typically has three floors and a gabled roof.

Split-level Home
A type of house with floor levels staggered so that each level is about one-half story above or below the adjacent one.  Also see Bi-Level.

Swiss Chalet
A one and a half or two-story house with a gable roof and decorative woodwork in the Swiss style.

Townhouse or Town Home
A home, generally having two or more floors, often with a garage; it shares walls with other similar units. Modern townhouses are part of a planned unit development. The main difference between a condo and a town home is ownership of the land.  The owner of a town home owns the land beneath the home whereas the owner of a condo owns a share or percentage of the total land of the entire development.

Triplex
A building comprised of three dwelling units, each having a front and rear (or side) door and yard, similar to row houses.

Tudor
An English-style with the defining characteristics of half-timbering on the upper floors, steeply pitched cross gables, stone or patterned brick walls, multi-paned windows, and a large chimney.

Twin Home
A twin home looks like a duplex but it has 2 individual owners who have rights and responsibilities for their own side and for their own lot. In other words, twin homes are basically half-homes with their own respective lot with a lot line landing between the two homes.

Victorian Style
An architectural style of the mid-nineteenth century, characterized by front porches with spindle-work detailing. Many Victorians are known for their heavy ornamentation and bold colors.

 
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