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It’s Your Choice: Popular Architectural Styles


Often people know what style of home they like the look of without knowing anything about the

architectural style. Learning about architectural styles can help you concretely name what you’re

looking for in a new home. When you can communicate to your realtor that you prefer a Cape

Cod or a log home, for instance, it can help your agent narrow the search to homes that appeal to

your sense of design. Here are a few popular architectural styles.

Log home – You may think about Abe Lincoln when you think of log homes, but today’s log

homes are much different than the one-room cabins that date back as far as the 1600s. Originally

log homes were one room, and builders used no nails to build them. Today log homes are often

large and luxurious. They are often found in rural areas. If you’re looking for a rustic home in the

country, this could be the style for you.

Cape Cod – Cape Cods are modeled after Britain’s thatched cottages. This style also dates back

to the 1600s. Cape Cods are built with steeply pitched roofs to withstand large amounts of snow

and large chimneys to adequately warm the home, as these homes were first popular in the

Northeast of the country where the winters tend to be harsh. You will typically find these homes

have dormer windows on top, cedar shingles and windows on either side of the front door.

Craftsman – This style of home focuses on using natural materials like wood, brick and stone.

They feature low-pitched roofs with wide front porches. Inside you will find open floor plans

with large fireplaces, exposed beams and built-in furniture.

Colonial – This style of architecture originated with the first American settler in the 1600s and

has many variations, as there were settlers from different areas with different styles. One thing

that is consistent with colonial style homes is symmetry. You’ll find evenly spaced, shuttered

windows and columns, chimneys and dormers that are evenly proportioned.

Georgian colonial – This is one of the most common types of colonial architecture. The style is

still symmetrical and box shaped. There are usually five shuttered windows across, flattened

columns, a paneled front door and a decorative crown.

Neoclassical – This style of architecture, reminiscent of the architecture of Greece and Rome,

features symmetry and formal proportions. There are usually tall columns, evenly spaced

windows and elaborate doorways.

Cottage – This style of home originates with European peasant farmers in the middle ages,

named the Cotters. These small homes are often made of stone or wooden siding and feature

bright exterior colors. There is usually a curved entryway with a gravel or brick front walkway.

Sometimes these homes feature beautiful front gardens.

Be aware that in this day and age, some homes are a mix of styles. For example, you might have

a log home in the shape of a Cape Cod. This is part of the art of architecture and gives you more

to choose from. Knowing the basics, though, can help your realtor find you the home of your

dreams. For information on homes in the Northern Virginia region, contact us.

Chris Colgan is the CEO and Team Leader of the Chris Colgan Real Estate Team. Chris was

born and raised in Gainesville, Virginia and has been in real estate for 10 years. He is a member

of the Re/Max Hall of Fame and is in the top 25 for sales in the state of Virginia out of all

Re/Max agents. He has been recognized as one of the United States’ and Canada’s Top 500

Marketing Experts by the National Association of Expert Advisors.

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