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Common Architectural Styles

Have you ever heard a home referred to as a Tudor, or a Colonial, and wondered exactly what those terms meant? Have you tried to describe your home to others, and had trouble finding the right words? Maybe you're trying to plan your dream home, and you're in need of some inspiration. The history of architectural styling is a fascinating subject and is well worth the study. The evolution of real estate design to meet people's needs throughout the years has resulted in classic and enduring architecture that still exists today. Here are a few of the most common architectural "types" explained.
Tudor: A Tudor home is built in the style of late medieval architecture, and echoes designs used on English country homes through the 16th century. Tudor homes have a distinctly European look. They feature decorative half-timbering, often in parallel crown designs across the front of the home. These timbers are merely decorative today but on the original homes they were an integral part of the structural design. Tudor homes are very often a light color, with dark or black timbers criss-crossed across the gables (another important feature). Some of them have false thatched roofs, imitating the real thatches of the original homes, and most have decorative but functional chimneys.
Colonial: This term typically refers to a Colonial Revival Style home, which first appeared in 1876 at the US Centennial Exposition. After the World Wars this home style was built all over the United States and is still extremely popular today. Colonial Revival Homes feature a symmetrical design, often with a single pillar on either side of the front door, and they are usually made from brick or wood. They are extremely simple and mathematically plotted, with windows on corresponding sides of the house matching those opposite. The inside of a Colonial style home often has a main entranceway with stairs that lead up directly across from the door.
Cape Cod: A Cape Cod style home is one of the most prevalent styles still appearing across the country today. This style of home was first built in the late 17th century by English colonists arriving in America. It is a modest, symmetrical design, with a long peaked roof and no more than two stories, usually one. Cape Cods often feature wide clapboards or shingles on the exterior, and wooden shutters over the windows. Their original design was lifted from English country homes familiar to the settlers, who then modified the design to withstand the cold winds and hot suns of New England weather.
These are just three of the most common architectural designs used in today's homes. There are thousands more out there. With the trends in the real estate market changing every day, it can be reassuring to know that there are some things that will always endure. Even the fickle world of home builders can recognize the value of a true classic.

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