Common Home & Roof Styles

This style of house features one-level living. There may be a full or partial basement. Generally, a garage is attached to the side of the house. The major advantage is step-saving convenience. Ranch houses are usually more expensive to build than colonials or split-levels. But they are often easier to maintain than a multi-level house. There are many different floor plans to satisfy almost every desire. The most popular style is the straight side-to-side ranch.

Split Level
This style of house became very popular following World War II because of the amount of space and utility provided. Split levels fall into two types: side-to-side and front-to-back. Many split level houses have a basement. The next level, usually at ground level, contains a den/playroom. The next levels contain the kitchen/dining room/living room and the final level the bedrooms/bathrooms. The attic area may offer another kevek that can be expanded for additional space in the future.


This style of two-story house has been a mainstay of residential architecture for many years. These are generally well-built houses, with many being custom built. Their main appeal seems to be the spaciousness and elegance. There are many variations of colonial style houses available. The colonial house built in the past 40 years may consist of a partially finished basement, a first floor with a living room, dining room, eat-in kitchen, family room, porch and powder room. The second floor contains the bedrooms and bathrooms.

Cape Cod
This very practical one and one-half story style of house has been popular for many years, with most capes concentrated in the northern regions. Many resale capes have been expanded over the years for increased living area. Standard cape cods have a first floor kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom and a bedroom. The second floor contains one or two small bedrooms. Capes are space-efficient and seem to maintain their value over the years.


These “casual” houses are usually sheathed in redwood or stained hardwood and come in many sizes and shapes. Usually found in resort or second-home development areas, contemporary style houses are becoming more evident in typical suburban areas. The most familiar and popular contemporary style house is the A frame. These houses are designed to fit into a rustic landscape. Many times, this style features cathedral ceilings, large expanse of glass and decks surrounding one to three sides of the house.

This style of house is also referred to as a split ranch. The bi-level house is a modified version of the ranch house, with the major difference being that the lower level is more out of the ground than in the ground. Seldom is there a basement. Entry is often to the center of the house, with the foyer being split between the lower and upper levels. The lower area will frequently consist of a built-in garage and a storage area. Many bi-levels are featured in housing developments completed during the 50’s.

The Victorian style of house was built in various models during the turn of the last century. Home buyers appreciate the architectural nuances of Victorian houses including large porches and interesting bay windows. As with most older houses, conditions and selling prices vary greatly. Those which have been mechanically updated through the years and have been well maintained may command premium prices, while those which have received less annual attention often offer classic charm at reasonable prices.

This style of house takes its name from the type of house which dominated the early residential development of our early cities, notably the row houses. The townhouse, often sold in condominium developments, is an independent structure, usually of two or three stories, attached to another similar building on either one or two sides. Townhouse sizes normally vary in width from 16 to 24 feet. This style of house is usually economical to purchase and its maintenance needs and utility costs are lower than other house styles.

Tudors and other English style houses were built during the period of the late 1800’s through the 1920’s. The combination of stucco and distinctive wood trim exterior provides the Tudor style house with a uniqueness which is most appealing. Tudors are also noted for their gables, large angular chimney’s and slate roofs. Tudors are particularly appealing to families with large space needs. Like the Victorian, the condition of a Tudor will vary greatly depending upon its upgrading and maintenance over the years.