46 Different Types of Home Architecture Styles & Design Options

There are so many different types of home architectural styles across the world, making building a custom place overwhelming at times. As the owner, you have the option to strictly follow one type or mix and match several styles. The location’s climate should play a huge factor in picking your home’s design. If your area experiences winter, consider an architectural style with a roof pitch. If your location majorly experiences sunny climates, consider having a quintessential courtyard.

Pole Barn

A pole barn has a wood-frame building system that uses posts buried in the ground. These posts support the weight of the walls and the roof. Thus, serve as the very foundation of the barn’s entirety. This style reduces framing costs, as well, since the walls are not load-bearing. It can look like a typical house, a garage, or a barn.

Some of the primary advantages of a pole barn are:

pole barn

  • Easy to establish a solid foundation
  • Cost-efficient and cheaper in the long run
  • Requires less labor
  • Has better overall insulation

For people living in areas that experience snow, you can have your pole barn built to withstand extreme snow conditions.

woman looking at house plans

Ranch

This style was built in the 1930s, modeled after Western ranches, and used modernist concepts to achieve a casual and easy living. The ranch-style is a single-story or split-level home. It typically has open floor plans, easy access to the outdoors, and often features an attached garage. It is also known for its minimalistic personality as it uses hardly any interior and exterior decorations.

Some of the most prominent features of a ranch architecture style include the following:

  • Long but low-pitch roofline
  • Rectangular, U-shaped, or L-shaped design
  • Open floor plans
  • Single story
  • The bedroom area is separate from the living area
  • Has an attached garage
  • The patio is accessible via sliding glass doors
  • Large glass windows
  • Exterior uses a mix of brick, stone, or wood
  • Prominent eaves

ranch

Craftsman Bungalows

Most people use the terms Craftsman and Bungalow interchangeably. However, there are a few things that make these distinctions. Craftsman typically refers to the Arts and Crafts movement, classifying it as an interior and architectural style. On the other hand, Bungalow is a type of building or house. Therefore, a Bungalow can have a Craftsman style.

The Craftsman is an architecture style that came from the said movement in the Industrial Revolution. This event took place to preserve the high value of handmade products and natural materials.

Craftsman homes emphasize materials that are nature-inspired – brick, stone, and wood. One can find stone details, big fireplaces, woodwork, and more in the interior’s open floor plan. A Craftsman-style is typically earthy, including colors like forest green, natural brown, and rusty orange.

A Bungalow means temporary and easy to set up shelter. These structures are long and low, with wide verandas and drooping attics. Roofs were made of thatch but changed to fireproof tile, preventing tropical heat with its insulating air space. 

craftsman

Barn House

Barn houses incorporate traditional elements with an addition of modern touches. The key features of this style are the pitched ceilings, rustic beams, exposed wood, white palette, and sleek fixtures. 

Often a misconception, not all of them have hay, tractors, and horses. Also, you can find a barn-style structure even in urban areas. 

Cottage

A cottage is a small home that originated in Europe around small towns and villages and is present in residential communities in the United States.

They are either made of stone or wood siding. Cottages are usually one and a half stories, contain small porches, and have cozy interiors. And outside, they feature a curved entryway, a gravel or brick front walkway, and beautiful exterior colors.

A cottage can either be single-story or multi-story. You can find it in rural and urban areas. Some of the modern types are English, Nordic, American, South African, and Canadian.

Barndominium

Following its description, barndominiums were homes that had the interior of a barn, taking up space in the building while leaving room for the animals. This style originated in Texas as the owners wanted to build their homes in their barns to save time to go to the animals whenever storms came.

Ever since, this has become a great alternative to the typical home. It requires lower maintenance and is more energy-efficient. Barndominiums are unique because they are appealing to those who want something other than the traditional ones.

Farmhouse

This architectural option serves as the principal residence in agricultural or rural areas. Before, this house was together with animals, also known as a barn. Some have more than one barn, and this is called a courtyard.

Today, farmhouses are famous, their standard version still standing through the test of time. The main feature is its porch stretches over the front area and wraps either side or towards the rear. The roof is usually a steeply pitched one, running along the length of the house, and sometimes has gables and dormers. They also have exteriors that have horizontal siding and shutters.

Inside of a farmhouse

Lake House

A lake House design shows the views surrounding the house. You can typically find this type throughout countries with ranging climates, and they provide benefits, like its accessibility while respecting the environment. You can find them along the mountains, in quiet valleys, and overlooking shorelines. They can look modest or look like large mansions, which are both practical and innovative.

lake house

One-Story

A one-story architecture design has a great appeal across several age groups, making it ideal for anyone regardless of age and financial capacity.

The lack of stairs in this style is crucial as all the living spaces are at ground level, providing full accessibility and comfort to the residents. These tend to have open floor plans, maximizing their square footage across the whole lot.

woman choosing colors

Modern & Contemporary Houses

It is easy to confuse modern and contemporary homes, but one can tell by knowing when they started. Modern-style ones started between the 1930s and the 1970s, while contemporary ones began decades later.

The modern architectural style gets its inspiration from modernism. These are minimalistic, do not have too many details, have open spaces, contain clean, sharp lines, and are function-over-form.

On the other hand, the contemporary architecture follows what is trendy, emphasizing energy efficiency, sustainable materials, and recycled non-toxic materials. They contain a variety of designs, creating flow.

For ones that are still manageable to build, check out our selection of low-budget, modern 3 bedroom ones.

modern house

Narrow Lot

This style manages to fit into narrow lots. How narrow the houses can be may vary, but most of these are 55 feet wide or less. 

Narrow lot designs have become quite popular, replacing old homes on infill lots in older towns and cities or fitting in tight spaces between buildings or unusually shaped sites.

French Country

The French country architectural style is one of the highest achievements amongst the country.

Centuries-old homes inspire French country structures in the countryside. They have natural stone facades, a sloped roof, two chimneys, and natural wood or stone flooring.

Two-Story

Two-story structures offer a more significant deal of privacy than one-story properties. There is a built-in separation between the communal areas and bedrooms. There is also the benefit of not worrying about passersby peering in through the bedroom windows. Moreover, there are more opportunities to expand your living spaces. Our platform also features a range of 3-story choices.

Victorian

Victorian houses were constructed from the early 1800s through the early 1900s during Queen Victoria’s term. These properties tend to be larger and more sophisticated as this is associated with a rising middle class and increasing wealth. 

It is focused more on its beauty than functionality, so they have more complicated designs – bright colors, large porches, asymmetrical shapes, and more. 

victorian house

Beach Houses on Stilts

Beach houses, also called seasides, are raised structures on stilts that are perfect for oceanfront locations. These are perfect, especially when on vacation or want to have a close place to the water.

Tidewater houses are one version of this architectural option, designed for hot and wet climates. These typically have wide porches, a raised living area, and waterfront space.

coastal beach house on stilts

With Basements

Basements are great as it provides security, storage, and extra living space. These can act as an entertainment center, protection when storming, or even an additional bedroom.

Luxury

Though there are no guidelines for how luxury is defined, these commonly share a few features. Luxury buildings have high-end interior finishes, like marble countertops, natural stone, urban art, and many more. They also have high-quality appliances, resembling high-class hotels.

Mid-Century

The mid-century architectural style is known for its clean lines, minimalism, and its connection to nature. It features large, open spaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, and its goal is to bring the outdoors in.

mid century

Duplexes & Triplexes

Duplexes and triplexes are becoming quickly popular as they are affordable and can be an investment option. A duplex is a multi-family design with two separate units and two separate entrances within the same building. On the other hand, a triplex has three individual units with three different entries in the same building. These units can be beside each other, separated by a wall, stacked on top of one, or one may be more spacious if a large family resides in it.

duplex

Carriage

These are buildings that are separate from the main space – typically have horse-drawn carriages and equipment. They typically have high ceilings, oversized doors, and a large, central doorway for horse carriages to get in and out of the building. In large estates, living quarters are also available for the staff.

Wrap-around Porch

A wrap-around porch provides the opportunity to change the view or shift positions with the moving sun. This design has a place to set up patio furniture or carve out outdoor living and dining areas.

wrap around porch

L-shaped

It provides a perfect mix of friendly living spaces while giving privacy to the homeowners. The L-shaped design has a main body and an extra wing, making it high-end and a place for growing families. Our selection of 2,200 sq ft designs feature a range of ones built like this. 

Walkout Basement

Also called a daylight basement, the walkout basement uses a wall with doors and windows shown on the ground level. It allows you to utilize the basement level as a living space extension rather than storage for your things and equipment. 

In-law Suite

This is excellent if you have a parent living with you as many adults and families are bringing them to live in their homes. It allows convenience, has the family close, and provides enough privacy to ensure everyone has their own space.

Mediterranean

The Mediterranean architectural style became popular in the warmer parts of the United States during the early 1900s.

Mediterranean designs have warm tones, exteriors built with stucco, and roofs are generally sloping and covered with tiles. These are open and airy and also have walls that are white or in sunny neutrals. 

Mediterranean

Open Floor

An open floor home refers to two or more common spaces joining by eliminating walls to form a larger area. Most open floor plans have combinations of the kitchen, dining room, and living room.

woman studying a model of a house being built

Cabin

Cabins have been present in the US for several hundred years because European settlers have introduced the style to North America. These have a primitive character and are one-room homes in the wilderness. 

Nowadays, people use modern cabins as primary residences in rural and suburban places, though it still utilizes logs or wood. Cabins have a simple and open interior while having a simple shape.

cabin

Colonial 

This style was known for its geometrical shape and symmetry and its evenly spaced shutter windows. Its dormers, columns, and chimneys are evenly measured to complement its formal style. 

The first design was a two-story, one room on each floor, and then turned into a two-story home with four rooms on each floor.

U-shaped

These are ranch-styled and are one of the various designs of house layouts. This style is defined by its U shape as it wraps around a central outdoor pool or courtyard. This style offers easy access to multiple rooms and usually requires a more considerable lot.

Cape Cod

Created after colonists from England arrived in New England, the Cape Code architectural style existed as the colonists modified a half-timbered English house hall and parlor house to go against New England’s disruptive climate.

Most structures that use a Cape Cod-style were after World War II. This style is prevalent in suburban communities, and it was the first style used in modestly priced properties. 

The Cape Cod is usually a story and a half, and it includes dormers and a central hallway. But after several generations, the modifications to the style turned it into a more than one-story place with wooden clapboards, shutters, or shingle exterior. 

Shotgun

The shotgun architectural styles are one-story and one-room-wide, maximizing their potential on narrow lots and maintaining a front-to-back alignment. Theoretically, letting a shotgun blast go through the front door and out the back. When these houses are together, there are no visible side windows, but front porches are common.

Timber-framed & Rustic 

This style uses a frame structure made of large posts and beams joined by pegs. Its walls are placed outside the timber frames, exposing the timbers for aesthetic. Also, this style does not need load-bearing walls as it is incredibly sturdy.

English Cottages

This style is typically a tiny old-fashioned house, having a ground floor and bedrooms that can fit inside a roof space. At present, these signify a small holiday home, and cottages are modest and cozy in rural or semi-rural areas. 

Courtyard

Courtyards give residents a private outdoor space. It helps with the ventilation, keeping it warm or cool. This style provides the means of spending time with nature even with a busy schedule. Courtyards go with any home style, as well. The master’s bedroom typically opens onto the courtyard, giving direct access to it. 

courtyard

Southern-Style & Plantation Homes

It is best known as antebellum architecture, meaning pre-war. Its design intends to be practical and magnificent. These had large windows and high ceilings, making them look sophisticated and allowing excellent air circulation. They also have wrap-around porches that act as a shade from the hot sun to enjoy the outdoors. Its winding staircases and columns, vaulted ceilings, and large porches are a few of the trademark features.

plantation home

Tudor

Tudor homes are famous because of their timber details against bricks or a light-colored stucco, and they usually feature an ornate brick detailing. You can typically find them in northern climates as it’s ideal for the cold weather because of their steep-pitched roofs.

Florida

The Florida architectural style mostly features metal roods, large porch areas that span the entire house, raised floors, and central hallways from the anterior to the rear part. These hallways are sometimes called shotgun or dog trot hallways, similar to the shotgun style.

Georgian

Georgian homes focus on symmetry and proportion. It is usually a box shape filled with windows, which are five across and have shutters. It also has a paneled front door below a crown, usually framed by simple columns. In the United States, they are two-story designs that are symmetrical and mix the two-room-deep center-passage floor plan. In Great Britain, they use stone or brick almost all the time to build out. 

engineer inside a building being built

Greek Revival

This architectural invention was an architectural movement. It was primarily in Northern Europe and the United States. The Americans wanted to pay tribute to its new democracy by using this type of architecture, and that’s why several of their government buildings used the Greek Revival. 

It is known for its immense columns and pediments, horizontal transoms, bold embellishments, symmetry, and white facade architecture. These are also commonly found on large estates. 

Angled Garage

It is a design angled with the main house. Most garages run just beside the main structure. The angled garage maximizes space if it contains an unusual shape or it has a limited size. 

1.5 Story

A 1.5 story design makes use of its loft areas and multi-purpose rooms. These are as tall as two-story buildings, but usually, the bedrooms and the living spaces are on the main floor, and storage rooms are upstairs.

Rambler

Rambler houses usually include a rectangular or L-shaped layout. Its origin is in the United States around the 1920s. But it was only in the 1940s and 1970s that it rose to fame. 

There is also an attached garage and a gable roof. It also features large windows that are typically facing the street for aesthetics. These large windows also allow a lot of natural light inside. The ceiling is vaulted and high, giving an impression of spaciousness. The transition between the indoor and outdoor parts is seamless, making it a bit hard to distinguish.

Saltbox

Saltbox is a colonial-style architecture that started in New England during the 1600s, and it is still one of the most common options to this day. Saltboxes were structures that the early settlers built with the supplies they could find, like local timber. These structures have an asymmetrical, slanted roof and have an oversized chimney. As it has a flat front, it usually has two stories, the front part is sloping down, and it becomes one in the back. 

saltbox

Split Level

Split levels were part of a modern design movement. These are multi-dimensional and a more innovative version of ranches—these separated activities within a home by placing them onto different planes. The dining and living areas are far from the sleeping quarters. 

Chalet

They are best known for their triangular profile. It is famous for its sloping roofs, simple build and is visible at ski resorts, lakesides, and vacation spots. The sloping roofs are perfect for cold climates as the slope prevents enormous amounts of snow on top of the house.

As it reflects its Alpine heritage, these have natural materials, often left and exposed to fit in with their surroundings. Its foundation is cement or stone, and if it is on a sloping area, the downhill side is where the foundation is exposed.

chalet

Initially designed to be constructed on uneven terrain, chalets have a compact footprint, minimizing the excavation required for construction. Nowadays, chalets can appear in different sizes, allowing them to accommodate large families.

Chalets are usually two stories and have many windows to fill the entire place with natural light. The windows help to unify the indoors with the outdoors by getting a clear view of the surroundings.

They have open-concept interiors, allowing them to create a cozy atmosphere, like a ski lodge. The main room features a fireplace, heating the living area, and helps counter any cold air that may filter through the large windows of the chalet.

Porte Cochere

By definition, a Porte Cochere is a covered porch large enough to fit carriages and cars to pass through. In bad weather, guests can stop by the side entrance of the house without getting rained on. 

Today, the Porte Cochere is at schools, hotels, country clubs, and more. It is big enough to provide cover for vehicles and act as shelter for people in and out of buildings.

It can also be a direct extension of a home and is often the first thing one sees when approaching a house. It serves as the main entryway, providing an initial impression that continues throughout the entire property. The materials used for this complement the ones used during the construction process, creating a sense of harmony.

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