46 Different Types of Home Architecture Styles & Design Options in America

There are so many different types of home architectural styles worldwide, making building a custom place overwhelming at times. As the owner, you can 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 since the walls are not load-bearing. It can look like a typical house or a garage. It can also look like a barn, from which it got its name from.

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. It 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 with easy access to the outdoors. It 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 preserved the high value of handmade products and natural materials.

Craftsman homes emphasize nature-inspired materials that include brick and wood. One can find stone details, including big fireplaces and woodwork. There’s more of it in the interior’s open floor plan, making it the natural place to gather. A Craftsman-style is typically earthy, including colors like forest green and natural brown. Rusty orange can also be found there.

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 and rustic beams. They often have exposed wood and white palette, with its sleek fixtures. 

Often a misconception, not all of them have hay 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. It 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. They typically contain small porches and have cozy interiors. They feature a curved entryway outside with a gravel or brick front walkway while made in beautiful exterior colors.

A cottage can either be single-story or multi-story. Depending on your needs, they can be found in rural and urban areas. Some modern types are English and Nordic. You can also find ones with specific American and South African influence, as well as Canadian.

Barndominium

Following its description, barndominiums were homes with the interior of a barn. They take 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.

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 appeal 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 with animals. It was known as a barn. Some have more than one barn, and this is called a courtyard.

Today, farmhouses are famous. Their standard version still stands the test of time. Its porch’s main feature 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. It 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. They provide benefits, like its accessibility. They still respect the environment. You can find them along the mountains, in quiet valleys. They’re often overlooking shorelines. They can look modest or look like large mansions, which are practical and innovative.

lake house

One-Story

A one-story architecture design has a great appeal across several age groups. It makes 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. It provides 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 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 minimalist and do not have too many details. They have open spaces while containing clean, sharp lines. They’re also focused on function-over-form.

On the other hand, the contemporary architecture follows what is trendy. They emphasize energy efficiency and sustainable materials. They often incorporate 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 ones.

modern house

Narrow Lot

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

Narrow lot designs have become quite popular. They often replace old homes on infill lots in older towns and cities or fit 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 and a sloped roof. They come with 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 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. It is associated with a rising middle class and increasing wealth. 

It focuses more on its beauty than functionality, making it stand out in a neighborhood. It has more complicated designs with bright colors and large porches. You’ll find asymmetrical shapes and more. 

victorian house

Beach Houses on Stilts

Beach houses are also called “seasides.” They 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 and a raised living area. They also have waterfront space.

coastal beach house on stilts

With Basements

Basements are great as it provides security and storage. It can even double as extra living space. These can act as an entertainment center or provide protection when storming. They’re great as an additional bedroom.

Luxury

Though there are no guidelines for defining luxury, these commonly share a few features. Luxury buildings have high-end interior finishes, like marble countertops and natural stone. If there’s anywhere, here’s where you’ll find urban art. They also have high-quality appliances, resembling high-class hotels.

Mid-Century

The mid-century architectural style is known for its clean lines and minimalism. With its clean design, it has a certain connection to nature. It features large, open spaces. Floor-to-ceiling windows and their goal is to bring the outdoors in are features you’ll love.

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. They are often stacked on top of each other, or one may be more spacious if a large family resides in it.

duplex

Carriage

These buildings are separate from the main space – typically have horse-drawn carriages and equipment. They typically have high ceilings oversized doors with 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 features 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 and has the family close. It 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 and exteriors built with stucco. Their 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 kitchen and living room combinations.

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. They still utilize 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 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. It 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. Its U shape defines this style as it wraps around a central outdoor pool or courtyard. This style offers easy access to multiple rooms and usually requires a considerable lot.

Cape Cod

It was 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. It was done 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 more than a one-story place with wooden clapboards or shingle exterior. 

Shotgun

The shotgun architectural styles are one-story and one-room-wide. They maximize 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. There are no visible side windows when these houses are together, but front porches are common.

Timber-framed & Rustic 

This style uses a frame structure 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. 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 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. It has winding staircases and columns. We love their vaulted ceilings and large porches, which we’re sure you’ll love as well. These 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. 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 and large porch areas that span the entire house. They include 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. That’s why several of their government buildings used the Greek Revival. 

It is known for its immense columns and pediments, and horizontal transoms. You’ll love the bold embellishments and symmetry with its 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 a limited size. 

1.5 Story

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

Saltbox

Saltbox is a colonial-style architecture that started in New England during the 1600s. 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. It has a flat front, and its design usually has two stories. The front part is sloping down, becoming 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. They 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 and lakesides. The sloping roofs are perfect for cold climates as the slope prevents enormous amounts of snow on top of the house.

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. The downhill side exposes the foundation if it is on a sloping area.

chalet

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

Chalets are usually two stories and have many windows to fill the entire place with natural light. The windows help 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. It’s the reason they’re popular as ski lodges. The main room features a fireplace, heating the living area. It 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. 

The Porte Cochere is found at hotels and country clubs, to mention some examples. 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 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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