How Much Do You Know About American Homes?

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 14 Nov, 2013
Home architecture has evolved from the log cabin houses the earliest settlers built to the home designs we know today. Log homes were built more out of function than design; the sturdy wood homes with their simple one- to three-room layouts had one goal: to protect people against harsh weather. But the styles we see […] The post How Much Do You Know About American Homes? appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
This Old House has a great slideshow showing different home types, the years in which they were first built and their features. We’ve summarized their slideshow into a timeline below that will give you a great primer on the progression of American homes:
1607 to 1700s. The Saltboxfeatures a steeply pitched roof and large chimney. Most were built in New England, but few still exist today.
1700 to 1780 . The Georgianhas a symmetrical facade with double-hung windows with nine or 12 lights in each sash and transom lights. Its style is based on similar European styles, which used classical Greek and Roman shapes.
1780 to 1820. Another style that had a symmetrical facade, the Federalfeatured double-hung windows with shutters, paneled doors with surrounds and dentil molding. Its style was influenced by ancient Roman architecture.
1825 to 1860. As Americans began building civic buildings that resembled Greek temples, Greek Revivalmade its way into residential architecture. Common features included full-width porches with classical columns and 6-over-6 windows.
1840 to 1880. Gothic Revivalfeatured arched gothic windows and doors with arched panels. This trend started in Europe first and is reminiscent of the shapes seen on Medieval churches and houses.
1840 to 1885. Italianateis an England-originated style that spurred the turn-around from classical architecture to the more informal look of Italian rural houses. The style had hip roofs, 1-over-1 or 2-over-2 windows with detailed crowns and an entryway that usually had glass in the doors.
1855 to 1885. Second Empirestyle resembled Italianate, but it has a mansard roof, which is a four-sided roof with a double slope on all sides, and the lower slope is much steeper than the upper.
1880 to 1910. Queen Anne‘s asymmetrical shape was influenced by the new use of forced air heating which meant rooms did not need to be built around stoves or fireplaces, and various shapes could be used. New paint technologies allowed for the use of more vibrant colors. Most people refer to this style as Victorian.
1880 to 1900. The Shinglestyle featured an asymmetrical shape with exterior walls and roofs made of wood shingles. It was most popular along the Northeast coast.
1880 to 1900. Richardsonian Romanesquewas always stone or brick. It’s related to the Queen Anne and Shingle styles. Characteristics included a masonry exterior with Roman or Syrian arches and arched windows.
1870 to 1910. Folk Victorianwas a simple house style with elaborate trimwork. During the Industrial Age machine-cut wood details became more affordable, inspiring Americans to add lots of decorative trim to their small cottage homes.
1880 to 1955. Millions of homes in the Colonial Revivalstyle still exist today. They are characterized by a symmetrical facade, large entryways, columns, 6-over-6 windows, and gambrel or side gable roofs.
1920s to 1940s. Cape Codstyle is a one story cottage, often with a loft attic space, dormers and symmetrical window configuration. It was influenced by the simple houses in colonial New England.
1895 to 1950. Neoclassicalis related to Colonial Revival-style. It has full porches with large columns and a symmetrical facade.
1890 to 1940. Tudor Revivallooked more Medieval than Tudor. It has stucco or stone walls, a steep-pitch side gable roof, double-hung multi-light casement windows and bay windows.
1915 to 1945. French Revivalstyle was influenced by homes in the French countryside. It was popular in the American suburbs in the 1920s. The style is characterized by exterior brick, stucco or stone, and it has a steeply-pitched hip roof.
1915 to 1940. Details for the Spanish Colonial Revivalstyle were taken from Spanish, Mission, and Italian architecture. It has low red-tile roofs, stucco exterior, arched windows and doors, and a asymmetrical facade.
1910 to present. The adobe houses built by Native Americans and Spanish colonial settlers influenced the Pueblo Revivalstyle. Homes of this design type are most often seen in Arizona and New Mexico. Features include a flat roof and earth-colored stucco walls.
1905 to 1930. Craftsmanwas inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style work. Features include a low-pitched gable roof that has bracketed overhangs and exposed rafters. Porches are supported by massive piers or square posts.
1920 to 1940. Modernisticstyle homes were either built in the Art Deco style or the Art Moderne style. They featured flat roofs, smooth stucco exteriors, geometric or zigzag details and either plate-glass or glass-block windows.
1925 to present. Internationalstyle homes have an asymmetrical facade with a flat roof and clean lines. This style was influenced by the work of European Bauhaus architects like Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
1930s to 1960s. Ranchstyle homes are single story with a wide, asymmetrical fade. They also have a low-pitched roof and front-facing garage.
There’s only so much we can cover about the history of home design in one blog; it’s an expansive, detailed topic. If you’re looking for more resources, check out Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America by Gwendolyn Wright, published in 1983. Wright explains how religious, social and economic factors have all affected American architecture.
How much do you think you know about American houses? Take this quiz from the National Association of Realtors to find out.
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Photo Credit, w.marsh

J. Thompson Builders Blog

By 7052540976 15 Nov, 2017
Some of these considerations may not be in the forefront of your mind, but there is a long list of aspects you need to consider when building a new home. These should help to get you started thinking about some of the most important pieces of the home building process.
By 7052540976 15 Oct, 2017
This home is being built with our client’s specific wants and needs in mind. The homeowner
requested a single family home with a modern contemporary house design. Previously, he lived
in a townhome and desired a more private, spacious residence. A main floor living with a large
space to entertain and big volume ceilings were a must on the client’s list.

The client decided building as opposed to finding a pre-existing home was a better solution for
him because he wants something specific to his needs. He already had the perfect location in
mind and it was time for him to own his dream home.

The area is ideal for this client because it allows him to live in close proximity to his hobbies and
interests and it also allows him the ability to walk to nearby restaurants or bike to the
surrounding shops. This homeowner will be close to everything. He truly loves the location!
The design concept picked is pictured below. In sticking with a contemporary influence, the
design has clean, simple lines that will result in an extraordinary modern home. We combined
elements of residential and commercial materials and design to bring our client’s unique requests to life.
By 7052540976 15 Sep, 2017

You decide that you are ready to build a custom home for you and your family. Now it is time to figure out how to finance your dreams!

Let’s start with the basics. As with any loan process, do your research. Talk to several mortgage companies that specialize or have a strong understanding/history of working with construction loans. Ask questions and voice your concerns. Companies of course want your business, but they also want to make sure they are a good fit for you and what you are wanting to accomplish. Reviews and referrals are strongly regarded these days. They want to make sure you have the best experience possible.

There are several main differences between a construction loan and a regular existing home loan. An individual construction loan may require a longer credit history  or a higher credit score as well as more money down and along the way. It is more of a process, but it is most certainly worth it. With the right builder, the more involved process becomes a piece of cake; but, that is an article for another time.

Home loans can have a 30 year term whereas a construction loan typically has a max of 1 year. “The rates on this type of loan are higher than rates on permanent mortgage loans. To gain approval, the lender will need to see a construction timetable, detailed plans and a realistic budget, sometimes called the “story” behind the loan,” as reported by  bankrate . While your home is being built, it is typical to make interest-only payments. 

If you are thinking, “I don’t have enough money to pay off a newly built home in 1 year!” Don’t panic.

A popular option is the construction-to- permanent financing sometimes called “one-time close,” a “single close,” or an "all-in-one" loan. Upon completion of construction, the remaining loan balance is converted into a permanent mortgage with terms up to 30 years. Like most loans, “the rate and other terms of the permanent mortgage are set up-front when the entire loan package is closed” according to the  National Association of Home Builders .  Construction/permanent loans are offered by many different lenders, including banks and mortgage companies and are a great option for those of us wanting to finance their home purchase over an extended period of time.

Another option is a stand-alone construction loan. This type of loan can be beneficial if you currently own your home and want a smaller down payment option.   Read more about stand alone construction loans.

There are many different loan options. What makes sense for one person doesn’t make sense for everyone. Make sure you find the right product for you and your particular project. If you want to talk over some options, contact us! We would love to hear your ideas and figure out how we can build your dream home.

View our work , read our reviews on , and visit our Facebook page to get inspired!
By Jeremy Thompson 01 Aug, 2017
Your home should work for you, your family and the way you live. Sometimes a new custom home isn’t the answer yet. When you need to maximize the space in your current home, find clever ways to make your space more usable by maximizing storage in unique ways. Platforms add additional space and a new […] The post Clever Remodeling Ideas to Maximize Storage Space appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 15 Jul, 2017
The internet puts an incredible amount of information at your fingertips. Why would you not take advantage of it to get home remodeling advice? Often it isn’t created by experts in the field. Here are 3 remodeling myths you may have read or heard about and the truth you need to know to understand how […] The post 3 Remodeling Myths and Tips appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 01 Jul, 2017
With more and more people working from home or taking at least the occasional “work from home” day, the home office has become an essential part of a home plan. Even if you don’t work from home ever, the home office is still a great area to work on creative projects, store important files, or […] The post Designing a Home Office: Increasing Productivity, Inspiring Creativity appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 15 Jun, 2017
We’ve offered you lots of advice over the years about building a custom home. Here is a condensed version of some of the most important tips to follow. Get on the fast track to planning your new custom home! 7 Tips for Building a Custom Home Pay attention to your subdivision covenants. Yes, these are […] The post Building a Custom Home: 7 Quick Tips appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 01 Jun, 2017
Whether building a house or undertaking a remodel you have the opportunity to design your house to suit your tastes and needs. There are many flooring options available, each with unique characteristics and design. Since flooring is a long-lasting part of the house it is important to choose the right floor for each room that […] The post 5 High-Quality Flooring Options Available for Your Home appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 15 May, 2017
Building a new home is an exciting time, filled with anticipation and satisfaction as you watch your vision come to life. However, it can also be a little overwhelming when you’re unfamiliar with some of the technical terms. To help remedy this we’ve defined a few of the custom home building terms you may hear […] The post 5 Key Terms to Understand in Custom Home Building appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 01 May, 2017
Whether you’ve just unpacked your first box or you’ve been living in your house for years, chances are there’s something about your home you’ve desired improving. However, before beginning a project there are a few key home remodeling terms you should become familiar with. Understanding these terms will help you navigate conversations with your remodeling […] The post 6 Key Home Remodeling Terms to Understand Before Beginning a Project appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
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