Styles of houses vary across the country. From the New England Cape Cod to the Victorians of San Francisco, the choices are almost endless. Knowing which style you prefer is one of the basic elements in your hunt for the perfect home. Following is a quick guide to help you recognize and use the professional terms for many of the most prevalent house styles in Central Oregon:
Chalet: Traditionally a vacation home near the mountains, the chalet is an A-Frame structural system that allows the elimination of the two side walls of the house. The home has four surfaces two end walls and the gable roof. Chalet homes have a rustic, woodsy feel to them.
Contemporary: These odd or irregular shaped homes have tall, over-sized windows with trapezoid shapes. Other features include: lack of ornamentation, open floor plan, natural materials are used, and the homes harmonize with the surrounding landscape. Some may have flat roofs while others have gabled roofs with cathedral ceilings and exposed beams. Cottage: Designed to be irregular like the forms of nature, the cottage style home usually has a porch. The porch provides a roof over the main part of the house and a semi-private place to sit outdoors while being protected from the sun or inclement weather. Cottage homes are distinguished by steep roof slopes, balconies, porches, window gables and projecting roofs.
Craftsman: A natural, warm and livable home with lots of built-ins such as cabinets, shelves and seating. Other features include: a low-pitched roof, wide eaves with triangular brackets, exposed roof rafters, porches with thick columns, stone chimney, open floor plan, lots of windows, beamed ceilings, dark wood or wainscoting and molding. Northwestern: evolved from the Craftsman style, the Northwestern home is squarish with a hip roof and central skylight. Often these homes were built in clusters with one building built at a time.
Prairie: Imitating the beauty of the Midwestern prairie, the prairie style home has gently sloping roofs, low proportions, suppressed heavy-set chimneys and sheltering overhands. This style uses lots of horizontal lines and multiple windows in rectangular shapes. Colors are muted like that of the prairie.
Ranch: these long, low houses rank among the most popular types in the country. The ranch, which developed from early homes in the West and Southwest, is one-story with a low pitched room. The raised ranch, which is also common is the U.S. has two levels, each accessible from the home's entry foyer, which features staircases to both upper and lower levels.
Split-levels: Split-level houses have one living level about half a floor above the other living level. When this type of home is built on three different levels, it is called a tri-level.
Tudor: modeled after the English country cottage. Tudor styling features trademark dark-wood timbering set against light-colored stucco that highlights the top half of the house and frames the numerous windows. The bottom half of the house is often made of brick. Renaissance detailing is found within the Tudor style in its complex masonry and stone patterns, decorative chimney pots, arched doorways and entry porches.
These are just a few of the many styles of homes available, some are more prominent in different areas than others. Knowing home style terms will help you zero in on the type of house that will fill your needs and suit your taste.