No two homeowners are the same, and that’s why the art of residential architecture is all about expressing your unique taste. We may be able to categorize the most popular architectural styles by basic structural similarities, but, a homeowner’s touch in exterior design can make two similar homes look very different. Before you begin your remodeling or new construction project, it’s a good idea to learn about some of the basic architectural styles. Once you have decided on a design, you can begin to add the creative elements that make your home your own. Read on to learn some of characterizing traits of popular residential architecture:

Architectural Styles


The Craftsman

The low-pitched roof with overhanging eaves, decorative braces under gables, and stone piers supporting square porch roof columns are defining features of the Craftsman style. Distinctly new world, it appeared first surfaced in California at the turn of the 20th century and became the rage quickly began appearing in pattern books across the nation.

The French Country

Inspired by the farmhouses and chateaus of southern France, this contemporary home style is defined by understated elegance. Arched windows and doors, cut cobblestone, and board and batten siding exude rustic warmth.

The Prairie

Prairie style homes are oriented horizontally to compliment the flat landscape of the plains. Hipped low-pitched roofs, wide overhanging eaves, square porch supports and rows of casement windows are distinguishing features. The foundation and supports are typically clad with brick, giving these homes a sturdy, down-to-earth feel.

The Shingle

The rich textures of stone, siding, shakes and shutters help unify the free-form outline of these homes. A weathered color scheme is typical of this relaxed, informal style.



The Victorian

These 19th-century folk homes feature ornate porches and trim. Intricate brackets and spindle work, gable details and a combination of Dutch lap siding and scallop shingles give these homes their characteristically rich profile.