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Architectural Home Plans & Designs

There are several major floor plan and house plan styles that are standard within the industry.

Colonial Style Floor Plans

Traditional Colonial or Early American floor designs are normally rectangular in shape, two stories high, and have exteriors with wood lap siding, columns, and shutters. The inside floor plans generally consist of a center hallway with large square rooms on each side, two in front and two in back.

Colonial homes often have chimneys on both ends of the house and may have gambrel or a barn roofs. The upper floors generally have four large rooms, which follow a similar layout as the main level. Federal or Georgian style home plans are characterized by brick exteriors without front porches and often feature gables and decorative dentils. Southern colonial designs often include heavy columns in the front of the home.

Also included in this group are Cape Cod styles, which are generally smaller than their sister colonials with only two bedrooms on the upper floor. They are characterized by sloped ceilings, roofs with dormers that add additional space, and no porches or columns.

Rural Floor Plans

Farmhouse floor plans have a similar boxy style as traditional colonials. They have distinctive pitched roofs, simple styling, and wraparound porches that extend from the front and wrap around the side of the house. Country styles generally have more modest covered front porches that only extend across the front of the house, and large "country" kitchens often situated near a family room.

Conventional Ranch Style Designs

Ranch floor plans are one story high with straight, "U", or "L" shaped floor plans that have all the bedrooms grouped in one wing or to one side of the home. Sometimes the master bedroom is somewhat separated from the other bedrooms. Because ranch styles are only one story high, there are limited possibilities for expansion unless there is an attic.

Traditional Floor Designs

Traditional house plans are some of the most popular floor plans in America. The roofs are generally steep with front-facing gables and the exteriors are often brick, stucco, or clapboard. Interiors often have lofts or high ceilings to provide a very spacious feel. These homes strive for a grand appearance.

In addition to the usual traditional homes, there are romantic Victorian styled home plans. They typically have decorative "fish-scale" shingles, bay windows, "gingerbread" adornments on gabled roofs, and large wraparound porches. They are fancy and full of historical charm.

Contemporary & Modern Floor Plans

Contemporary floor plans are very popular. They generally have exteriors focused on very clean line, but they might also have wood or stonework facades. Plans can include large overhangs, split levels, and very open floor layouts. Contemporary style plans can have either single pitch or flat roofs.

Modern floor plans generally have very asymmetrical designs with bold shapes and more angles than traditional homes. They make use of lots of glass including walls, windows, skylights, and clerestories that provide a great deal of sunlight. Combined with very open floor plan layouts and interestingly angled walls, ceilings, and roofs, these homes are bright and striking.

Florida home plans are generally one story, have stucco exteriors with Spanish/Mediterranean touches and archways, and have fewer angles than other modern and contemporary homes so they have softer looks. They are "Transitional Modern" designs that merge several styles together and incorporate these elements both inside and out.

European-Style Home Plans

European floor plans encompass several different and distinct styles that have been influenced by the architectural styles from England, France, and Spain.

Mediterranean house plans offer low, red tiled roofs, pastel stucco exteriors, and spacious interiors with clean lines, soft arches, and columns. These and the more specific Spanish floor plans provide airy spaces that flow easily from room to room.

English Tudors acknowledge the design elements from Medieval England. They have warm stucco, stone, or wood exteriors that are highlighted by dark, angled wooden beams and planking for accents, as well as steep roofs and gables. The blueprints of Tudors have visible divisions between rooms, arched interior and exterior doorways, and tall, narrow windows. They often have immense decorative chimneys.

French homes have formal styling with exteriors of brick or stucco. They also have accent quoins of distinctive interlocking stones that form unique designs with alternating large and small blocks on the exterior corners. Their multi-paned windows are accented with decorative shutters. The interiors offer distinct formal living and dining rooms.

For More Information

With so many styles to choose from, how do you pick the style and design that is right for you? See our information on How to Choose the Right House Plan.


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