Colonial-style houses are often square or rectangular in design, with the door in the precise middle and the equal number of windows perfectly reflected on either side. They are typically two to three storeys tall, with comparable, traditional room layouts. The main floor usually has a large central hall with rooms to each side: a dining room, living room, and family room. There may be a separate kitchen on the first floor but more commonly not. There might be a second story with additional bedrooms and storage.
The most distinctive feature of the colonial style is its use of straight lines and symmetrical designs. Flat roofs are common, as are wide porch columns supporting flat ceilings. Walls are generally plain except for occasional molding around the base of the window or door frame. Furniture is usually heavy and dark colored, made of wood. Paintings and other decorations are rare because there was no need for decorative touches in a house designed only for shelter. However'the colonial style was also popular during the early years of the United States, when many buildings in Boston were built from 1720 to 1770. These colonial-style buildings have similar floor plans but differ in some details, such as the presence of fireplaces or other internal features.
During the late 18th century, a new type of house began to appear on American streets: the mansion.
Most colonial-style homes feature a basement, which, if unfinished, is a good method to increase the home's value later on. In contrast to a "great room" type home, colonial homes might contain a lot of square footage, but it is generally divided into various rooms. Rooms include living rooms, dining rooms, family rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms.
Colonial homes are usually between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet in size. They tend to be larger than modern homes but not as large as traditional homes. A colonial home may have five or six rooms including a kitchen, dining room, living room, and three bedrooms. Often, a colonial home will have a front door with sidelights and a transom above it. The house will also have a back door with similar features. Windows will typically be large picture windows instead of glass doors. There will often be two rows of windows on each floor with only the bottom window broken by a staircase or elevator. These are just some of the common features you can expect to find in a colonial home.
Colonial style homes were popular from about 1720 to 1830. They are known for their simple design and symmetrical layout with four equal-sized sides. The formal name for this house type is "American Colonial." You will most likely find colonial homes in the Northeast, South, and West coasts as well as in middle America.
The Georgian Colonial mansion was a prominent style in the 1700s. They were symmetrical rectangle-shaped houses. They often featured windows that were positioned both vertically and horizontally across the front. They had either one enormous chimney in the center of the house or two, one on each end. The Gable roof was popular in early Georgia; it has remained so through today's era of remodeling.
The Federal style home was also widely used during this time. They were longer and narrower than the Georgian house. The most distinctive feature of these houses is their fanlight window, which is an open frame with gauged panels inside the frame to let in light while keeping out cold and rain. These are found only on the first floor of the house. The second floor usually had windows that were solid doors. There were also dormers (small roofs that extend from a sloping ceiling down to a flat one) located on some Federal style houses for extra room.
The Virginia style house was similar to the Federal style but not as long or wide. It typically had two rooms on the first floor and three on the second. The doorways were always wide open with no door at all on the first floor and half-doors on the second. The attic space was used for storage. There was usually a small window on the first floor and larger ones on the second.
The Old South house was similar to the Virginia style but even shorter.
Colonial houses in New England typically had central chimneys with several flues, allowing fires to be lighted in two or more rooms on each story. A centrally situated front entrance, regularly spaced double-hung windows, and a basic side-gabled roof are common features of these dwellings. Some have been preserved in museums, others have been altered for other uses; but all were important elements in the development of New England.
New England colonial homes were built using native materials such as wood, stone, and clay along with some imported items like brick and tile. The quality of construction varied depending on how wealthy the owner was. Houses built by farmers or fishermen would be simple structures with no indoor amenities like running water or heat. But even among those who could afford luxury items, most still wanted their homes to be comfortable places to live. So they included features like fireplaces, easy-to-clean surfaces, and tight shutters to prevent the intrusion of unwanted insects or rain.
The earliest colonial homes were built around 1630. By 1720, many areas of New England were experiencing severe shortages of labor and materials so building methods had to be improvised. For example, because there were not enough carpenters to build entire houses, components of houses (such as doors and windows) were shipped from elsewhere and attached after being cut to size. This practice led to a large number of imitations and variations on traditional house types.
The design was inspired by English row homes, and they generally include an open living area, at least two bedrooms, and are two floors tall. The property is thin and lengthy in form. Almost every Charleston single house has its own patio with an entrance facing the street. These entries are often called "dog doors" because they were designed to be opened by large dogs who would be able to enter but could also go outside if they wanted to.
The most distinctive feature of a Charleston house is probably its front door which is usually made of wood with heavy metal hinges and has several locks on it. This door is one of the ways that slaves entered their owners' homes during the period of slavery. They would ring the bell or knock on the door and say something like "Alfred pay my master his cut from last year's crop." Or they would just show up! If the owner wasn't home, they would take what they wanted and go. Slaves had no legal right to enter their owners' houses so this was a way for them to get access. After slavery, the door became a way for family members to communicate without having to go through servants. The patriarch of a family would sit in his chair on the porch and ring a little bell when he needed someone to bring him a cup of coffee.