House Styles of New England

What is a Raised Ranch Style Home?

What is a Raised Ranch Style Home?

Raised ranch houses were made popular in the 60’s and 70’s and are a natural progression from ranches. True raised-ranches are very rare in New England, most often they are found in older neighborhoods where there is ledge in the ground and the cost of excavation exceeds the cost/benefit curve.

Realtors often confuse them with  split-levels but there really is a simple way to distinguish one – if you enter the door and are standing on a landing and immediately have to make a decision to go up a half-flight of stairs or down a half-flight of stairs, you are in a split, not a raised ranch. In contrast, in a raised ranch you will go up a full flight of outside stairs or enter at ground level and go up a full flight of inside stairs to get to the main living level.

Upstairs you will find the kitchen, dining, living and bedrooms. Downstairs you will find the family room, utility room, possibly some bedrooms, and the garage.

This style of home is really a clever way to get two-stories of living space within a one story home. However, with all the major living activities such as sleeping and entertaining on the upper floor, older homeowners or people with troubles going up or down stairs will avoid them.

In many towns they are found along rural roads or what were rural roads at the time in clusters of several homes that were built at the same time. Some developers also built them in large tract developments that have evolved into wonderful family neighborhoods. If you can find one, and don’t mind the stairs, a raised ranch might just be your perfect home.


For some great examples of Raised Ranch Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link
What is a Cape House Style?

What is a Cape House Style?

English colonists, who came to the States in the late 1600’s brought the cape style home with them. Their original designs were adapted to the local climate, family size and natural materials and have become this great 1 to 1.5 story home.


Capes are known for their steep roofs with overhangs, square or rectangular shape with door in the center and dormers in the upper story. They also typically will have at least one bedroom on the first floor and a central chimney. Although they are often without outside ornamentation, shutters and wide clapboards or weathered shingles give them their distinctive style.

Many of these homes were built in the early 1900’s. They were popular because they could be built cheaply for young families and added-on, or upstairs finished as the family grew. The garages, if any, were usually detached from the original home, set on the rear of the lot, and as the family grew the house was extended to reach the garage.

Capes are plentiful throughout all of New England, and because of their small size and charm, make some of the best “starter homes” for young families.


For some great examples of Cape Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link

What is a Garrison Colonial House Style?

garrisonGarrison Colonials are a distinctive sub-category of the colonial house style, found throughout Metrowest but not very typical for other parts of the country.

The origins of the garrison home can be traced back to England, where this style of house was called a “two-story English overhang” – because the second story overhangs the first.

This style is distinguished by a second story overhanging the long side of the house and below that overhang there are often a set of four decorative carvings such as pineapples or acorns.

Like other colonials, they are very symmetrical, and depending on the creativity of the builder often have the lower level faced with stone or brick while the upper story is always faced with clapboards.

Unlike other colonial styles, they almost always have a single chimney at one end of the house and the windows on the second story are usually smaller than those on the first.

This style of house has been built from colonial times through the 1970’s but are not often built today.

Garrisons are usually very well built, great houses for the mid-range buyers and are often purchased as “mover-upper” homes by second time house buyers as their families outgrow their first homes.


For some great examples of Garrison Colonial Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link

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