House Styles of New England

What is a Saltbox Colonial House Style?

What is a Saltbox Colonial House Style?

A variation of early Colonial or Cape Cod style houses, the practical and simple saltbox was often a single room deep.

Given that often a dozen or more people crowded into these early homes, colonists soon began looking for practical ways to expand living space. Adding a single-story lean-to shed to the back of a 1.5 or 2 story & one-room deep house was the most practical method of gaining more space.

The resulting shape of this new house was the shape of a wooden box used to store salt in Colonial times, that’s why we call them saltboxes.

In most saltboxes the lean-to addition was divided into three rooms: a central kitchen with its new fireplace and oven; a “birthing” or “borning” room – reserved for childbirth and the sick; and a pantry.

Sometimes a rear stair, located near the pantry, led up to a low-ceilinged storage space. The prominent center chimney or a pair of end chimneys also defines this style.

By the late 1600’s (1680 saw a lot of these built), the saltbox had become so popular that houses were being built with the lean-to as part of the original construction, with the roofline unbroken from the ridge to the rear wall.

The saltbox grew from the early stone ender to a comfortable three-bedroom house over a period of about thirty years as families grew in size and became wealthier.

Saltboxes are still being built (although their sloping roofline limits upstairs space) and buyers and sellers agree that this is one of the most practical home styles in all of New England.

Because of this, these homes sell quickly and at solid market prices and are considered a great investment.


For some great examples of Saltbox Colonial Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link
What is an Antique House Style?

What is an Antique House Style?

Antique homes are historic, cultural treasures that can never be replaced, nor can they easily be compared to modern homes in their respective towns. Although each is as individual as the family or families that built and expanded them and each is made from local materials found close to the site,  there are some commonalities that will help you identify them.

They are typically rectangular in shape and include a large central chimney with one or more fireplaces, narrow clapboards for the siding material, simple trim around doors and windows, and a few small windows (called “lights”) around the main doorway. The other windows typically have numerous small panes, most often 4×4, and are usually split horizontally with the bottom opening to add ventilation in the nice weather. True antiques were fitted with exterior trim whose purpose was to secure the home against Native American raids, such as shutters, solid pine front doors, and large hand-forged hinges and handles.

Over the years, as the family of the homeowner grew, they were fitted with wings, walls and lean-to’s and barns to house their growing family needs. This phenomenon often leads to miss-matched floor heights, weird “railroad-style” hallways and doors/windows to nowhere that were no longer needed as the family blossomed. Many of these wonderful homes have restored hand-hewn beams with exposed pegs, very wide pine board floors, soapstone sinks, and hand-carved trim or trim produced with water saws. Antique lovers find these details to be absolutely charming and are very fond of them.

These homes appeal to a select group of buyers, so their on-market times are usually longer than many other home styles and their rate of appreciation is typically less than that of most other homes. This is partially because they are located near the center of towns (very close to main roads – some even on double-yellow streets) and their location on the lot is usually very close to the road. However, antique home lovers are a special breed and when they purchase their home have been known to live there for a very long while.

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

What is a Colonial House Style?

colonial house styleColonials are a direct offshoot of the Cape style and are descended from the houses that the original Colonists lived in back in the old country. They are to this day one of the most entrenched forms of homes to be found in New England.

They are distinguished by their rectangular, symmetrical design with bedrooms on the second floor; double-hung windows featuring small, equally sized panes; windows framed by shutters; elaborate cornice moldings over the windows; sometimes a protruding stone entry with columns and a fanlight; clapboard siding; gabled roofs covered in shingles; and a central hallway that runs from the front to the rear of the home.

The efficiency of placing the sleeping areas directly above the living areas because rising heat from cooking and fireplaces rises into the sleeping chambers and is not wasted is credited for the initial popularity of the style.

Versions built after the late 1800’s tend to have a single, central chimney while traditional homes built in the 1700s and 1800s have a chimney at each end, although some of the huge colonials being built in the last few years are showing a return to the dual chimneys at the ends.

By far the most popular house style for today’s buyers in the Metrowest region, they tend to steadily increase in value and are ideal candidates for updating and additions.pinterest-sq

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

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