Monthly Archives: November 2013

What is a Split-Level House Style?

What is a Split-Level House Style?

Split-Level houses were made popular in the 60’s and many are still built today. They are the one house style that most people associate with “Grandma’s House”. Depending on the ingenuity of the builder and the owners, splits are among the least expensive house styles that you can find in any town.

Realtors often confuse them with multi-level houses and raised ranches, but there should be no confusion, as there really is a distinct style that really determines a split. Here it is: If you have to go up a half-flight of exterior stairs and then once inside you are on a landing from which you have to decide to go up or down another half-flight of stairs, you’re in a split-level.

One car garages are often located beneath the sleeping spaces and depending on the size of the footprint two car garages are a nice upgraded feature.

The floor plans are universal, up a half-level you will find the kitchen, dining and living rooms to one side of the staircase and the bedrooms to the other side. Down a half-level you will find a family room, office, laundry, mechanical and storage, and garage.

Splits were originally built as inexpensive homes which maximized usable living space while minimizing foundation and roof costs. Because of this, the basements are usually very shallow, allowing the use of short windows above ground that introduced air flow and sunlight. And either a cause or an effect, they are often found in areas with high water tables and areas with bedrock close to the surface.

As a sweeping generality, in my initial meeting with buyers, split-levels are the one home style that most will eliminate from consideration.  And yet hundreds of them are sold each year due to their economical carrying costs, generally low prices, and great use of space.

For some great examples of Split-Level Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link

What is a Dutch Colonial “Gambrel” House Style?

What is a Dutch Colonial “Gambrel” House Style?

About a hundred years after American independence there was a resurgence in colonial homes, often called the colonial revival period. Dutch colonials are one of the styles to emerge from this revival and I have to admit, they’re one of my favorites.


These homes typically include a gambrel roof with a double slope on each side of the building giving the look of curved eaves, and often look like what often is called a “barn”. Usually they are faced in wood clapboard or shingles, varying in size and building materials, and most have a symmetrical front facade and a classical wide, open entry portico.

Homes that have chimneys often have them placed at one or the other end, not usually in the center of the home like colonials.

Also, homes with the gambrel facing the street tend to be earlier, dating from 1800- 1900, while those with side-facing gambrels and a broad front dormer tend to date from 1920-1950.

The use of the gambrel roof is showing a resurgence in popularity in 21st century modern home designs, but its primary use today is in barns, due to the limited framing requirements and large resulting interior spaces.

First-time home buyers will find these affordable “starter” houses on smaller lots and in nice neighborhoods. Because of this, their appeal is very high, and their resale (if priced properly) happens quickly.

pinterest-sqFor some great examples of Gambrel Dutch Colonial Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link
What is a Bungalow House Style?

What is a Bungalow House Style?

Bungalows are some of the most common homes found in older neighborhoods of New England, often near lakes and rivers. These homes became very popular from the 1910’s to the 1930 ‘s and are still popular as “starter” homes in the lowest price range in their towns.

These homes are generally narrow but deep homes often with detached or no garages. This is usually a function of their small lot size, with many of them on lots less than ¼ acre.

Bungalows are almost always one story but sometimes 1-½ stories high, and when located on lakefronts with steep banks they often have walk-out basements with glass-enclosed family rooms in the lower level. These homes also usually have a small porch with square columns set on footings. The porches are often enclosed with screens to keep the bugs away on the summer nights and the crawlspace underneath the porch is used for seasonal storage of outdoor furniture and equipment.

The majority of original bungalows were built as “camps” or “summer” homes and have been “winterized” and fitted with central heating and all the fixings that support year-round living.

They can be very charming from the outside and Realtors often use descriptors such as “cute” or “cozy”. In addition, the interiors reflect an earlier time when leisure and a slower pace of life were embraced by a whole generation.

my pinterest boardsFor some great examples of Bungalow Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link

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