Monthly Archives: November 2013

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 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 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
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