Monthly Archives: November 2013

What is a Cottage house style?

What is a Cottage house style?

In Metrowest, small homes on tiny lots are usually cottages and their location is almost always along bottom-land near oceans, rivers, lakes and streams. While cottage is a hard style to describe, there are a few distinguishing characteristics – the most sweeping generality being that it is a very informal style.

 

In addition, they are: boxy, simple architecture without any ornamentation; low, almost flat gabled roofs with overhanging eaves; and tiny windows and doors installed to catch shade and breezes without regard to symmetry or style. They can be made up of a Hodge-podge of easily available materials and stories abound about cottages made from recycled shipping pallets, crates and scrap lumber.

Unlike the cottages found in the Caribbean and island locations, most original New England cottages began as homes for poor people or were built on large estates to cheaply house the help. In the 1950’s they were built en masse as country vacation homes for the growing middle class, and in the following decades those homes have been “winterized” and updated to become year-round communities.

Cottages are ideal starter homes and are usually the lowest priced segment of their market. Recent trends indicate that they are appealing to the baby boomers who are looking to scale down for lifestyle or economic reasons and want to be part of a waterside community. Because of the buyer pool attracted to these homes, fixing up a cottage without increasing the living area is generally not considered a good investment. However if you update one for your own quality of living, you will usually increase the “curb appeal” and saleability.

pinterest-sqFor some great examples of Cottage Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link

What is a Log House Style?

What is a Log House Style?

Log homes are very rare in the Metrowest Boston area.

Contrary to what TV reenactments lead us to think, there was not enough time for the early settlers to build log homes before the harsh weather of winter settled in, so they lived in wigwams, crude huts and pits covered with boards.

 

The log homes of today, with what are called “saddle-notches” and layers of whole logs laid horizontally & chinked with “wattle”, were brought to the east coast by way of the Chesapeake bay settlements of Germans and Scandinavians in the mid 1600’s.

Because the first-growth forests in New England tended to be huge and irregular, unlike the young, identically sized, straight-as-an-arrow Lodge pole pines and Douglas firs of the south and west, our early builders tended toward board and batten construction for permanent dwellings and log homes were only built as temporary dwellings on the frontier, crumbling over time.

Modern log homes can be extremely well-built and create a wonderful, rustic sense of place within and around them.

When a log home in the Metrowest area goes up for sale, and this is not often, it has historically generated good return for the seller but taken a very long time to sell.

pinterest-sqFor some great examples of Log Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link
What is a Tudor House Style?

What is a Tudor House Style?

The Tudor Revival House Style (often called a Mock Tudor or Tudorbethan when describing 20th century American homes) was very popular in the early 1900’s up to the great depression. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Tudor Revival style was second only to the Colonial style in residential popularity. They continue to be built, but are usually too expensive to build at any scale but on estate-size homes.

 

These homes are easily identified by their distinctive features: complicated and steeply pitched roof-lines with front-facing cross gables; decorative (non-structural) half-timbering upper stories often infilled with herringbone brickwork, blocks, or stucco; patterned stonework or brickwork on the lower story with decorative trusses at the gable ends; large, really prominent stone or brick chimneys often topped with elaborate sculpted plinths; tall but narrow multi-pane casement windows (older ones often have diamond-shaped panes); uneven dormers; and last, a rounded covered entry or porch with tall, rounded door. In my opinion, the one truly distinctive feature is when the roof line itself curves from peak to cornice to suggest a medieval cottage.

They can be found throughout Metrowest, and because of the various highly-decorative and memorable features of Tudor homes, they have always been very expensive to build, so all Tudors and especially the newer ones are only found in the highest price range of their respective communities. The older homes are found mostly in Newton and Brookline. Newer homes are found throughout metrowest. They sell very well and appreciate directly with the market and are considered a good investment as long as you maintain them.

pinterest-sqFor some great examples of Tudor Style Homes click on the above Pinterest link

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