The Colonial House Plan

The Colonial House Plan

Refined, yet unfussy, Colonial house plans are steeped in tradition, reflecting the classic taste of the early American settlers. The easy-to-build rectangular shape, symmetrical construction, and emphasis on the entryway echo the preferences of homeowners in the original 13 colonies, while the elegant finishes typically used throughout create a graceful, timeless feel that never goes out of style.

Colonial House Design - Colonial homes are usually two stories high with central or end chimneys and brick or wood construction. A central front door typically leads to a central hall surrounded by living and dining rooms; newer Colonial Revival style homes tend to have more open layouts where the center hall leads to the kitchen, dining area, master suite, and other main-level rooms. Double-hung sash windows feature shutters and are placed in pairs, and some homes may also add a three-part or Palladian window on the second floor above the front door.

Ornamentation is fairly typically restrained - the historic-looking design and finishes do all the work for these stately residences.

Regional Adaptations Depending on where you live, you might opt for a variation on the Colonial style. Cape Cod's, for instance, are a great starter home with a relaxed cottage feel that adds a central fireplace and dormer windows to the traditional Colonial house plan. By contrast, Adam-Federal styles can grow to three stories and flank the central door with one or two columns of shuttered windows, as well as a fanlight and pediment or a stylish one-story portico supported by columns that give the home a sort of historical gravitas.

Regional variations generally follow a similar template to the classic Colonial house but may introduce different styles or placement of chimneys, gables, porches, and other home features inspired by cultural history or climate-specific needs. Your architect or builder can walk you through the features that will work best in your region.

Is a Colonial Best for You? Thanks to the centrally located great room, Colonial house designs are a fine fit for anyone who loves entertaining. The spacious entryway is made to be filled with friends, food and festive decor, and a more modern adaptation with the kitchen and dining room attached to the great hall means easy access to cooking, cold drinks, and extra eating space. Colonials are also appealing to anyone who appreciates classic American history and architecture, particular variations like the Adam-Federal styles, where features like porticos give the home a grand, stately appearance. Traditionally, elaborate front doors are used on these homes, an early American design choice that's worth reviving.

If you have a large family or are planning one, Colonials may be a good fit for you too. The second floor is generally the same size as the first and can generally fit several bedrooms, perfect for a family that may expand in the future. If you have enough space, add a side porch or sunroom that will bring in relaxing natural daylight year-round. This house style harkens back to Revolutionary-era tradition, but its spacious design and stunning appearance secure its position among modern house plans.

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