There are many different types of vintage homes and each one has its own style and elements. Being able to recognize which type of vintage house you are looking at is a skill that will take some time to develop. If you are just interested in old houses, knowing what you are looking at is always a good idea. Below is a quick rundown of the elements of a variety of vintage house styles:
Queen Anne Style – The Queen Anne was one of the most important house styles in the 19th and early 20th century. These houses were popular in England from about 1860 to 1890 and a bit later in the United States. These houses made use of turrets, oriel windows and many other medieval influences. They were popular with lumber and railroad barons. Queen Anne’s were often quite large and impressive. Common elements included steep roof pitch, towers and turrets, long and narrow windows as well as covered porches that wrap from the front around the side of the house.
The Cape Cod – These simple and charming cottages were very popular during the early part of the 20th century. These cozy looking homes feature a rectangular footprint but incorporate a steep gabled roof. Cape Cods were often quite plain and were popular with young couples. The Cape Cod style was often commonly used for vacation homes as well. These houses were very affordable and were built in great numbers during the depression. A few common elements of a Cape Cod are: a single bedroom on the first floor with additional ones on the second, a small roof overhang and gabled dormers.
Tudor and English Cottage – These styles were quite popular from 1915 to the early 1940’s. The Cottage is still a popular style today. These houses have a cross-gabled roof that incorporates a very steep pitch. They often have decorative half timbering with tall slender windows. The Tudor and Cottage both have a very big chimney that is often decorated. They can be sided with stucco, stones or even clapboard. The siding will often depend on the area of the country the house is located in. These are very distinctive houses and this style has enjoyed many years of popularity. A few common elements would be: Many of them are one and half stories high and feature cozy irregular shaped rooms.
Split Level – These houses are sometimes called raised ranches and were quite popular in the 1960s and 70’s. It made excellent use of interior space and was a considered a very efficient design. A half staircase would lead to the upstairs bedrooms while another half staircase lead to the lower level, which housed the family room and laundry area. There were many variations but these elements were quite common: Low pitched roofs and deep set eaves along with a asymmetrical façade were common outside elements while an open floor plan was common on the interior.