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Architectural Floor Plan Styles
There are several major floor plan styles that are standard within the industry. These styles include Colonial, Conventional, Traditional and European designs.
Colonial Style Floor Plans:
The traditional Colonial or Early American style floor plans are normally rectangular in shape with two floors. The exterior typically is adorned with wood lap siding and often have columns and shutters. The interior generally consist of center hallways with large square rooms on both sides and two additional rooms in the back.
Colonial homes often have chimneys on both ends of the house and commonly have gambrel or a barn roofs. The upper floors typically have 4 large rooms which follow a similar layout as the main level floor plan. Federal or Georgian style floor plans are often characterized by brick exteriors without front porches and often feature gables and decorative dentils. Southern Colonial floor plans often include large columns in the front of the home and an upper balcony supported by a large covered front porch.
Farmhouse floor plans have a similar style as other traditional colonials with distinctive pitched roofs and modest styling as well as a large, covered wrap around porch. Country Colonial styles generally have modest covered front porches that extend across the front of the house and large “country” kitchens often situated near a family room.
In addition to the traditional colonials there are romantic Victorian styled home plans which typically have decorative "fish-scale" shingles, bay windows, "gingerbread" adornments on gabled roofs and large wrap around porches.
Also included in this group are Cape Cod styles which are generally smaller then their sister colonials. Two bedrooms on the upper floor, sloped ceilings and dormered roofs for additional space are typical of this style.
Conventional Ranch Style Floor Plans
Typical Ranch floor plans are generally one story high with an "L" shaped floor plan. All of the bedrooms are grouped in one side of the home. Commonly, the master bedroom is somewhat separated from the other bedrooms on the main floor. Since Ranch styles are one story high there is always room to grow by “building up”.
Traditional Floor Plans
Traditional floor plans are one of the most popular floor plan styles. The roofs are generally steep with front facing gables and the exteriors are often brick, stucco or clapboard. The interior typically offers lofts or high ceilings providing the feeling of more space. These homes strive for a grand appearance.
Contemporary Modern Floor Plans
Contemporary styled floor plans are very popular through the U.S. They often have wood or stone facades. Plans can include large over hangs and often include split levels and very open floor layouts. Contemporary styled floor plans can have either single pitched or flat roof styles
Modern Contemporary styled floor plans generally have very asymmetrical design with bold shapes and more angles than traditional styled homes. Contemporary floor plans distinctively make use of a variety of glass from walls, windows, skylights and clerestories which provide a great deal of sun light and combined with very open spacious floor plan layouts with interesting angled walls, ceilings and roofs.
Florida Contemporary floor plans are generally one story and often have stucco exteriors. Spanish/Mediterranean touches throughout and curved archways give them a softer look than their more modern sisters. Also in this group are “Transitional Modern” floor plans, which often merge several styles together and incorporate elements from several styles both inside and out.
European Style Floor Plans
European floor plans encompass several different and distinct styles which have been influenced by the architecture from England, France and Spain.
Spanish/Mediterranean styled floor plans offer low red tiled roofs, pastel stucco exteriors and spacious interiors. Clean lines, soft arches and columns provide an open and airy space that flows easily from room to room.
English Tudors acknowledge the design elements from Medieval England. Warm stucco, stone or wood exteriors often highlighted by dark, angled, wooden beams and planking for accents are a staple, as well as steep roofs and gables. The interior floor plans have visible divisions of rooms, arched interior and exterior doorways and tall narrow windows.
French designs incorporate more formal styling. Exteriors of brick or stucco and accent quoins of distinctive interlocking stones are used to form unique patterns. Multi-paned windows adorned with decorative shutters are typical of this design. The interiors offer distinct formal living and dining rooms and charming floor plans.
With so many styles to choose from how do you pick the style and design that is right for you? See our information on How to choose the Right House Plan.
We also have a great deal of information on How to Read and Understand Blueprints.