Homes in the United States come in a slew of options today. There are prefabricated homes, homes on metal frames, homes on wheels, and the oldest known form: stick-built homes. This nation was founded on log cabins and stick-built homes, going as far back as the 1600s.
Log cabins today are nothing like those you built as a kid with your Lincoln logs. They are elaborate structures with walls, windows, and multiple stories. Immigration during the 17th and 18th centuries saw folks from most every culture come to this country, bringing with them their knowledge of constructing log cabins. As the land was cleared, log cabins were erected, as were schools, churches, barns, commercial structures, and outbuildings.
Cape Cod-styled homes were introduced by the English colonists who first came to America in the late 1600s. These homes were known for their steep roofs, a chimney at one end, and side gables. These homes are normally considered to measure a story and a half, with dormers on the half story. The house itself is customarily sided with wood shingles, brick, or wide clapboard. The front door is usually centered, and double-hung windows are surrounded with decorative shutters.
The colonial style is considered one of the most popular in the United States. It is customary to have a high-pitched roof with two or three stories and large chimneys that tower from the roof. At least one dormer is present, and narrow clapboard siding covers the home. Windows are normally placed symmetrically on either side of the front door, while columns support the decorative roof above, as if a crown covers the palace entrance.
Next is the contemporary style, which cannot be defined by a single shape. The contemporary style is known for its glass panes, and the style consists of either wood or stone that can come in irregular shapes that are plain and lack ornamentation. Contemporary’s cathedral ceilings may have exposed beams with flat roofs and an open floor plan.
An all-time favorite style is farmhouse, which can also come in a wide variety of incarnations. Farmhouse style is sometimes referred to as the simplified Victorian. The large, beautiful, wraparound porch is indicative of the farmhouse style. Farmhouse dormers and gables are asymmetrical with either shingles or a metal roof, and simple molding and trim gives the farmhouse that basic rustic feel.
This is only a short list of the various forms that architecture can take here in the United States. Many builders came to the U.S. as immigrants, and their styles of architecture were incorporated into America’s overall building scheme.