Washington D.C.’s Most Common Housing Styles
June 11, 2016
June 11, 2016
Home sale listings contain a variety of specialized terms sellers and real estate agents use to describe the listed property. Among the most common: terms that describe the style of the house itself, like “Tudor,” “Federal,” and “Beaux Arts.” You’ve probably seen these terms before, but do you know exactly what they mean? Test your housing style smarts against these short descriptions of Washington D.C.’s most common housing styles:
- Beaux Arts. This French-inspired style was popular with architects from 1890 to 1930 – the “Gilded Age” when ornate architecture and intricate iron or woodwork played an important role in housing styles.
- Bungalow. Only one to one and a half stories tall, bungalow houses feature low-pitched roofs and a covered veranda either in front of or behind the home
- On the outside, Colonial homes have highly symmetrical facades, with entrances in the center and shuttered windows on either side. Inside, these stately houses feature practical floor plans and economical use of space.
- Known for bright, open interior spaces, contemporary homes have clean, modern architecture, lots of windows, and angular designs that look more modern than Colonial homes and feature less ornamentation than Beaux Arts designs.
- Drawing inspiration from ancient Roman architecture, homes built in the Federal style are normally 2-3 stories tall, with covered verandas and simple, clean architectural lines.
- Row Houses. In many ways, the term “row house” actually refers to a form of construction—where several houses sit side by side and share a common wall with the house beside them. Row houses come in many architectural styles, from Victorian and Tudor to Federal.
- Tudor. Known for their asymmetrical facades, wood-framed doors and windows, and European feel, Tudor-style homes are easily recognized by their pointed roofs, gables, and often-elaborate masonry.
- Steeply pitched roofs, elaborately textured walls, and Gothic-inspired details give Victorian houses a distinctive “dollhouse” feel. Large bay windows, wood or stone walls, and even towers are common features of the Victorian style.
Architectural styles are a kind of “real estate shorthand” that helps buyers, sellers, and realtors quickly identify features of the listed home. Knowing the type of home you own can help you market it properly by emphasizing the features your home’s architectural style is known for. As a buyer, an understanding of architectural styles will help you narrow your search to the types of houses you’re drawn to, shortening your search and helping you find your ideal home.