Do You Know Your Home-style?

Do you remember that conversation you were having with a friend, or a Realtor, or a builder, anyone and they start to go on about craftsman-style homes or  that big Tudor house up the street? Your response was a nod and as if you knew exactly what they were talking about? But, in reality, you were thinking “I have no idea what this guy is talking about?”

I remember that conversation a decade ago.  Kelsey and I were sitting with a Realtor, and he began to ask us our preferences pertaining to craftsman-style homes.  And we both looked at him with side-head cock like your dog does as if he was speaking a foreign language. Which he was, to us at least.

In an effort to avoid that for you, we are going to look at some of the most common home styles out here.


Probably the most popular new construction home style is the craftsman.  If you are looking at the big developments in your communities, say a Ryan home, you likely are staring at a craftsman style home.  Here are some of the notable features:

  • Roof lines are low-pitched.

  • Covered front porch.

  • Double-hung windows.

  • Single dormers that protrude and overextended eaves.

  • Wood and natural materials throughout the interior.

  • Prominent fireplaces.

  • Open floor plans


Likely the second most common home style you would find today is the colonial, at least on the East Coast and in the south.  You often find a variety of these styles that are very regionally based; i.e. Spanish, French, and Dutch-styles. Here is what a colonial typically looks like:

  • Symmetrical squares or rectangles as the shape of the house AND window placement.

  • 2-3 levels, with staircase splitting the house.

  • Front door right in the front and center.

  • Homes open to large entryway.

  • Brass and old-world elements throughout the interior.

  • Often a lot of detail with crown molding and trim.


As you drive through some of the older suburbs, like 100-years old, you will commonly will find Tudor homes.  When trying to visualize this, think fairy-tale house. If you are around the west side of RVA near the Mary Munford area or the University of Richmond, you will see tons of these style homes.  Some of the noticeable features would include:

  • Steeply pitched roofs, with gables that overlap with varying heights.

  • Decorative exposed wood framework with white space filled with masonry or stucco.

  • Many accents around the gables.

  • Chimneys with elaborate masonry.

  • Tall and narrow windows.  

  • Front doors often have rounded tops, again with accents all around.


The other classic style home that you see in older urban areas such as Petersburg or Richmond, would be the Victorian-style.  Similar to the colonial-style, you may find several sub-styles such as Gothic Revival or Queen Anne. Here are some of the elements you would find:

  • Steep, gabled roofs with textured shingles.

  • Partial or full-width asymmetrical porches.

  • Round angles.

  • Towers and dormers.

  • Shapely windows.

  • Stained glass.

  • Bright colors

  • 2-3 levels.

  • Intricate and ornate woodwork in the interior.

While there are other styles across the world, these four are the most prominent, especially in our area.  There are pro’s and con’s to all the styles, but the beauty is that you get to choose from a wide variety as you look to purchase your next dream home.  If you like the classic styles, there are great opportunities where renovation as occurred, or maybe you like to do that work yourself. If you are into the craftsman style, there is a great deal of new construction all over the place.

For more details on a wide array of housing styles, check out this article from the National Association of Realtors.

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