Though Colonial styling originated in Europe in the 1600s, it sprang to life in the 1700s when colonists began settling the land that is now America’s Eastern Seaboard. Colonial houses started as two-story homes with one room on each floor. Today’s designs are far from the originals, but they still showcase some features that were prevalent when colonists first settled the New World. Today’s Colonial home plans are known for the following:
- Distinct rectangular or square shape
- Typically designed at two-story homes
- Featured a strong use of symmetry
- Front door is centrally located and flanked with windows on either side
- Doors are accented with flattened columns on each side
- Stairway is located directly behind the entry/front door
- Incorporate heavy wooded or wood-paneled doors
- Offer a pair of chimneys (one on either side/end of the home) or one chimney on one end of the home
- A hallway/foyer bisects each floor into left and right sides
- Pitched roofs have a minimal overhang
- Exterior is finished with clapboard siding (or siding that looks like clapboard)
- Dormer windows are sometimes included in the second floor
- Some or all rooms showcase hardwood floors
- Exterior decoration is kept to a minimum
If you’ve dreamed about living by the sea, you might have envisioned oceanfront property with waves crashing on the beach. Or maybe you prefer living by a picturesque river. Either way, coastal house plans are well suited for living at the water’s edge. These homes can be one or more levels and can range in size from a simple vacation house to luxurious beach home. Below is a list of some of the typical characteristics of coastal house plans. If you’d like to build near the ocean, along a river or canal, next to some other body of water, you’ll want to look for house plans that offer most or all of these features:
- Coastal home plans are often built on piers or pilings raising the main living areas above the ground by one level and positioning the parking area below the home. This arrangement accommodates rising tides or flood waters and prevents flooding inside the home. The water is able to flow underneath the home without any risk to the structure or damage to the personal belongings and furnishings inside it.
- Coastal house plans often enjoy an open floor plan with the living areas coming together as one. This allows gentle breezes circulate and flow throughout the home.
- Floor plans of coastal homes generally incorporate large windows which are strategically placed to maximize the beach our shoreline view.
- One or more large decks and/or porches deliver outdoor living spaces further enhancing the livability of coastal homes. They provide another opportunity to enjoy the view of the surrounding landscape and waterscape while delivering a relaxing place to entertain guests, dine outdoors and soak up the sights and sounds of nature.
- Coastal house plans often incorporate specialized materials, construction practices and design elements necessary to meet local building codes and specifications related to regional climates, geographic factors and/or marine environments.
Take some time to browse or collection of coastal home plans. For more possibilities, check out our waterfront homes, too!
With summer fast approaching, our minds start drifting to dreams of building a beach house for our summer retreat or maybe as a permanent residence where we can enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean each day. For others, a beach house is a great place to spend long weekends with friends and family, but it can also serve as source of income if used as rental property. Below are seven things to know about beach houses that might help you decide if building a beach home is right for you:
- Designed for shoreline living with the main living areas typically raised one level above the ground to accommodate rising tides and prevent flooding. This is achieved by building on a pier foundation (or pilings).
- Usually, the parking area is located beneath the home and made possible by the pier foundation.
- Floor plans feature large, strategically placed windows to maximize the coastal or shoreline view.
- Floor plans incorporate large decks and porches for outdoor living space and provide an opportunity to soak up the sights and sounds of coastal living.
- Often feature an open floor plan to allow gentle sea breezes to flow throughout the home.
- Often incorporate specialized design elements, materials and construction methods to meet building requirements and specifications related to marine/coastal environments, geographic factors and regional climates.
- Floor plans range in size and style offering everything from a simple beach vacation bungalow to a luxurious oceanfront home.
Browse or beach house plan collection to find the design that will satisfy your needs and lifestyle.
At some point in time, we all need to escape our busy lifestyles and demanding work schedules. For some, this means a getaway to the mountains or relaxing a favorite fishing lake. For others, it means soaking up the sun on the beach or eating dinner on the deck while listening to the ocean waves crash in the distance. Whether you prefer a warm vacation or mountain escape, we have the vacation house plan for you! So if you’re the type who wants to have your own vacation home in your favorite city or town or in your favorite secluded space, considering building one of our vacation homes.
Our vacation house plan collection features floor plans that offer 1500 square feet of finished living space or less. Though small and accommodating, these designs are used for recreational residences or secondary homes. They are perfect for long weekends with the kids, mini-vacations, and hunting/fishing retreats. Also, they can serve as a source of income to those who choose to rent them out to others looking for a break from our fast-paced world. Vacation floor plans generally include one or more bedrooms and baths and modest features. The living areas are often open to one another creating as spacious feel for an otherwise small space. Also, this allows for flexibility and maximum use of the space. Though special amenities may be lacking, the basics such as a compact kitchen and a stackable washer/dryer unit deliver cozy yet comfortable space.
Our vacation home plan collection includes:
Cottage home designs
Beach house plans
Waterfront house plans
A-Frame house plans
Mountain house plans
Typically, vacation house plans blend well with their surroundings and are designed to make the most of panoramic views, natural features and location. They commonly encourage the enjoyment of nature by incorporating walls of windows, sweeping porches and large decks strategically positioned to take advantage of the surrounding landscape and stunning scenery.
Low maintenance is “key” when it comes to vacation homes. The exterior requires little upkeep and the interior provides simple accommodations. Fashioned with efficient living spaces, vacation homes are designed to promote relaxation and comfort giving you a place where you can get away from it all!
Designed to feature the architectural influences of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean house plans most resemble the homes found in Italy and Spain. Their Tuscan and Spanish influences give them a classy and elegant air of distinction. Some or most of the following features are true of Mediterranean home plans:
- Commonly designed for warmer climates, these homes are predominantly found in Florida and California as well as other southern states.
- Sometimes referred to as Floridian house plans, Sunbelt home plans or stucco homes.
- Usually designed with one level although it is not uncommon to find a two-story Mediterranean house plan.
- Designed to maximize energy efficiency in warmer climates and feature a white or pastel color stucco façade and a red clay tile roof that hold up well in warm weather regions.
- The exterior features wide overhangs designed to block the sun’s rays from windows and entries keeping the interior as cool as possible.
- Floor plans feature generously sized rooms, open gathering spaces and tall ceilings promoting and open and airy feel.
- Decorative features include arched entries and windows, wrought iron railings, fences and gates, and stylish columns which define individual spaces while maintaining openness with other areas of the home.
- The living areas are often arranged around an open courtyard or pool for entertaining purposes.
- Large outdoor living spaces such as verandas, patios, terraces promote relaxation.
- Two-story versions often feature balconies.
If you’re looking for a home plan that delivers a masterful blend of comfort and elegance check out our Mediterranean house plan collection and Sunbelt home plans.