Colonial Houses

During the colonial period of America, there were houses of many different designs and styles.

The settlers in the British colonies came from Britain as well as many other European nations.

They brought with them their native construction techniques and styles. At the same time, the actual construction of the colonial homes depended upon the availability of local materials.

These two factors decisively impacted the evolution of different colonial architecture styles.

Types of Colonial Houses

Colonial houses build in the present-day United States features many prominent styles.

They could be classified on the basis of their outlook, or based on their origins.

On the basis of their origin, they are classified as French colonial, Spanish colonial, Dutch colonial, German colonial, Mid-Atlantic colonial and Colonial Georgian styles.

Spanish Colonial Style

The houses constructed in Spanish colonial style could be found in North American regions which had remained under Spanish control.

Most notably, they were built in Florida.

Spanish colonial style used a basic board-house design in construction. The house was constructed in the style of a cottage with a thatched roof.

Dutch Colonial Style

Dutch colonists settled in the areas of modern-day New York and New Jersey.

They built their homes as cottages with stone walls. A prominent feature of Dutch colonial style was steep roofs. The space under the roof was used to add a loft to the house.

German Colonial

The German Colonial style evolved in the late 17th century onwards.

It was brought to North American by settlers from North European regions. German colonial houses featured a basic timber-structure coupled with filled-in masonry.

Together, the two elements provided a firm skeleton for a home.

Mid-Atlantic Colonial

The colonial housing style that evolved in the Chesapeake Bay area became known as Mid-Atlantic colonial style.

This particular style of housing drew inspiration from the British Isles architecture.

It featured an I-plan format overall with gable chimneys and a well proportionate outlook.

The Mid-Atlantic colonial style used wood or brick as the main construction materials.

Log Cabins

Log cabins were a popular example of colonial housing style.

They were made almost entirely from wood as it was the most widely available construction material. Log cabins featured a very simple design.

They were rectangular in shape and measured 16 feet by 14 feet. Round logs were used to construct the entire cabin.

The windows were empty spaces in the log structure, covered commonly by oiled paper. Log cabins were particularly prevalent among frontier settlers who lived away from the main settlements or towns.

They were very quick to build, cost very little and offered a study dwelling throughout the year.

Georgian Mansions

Georgian mansions were a type of colonial houses.

As their name suggests, they were large and spacious structures.

The design of these mansions was inspired from the architectural styles back in Britain popularized during the reigns of King George II and King George III.

In the United States, the Georgian colonial architecture featured symmetrical shapes and highly proportioned external features.

Most Georgian mansions had an imposing outlook, borrowing elements from the Roman and Greek architecture.