Colonial-style architecture originated with the Dutch settlers in the Colonies like Pennsylvania and Delaware. Republic Home Builders has floor plans that take this romantic home style to reality. The Colonial style is characterized by double-hung windows, steeply pitched roofs, covered front porches, and a symmetrical yet stately design. Colonial homes remain popular throughout Spotsylvania and Orange County, Virginia with the perfect blend of charm and sophistication.
The Colonial style comes in many variations but the most popular style around Lake Anna is the Colonial Revival or Neo-Colonial home. If you’re dreaming of a home with unique architectural elements, a stately exterior, and an open floor plan, Republic Home Builders can help you design a custom Colonial-style home to bring your vision to life.
Key Features of a Colonial Style Home
Colonial homes in Louisa and other areas of the East Coast may vary in size and design but they have many common characteristics. You can recognize a Colonial style home based on the following features.
- Symmetrical design. Colonial homes are rectangular with an entry door in the middle of the home, two windows on either side of the door, five windows on the second story, and a central chimney.
- Medium to steep-pitched roof. This is important in areas with heavy rain and snow to allow proper drainage and reduce weight on the roof.
- Symmetrical windows. Colonial homes always have symmetrical window placement. While the windows on original Colonial homes were small casement windows due to the cost of glass, modern Colonial style homes have larger double-hung windows that may have 6 to 12 panes.
- Central entryway that may be decorated with a broken pediment, a pediment with pilasters, sidelights, or a simple portico and columns.
- Stairway behind the entry leading to a hallway that goes through the middle of the second story.
- Brick construction is common for Colonial Revival homes built between the 19th and 21st centuries as well as original New England Colonial homes in Virginia.
History of Colonial Homes
The Colonial style refers to homes of the 17th century colonists from Europe who settled the United States. These early homes were built in the style of their home but adapted to
the colder local environments. Many influences were brought to the United States but the Colonial style eventually became distinct and recognizable for its symmetry. Most elements of the Colonial style originated in England, where most Colonists came from. In the mid-17th century, when London burned several important architects helped reconstruct the city. These architects designed buildings based on Green and Roman ruins and that influence can be seen in the geometric proportion of Colonial homes in America.
The first Colonial homes were two-story with one room on each floor, a symmetrical design, a very steep roof to handle the heavy snow on the Eastern Seaboard, a central chimney, and very small windows. In the 17th century, windows were small by necessity because glass was still not common and it was expensive with taxes paid on glass. Eventually, Colonial homes became larger four-over-four two-story homes, the style most people consider a Colonial home.
Types of Colonial Homes
Colonial architecture comes in many forms depending on the region. This type of design was most popular in the South and New England, but there are other styles of Colonial architecture in what was once the Spanish Empire.
New England Colonial homes were mostly made with wood clapboard siding as wood was a plentiful material. Colonial homes in Virginia, however, which are now considered part of the New England style, were made from brick. This is because clay was more common than wood in parts of Spotsylvania and Orange County and elsewhere in the state. Southern Colonial homes have higher ceilings for better ventilation in the humid summer months. In some parts of the South, such as Louisiana, Colonial homes were influenced by French design with elevated brick foundations and wide porches. Spanish Colonial homes also feature very distinct design. Popular when Florida and the Southwest was part of the Spanish Empire, Spanish Colonial homes were made from stone and adobe to keep the interior cool in the hot weather.
The modern Colonial Revival style, which began in the late 19th century, is one of the most popular styles of architecture in the United States. This style is influenced by early Colonial homes and later styles of architecture and reached a peak in the 1950s. Colonial Revival homes may have gambrel, hipped, and gabled roofs with brick or brick facade construction and a central decorative entrance that may include a pediment over the door, portico with columns, a pediment supported by pilasters, or sidelights.
Custom Colonial homes today are built in the Colonial Revival style which has greater architecture details than original Colonial homes and large yet still symmetrical window placement. At Republic Home Builders, we design and build custom Colonials in the Louisa and Lake Anna area with a focus on quality workmanship and an unforgettable customer experience.