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The 2020 Guide to Exterior House Styles

Updating your home’s exterior can help give it a fresh new look. Choosing the type of exterior style that will work best for your property means also taking a look at your home’s architecture, and determining the types of materials and styles that show it off in its best light.

There are many different types of architecture, but most can be generally grouped into overarching styles that may have some variation depending on the region you live in, your architect or builder, and any modifications that may have been made over the years.

Exterior House Styles

The following guide to exterior house styles can help you determine the type of home you have, and what will ultimately help it look its best going forward:

Queen Anne with Cross Gabled Roof

This Queen Anne has a front porch added that changes its style slightly and allows for more material variety. The different gables are shown off to their best effect by using a board and batten style siding, while the rest of the home is done in a combination of horizontal lap siding and a stone veneer. The color palette draws from the stone, so it has a quiet, subtle look.

Farmhouse

The farmhouse style has been growing rapidly in popularity over the last few years. The style is defined in part by the large front porch and the two-up-two-down windows seen throughout the exterior. This farmhouse has a section of board and batten siding, which is a traditional farmhouse exterior covering, and the rest is done in a horizontal lap siding. The bright white trim helps to show off the windows and details of the home beautifully.

Contemporary/Shed Style

This type of contemporary home is known as a Shed. It’s defined by very crisp, clean lines and angles, along with the single bump out and the overarching roof on the entryway. To keep with the sleek style, it uses architectural panels over the bulk of its exterior, along with a wood-stain shiplap accent on the foremost sections. This contrast helps make the sections stand out and get more notice than they would have otherwise.

Craftsman

The Craftsman bungalow is one of the most enduring styles around. This cross gabled version has a subtle color palette that lets its overall shape shine. It uses shingles beneath the gables to better show them off, while the rest of the property is done in a wide horizontal lap siding. The slightly darker trim is all that’s necessary to give some extra dimension to the home and show off the details.

New Traditional

The New Traditional style is a more updated version of older styles such as Victorians and Shingle styles. This home combines elements of both of these, along with a large, wrap-around front porch. In keeping with its traditional style, it uses one color of siding throughout, even while the type of siding changes from board and batten to horizontal lap siding. This lets it show off some of its details, without calling attention to itself. The crisp white trim and black shutters help complete the look.

New Traditional Tudor

The classic Tudor style has also gotten a New Traditional makeover, combining many elements of the older style with a more updated and streamlined appearance. This includes the same cross gabled roof of the Tudor, but with a more modern look. This home features irregular shingles in two colors along with a crisp white trim that shows off its different roof lines. The result is refreshingly modern, while still having a classic, traditional look.

Federal

The Federal style is large and square, categorized by the four chimneys on each corner, a side gabled roof, and some unique trim over the windows and doors. Without a lot of decorative areas or changes to the architecture, it looks its best when done in a simple, horizontal lap siding with limited white trim. To help make this exterior pop, it also features a pair of red doors.

Gambrel

The Gambrel is mostly found in New England. This home is categorized by its unique, gambrel style roof, which comes down at sharp angles in the front and back. This property is situated in an area with beautiful landscaping, and because Gambrels are very simple in style, it features an irregular shingle siding in a color that complements the fieldstone of the chimney and the landscaping. Crisp white trim helps highlight the windows and different pieces of the home.

Second Story Overhang

The Second Story Overhang is frequently mistaken as a type of Ranch. In fact, it’s actually a form of Colonial Revival. It’s categorized by the top story jutting out over the bottom story, sometimes alone and sometimes with a small roof overhang. These styles of home look best when done in a single color of siding, usually horizontal lap. For color and accent, the shutters can be used to help contrast the siding and bring some dimension to the property.

Ranch

The traditional Ranch is a single story home, although in some areas, Ranches do get raised, or picked up so that another story can be built below the original. Ranches come in several sizes, but most have fairly open floor plans that make them easy to live in. They look their best when done in a single color and style of siding. Most will feature horizontal lap siding, but some can also use shingles over the entirety of the exterior as well for a fresher and more up-to-date appearance.

Make Your Home Stand Out

By understanding your architecture and what makes it look its best, you can pick out the right material and color palette. If you’re wondering how your home will look with different styles of siding, check out Allura’s Visualizer and upload a photo of your home to find out just how easy it is to make your home shine.

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