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Heritage home design series part five: Georgian homes

Popular from 1700 to 1830, Georgian homes obviously enjoy a long history in North America and are one of the most popular home styles even today.

Georgian home style is linked to Sir Christopher Wren, a well-known architect from England, where the style originated before being brought to North America.

Characterized by symmetrical design and classic proportions, the geometrical, symmetrical design of Georgian homes included not only the main block of the building, but also window and door placement, as well as the layout of rooms inside. Simple mathematical ratios were used to determine the size of windows in relation to the size of both the room and complete home, resulting in a grid pattern that makes Georgian homes so distinguishable.

While building materials vary by location, northern North American Georgian homes tend to be built with clapboard or shingle cladding, with wooden quoins that imitated stone often decorating the corners of the homes. Further south, Georgian homes can be found in stone and stucco, as these were local materials that were easy to transport. But the true Georgian style is characterized by brick, which often incorporated a horizontal belt design between the first and second floors as most Georgian homes are two or three storeys tall.

Other characteristics of Georgian homes include:

  • Double-hung sash windows, which slide up and down on a series of weights and pulleys, with small panes were most popular as they offered stylistic embellishment. Wood Georgians often featured decorative pediments above windows while Georgians built of brick included brick headers over the windows.
  • Entranceways in Georgian homes included pediments, arched tops and ogee caps and wooden pilasters flanked the entrance in many Georgian homes.
  • Hipped roofs that slope upward from all the sides of a building were typical and occasionally included dormers and sometimes balustrades that were embellished with decorative moldings and trim.

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