Colonial homes are of an architectural style that remains popular for homes today. A style that was brought from England and Europe, these homes are identifiable by such typical characteristics as:
- Steep roofs
- Small casement windows, generally made of leaded glass
- Rich ornamentation
- Large, central chimney
- Southeastern exposure in northern climates to maximize natural light
From the main colonial home style comes a number of sub-style types, including:
- Colonial Georgian – Homes built in North America during the reigns of King George II and III in what would eventually become the United States. These homes are characterized by brick exteriors with wood trim, wooden columns and painted white.
- Dutch colonial – A style that developed in North America with the arrival of Dutch colonists around 1630 until the mid-1800s. These homes include such features as stone or brick construction, Dutch doors, which means the upper and lower halves can open independently, matching chimneys on each side or a wishbone shaped chimney at the front, wide eaves or a gambrel roof, or a combination of both.
- French colonial – homes in North America’s French-settled areas, beginning with the founding of Quebec in 1608. In Canada these homes are constructed of a heavy timber frame, raised basement, exterior stairs, full-length veranda and a steep or side-gabled roof.
- German colonial – Homes built by northern European settlers in North American after about 1675 until 1780. Common characteristics include a symmetrical façade, stone walls, steeply pitched and end-gabled roofs, wood shingles or clay tiles, an attic with windows at gabled ends, as well as a side or front porch.
- Spanish colonial – homes found in Spanish settlements, particularly Mexico, the Caribbean and in North America, St. Augustine, Florida, founded in 1565 and is the United States’ oldest established city. These homes typically fit well with their environment, include stucco walls, red tile roofs and enclosed courtyards.