Historic Home Plans

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Historic home plans are a joy no matter which way you look at it, thanks in large part to their architectural integrity and solid craftsmanship. That's exactly what you want in your house. You're not stuck with the cookie cutter templates that the builders of suburban developments and urban neighborhoods use by default.

If your tastes are traditional and your mortgage line limited and you're still hoping to customize historic home plans to suit your needs, there's a neat solution. What you want to find--and they're out there--are architects steeped in period styles who have a library of historic home plans they've already drawn up with fine attention to both authentic architectural detail and the most of modern conveniences and small luxuries. Ideally, such plans will be certified by builders as ready to go to construction.

It might be, though, that you have only a basic sense of architectural styles. Shopping the Internet is a fine idea for specific schematics, elevation plans, landscaping possibilities, and blueprints, once you've narrowed your focus on a particular period. You don't want to choose hastily, though. This is an important decision. The house you have built will become the home you'll enjoy for years.

An Overview of Historic Home Plans

Traditional American architectural styles fall into three rough periods--colonial (1600-1820), romantic (1820-1880), and Victorian (1860-1900). Colonial houses are the fundamentally symmetrical blocks that show, regionally, different and unmistakable Dutch, French, Spanish, and English influences. The romantic period included the Greek revival typified by the plantation houses of the antebellum South and the Gothic revival and Italianate baroque styles of the mid-and later 19th century. The Victorian era is, of course, unmistakable with its complex shapes, bold colors, asymmetrical facades, steep roofs, and creatively stylistic detailing.

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