Here's a layman's guide to some common architectural styles found in houses across Canada:
Colonial Revival: This style draws inspiration from traditional British and American colonial architecture. Common features include symmetrical façades, rectangular shapes, central entrances, and double-hung windows. The houses often have pitched roofs, decorative columns, and may incorporate elements such as dormer windows and porticos.
Victorian: Victorian architecture is characterized by ornate details and rich embellishments. Houses in this style feature intricate woodwork, decorative trim, and elaborate facades. They may have asymmetrical designs, steep roofs, bay windows, and ornamental porches. Sub-styles within Victorian architecture include Queen Anne, Second Empire, and Gothic Revival.
Craftsman: The Craftsman style emphasizes simplicity, natural materials, and craftsmanship. Houses in this style typically feature low-pitched roofs with wide eaves, exposed wooden beams, and a front porch with square columns. They often have a combination of stone, wood, and shingle siding, and showcase handcrafted details.
Tudor Revival: Inspired by English Tudor architecture, this style is characterized by half-timbering, steeply pitched roofs, and prominent chimneys. Houses in this style often have decorative brickwork, casement windows, and arched doorways. The overall appearance is picturesque and evokes a sense of medieval charm.
Modernist: Modernist architecture focuses on simplicity, clean lines, and functionality. Houses in this style typically have flat or low-pitched roofs, open floor plans, large windows, and a minimalist aesthetic. They prioritize natural light, open spaces, and a connection to the surrounding environment.
Ranch: The Ranch style is known for its single-story, low-profile design and a focus on casual, indoor-outdoor living. Houses in this style have long, horizontal layouts, often with a U or L shape. They typically feature attached garages, large windows, sliding glass doors, and a blend of natural materials such as wood and brick.
Contemporary: Contemporary architecture emphasizes innovative design, experimentation, and a forward-thinking approach. Contemporary houses can vary greatly in appearance, but they often feature clean lines, large windows, and a mix of materials such as concrete, glass, and steel. They embrace new technologies and sustainable design principles.
Canadiana: The Canadiana style takes inspiration from Canada's rural and agricultural heritage. These houses typically have steeply pitched roofs, dormer windows, and a symmetrical façade. They often feature wood siding, shutters, and a welcoming front porch. The Canadiana style reflects a rustic and charming aesthetic.
Remember, architectural styles can vary in different regions of Canada, and houses may exhibit a mix of influences or unique interpretations. It's also common to find hybrid styles or houses with elements from multiple architectural traditions. This guide provides a general overview, and it's always best to consult with professionals or local experts for specific architectural styles in your area.