Do you find yourself drawn to the charm and nostalgia of traditional homes? Older houses can have a certain spell about them, but their age can make them difficult or expensive to maintain. With a historic house plan design, you can get the look of a timeless home with all of the modern amenities of a house built this year.
This guide to historic house plans will walk you through what a historic house is, the benefits of owning a historic home and a few historic house styles along with some specific house plan examples. We’ll also answer some historic house plan FAQs to clear up any lingering questions you may have. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know before investing in a historic home design.
A historic house is any home built with architectural features from the past. Although newer homes cannot qualify as historical landmarks, they can still be built in a historic fashion. In fact, new houses can be viewed as historic houses if they fall within a historic architectural style, such as Victorian or colonial.
Using a historic house plan enables you to give your home some character through recapturing the beauty and nostalgia of the past without the burden of renovating. By building a new home according to a historic house plan, you can create a classic, timeless home design without going through the hassle of restoring an older house.
Along with saving you the headaches that come with renovations, building your own historic home from the ground up allows you to build modern amenities into your historic style house. While looking like a beautiful, old-time cottage from the outside, your historic home can be energy-efficient and include an open-concept kitchen on the inside. Your new historic home will also have a sturdier foundation than an older house.
You have a wide variety of historic styles to choose from when building a historic house, but most historic homes tend to share some general features. Here are common historic house characteristics:
Often, a historic house plan is selected when building in a neighborhood with similar architecture. Some districts in older cities even have strict guidelines about what types of homes may be built within them. Fortunately, historic house plans are available in endless sizes and designs so you can easily find a historic house plan that suits your style and needs.
Check out these top five perks of building a historic home:
A historic house can be aesthetically stunning. With beautiful architecture from the past, a historic home can set itself apart from the houses around it. Choosing a unique historic house plan will make your home worth stopping to take a look at from the street.
Incorporating the charm and signature characteristics of a certain architectural era can also give a house character, making it feel warm and inviting while maintaining its allure.
Although it may appear straight out of another century from the outside, a newly built historic home can contain all the comforts of the 21st century on the inside. While renovating an older home might be impractical, building a historic house can give you the same visual appeal with all the functionality of a modern home. Historic house plans can include cutting-edge technology like wireless home automation for top-of-the-line security and energy efficiency.
Restoring an old house might mean revamping out-dated features or paying an exorbitant amount to have certain fixtures completely replaced. However, when you construct a new home with a historic house plan, you can build modern amenities right into its design. In this way, you get to have the best of both worlds with a home that looks gracefully aged but provides everything you could want, from smart appliances to a wireless security system.
Part of incorporating modern amenities into your historic house plan can include using an open floor plan. With their expansive open rooms and few walls, open floor plans are becoming increasingly popular. An open floor plan makes a house feel more connected and inviting, giving the home a welcoming feel along with a sense of continuity, harmony and ease of movement.
Because of all the benefits of owning a historic style home, choosing to build a historic house can add a lot of value to your property. Many historic homes are built in neighborhoods full of other houses with historic features, which will also give your home’s value a boost due to its favorable location.
When you include modern amenities in your historic house plan, you will drive up your home’s value even further. In this sense, your house will be deriving value from two fronts â€” both stylistically and functionally. You can even concentrate on modernizing certain rooms to add value, such as a commercial-grade kitchen or a home theater, while maintaining the home’s historic aesthetic.
House planners looking to get inspired by the past have plenty of historic architectural styles to choose from. Although America is a relatively young country, our nation’s homes borrow architectural elements from all over the world. Houses across the country draw on elements of Mediterranean, Victorian and Greek revival homes, as well as federal-, country- and cabin-style homes.
We’ll look at some specific styles of historic house plans in the following section.
While there are numerous kinds of historic house plans, these are three of the most popular:
Country-style house plans can include anything rural or rustic from classic country bungalows to large modern farmhouses. Country house designs with a historic twist are rural homes with traditional elements like an early 20th-century farmhouse front porch or old-fashioned roofs that stand out against the open sky. Essentially, historic country house plans combine the relaxed, welcoming feel of a farmhouse with the timeless curb appeal of a historic home.
Although country homes are typically found in areas surrounded by expansive land and pastures, they can be adapted for suburban neighborhoods while holding onto their down to earth roots. Historic country homes can be a picture of the idyllic past, yet contain modern farmhouse features like an open concept design and plenty of storage.
Historic Southern house styles are designed to suit the warmth and humidity of Southern climates, which means they typically feature high ceilings and sprawling outdoor living spaces like wrap-around porches. Because of the Southern heat, all outdoor communal spaces should provide ample shade or be screened in.
Historic Southern house plans focus on traditional Southern architectural characteristics like pitched or gabled roofs, shaded porches, uniformly spaced windows, bold columns and distinctive shutters. A historic Southern house design captures all the pomp of an old-time Southern home while providing modern conveniences like state-of-the-art kitchen appliances on the inside.
What could feel more historic than a cabin? Although cabin house plans are available in more contemporary configurations and styles, historic cabin house plans are classic log homes that highlight casual indoor-outdoor living. Perfect as a year-round residence or a vacation getaway home, a historic cabin house is easygoing and welcoming as an oasis in the middle of life’s hustle and bustle.
Historic cabin house plans embrace the colonial history of cabin architecture while including contemporary amenities like open kitchens and modern appliances. Whether near the mountains or by the beach, a cabin home can be a cozy sanctuary for your family.
Now that you know the basics of historic house plans and their styles, let’s look at some specific house plans. If you’re looking for a classic historic house design, these three historic house plans can give you a sense of what’s available to you:
This historic country house plan is a charming cottage style with an expansive front porch and traditional chimney. Along with a sweeping front porch, this layout includes a roomy screened porch at the back for additional outdoor living space. While quaint and historic from the outside, this 1,534-square-foot house plan follows a modern open floor plan that allows for easy access between the large living, dining and kitchen area and the hall that leads to three bedrooms. The master has a large walk-in closet and an ensuite bath with two sinks and a spacious shower. The other two bedrooms share the second full bathroom.
With its single-story layout, cozy fireplace and front and back porches, this country historic house plan is perfect for families who enjoy spending time together both indoors and outdoors.
At 3,653 square feet, this multi-story historic Southern house plan offers a bit more space to spread out. Despite its size, this historic house maintains its charm with a full-length balcony stacked on top of a sweeping front porch featuring the same classy white pillars. The front porch and balcony complement the home’s pitched roof, which gives it a sense of personality. A screened back porch is also included for extra living space.
On the inside, this historic house plan features a formal foyer, living room and dining room before opening up into a wide family room, which flows into a large kitchen and connected breakfast room. This communal space is also adjacent to the screened porch, making it easy to transition from room to room even when guests fill the house. The main-floor master features a walk-in closet and a spacious bathroom with dual sinks and a separate tub and shower. A laundry room and half bath complete the downstairs.
Four more bedrooms are located upstairs for added privacy. Two rooms share a Jack-and-Jill bath, while the other two each have an ensuite bathroom. The smaller bonus area on the third floor features built-in storage, dormer windows and an optional fifth bathroom.
Those interested in a smaller historic home or classic vacation home will fall in love with this historic cabin house plan. Although only 558 square feet, this cabin house plan makes the most of its space by using an open layout that maximizes the living area. With the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen tucked toward the back of the house, this floor plan is conducive to relaxing and spending time with family and friends in the communal spaces.
A traditional, deep front porch completes this house plan’s rustic cabin look and makes it great for sitting in a rocking chair and watching the sunset, while windows on all sides fill the interior with natural light.
Check out these common questions and answers about historic house plans:
To be deemed an official historical house, a property must meet a sufficient age requirement, maintain a relatively high degree of physical integrity and have historical significance of some sort. However, newer homes can still exhibit the same outward appearances of a historic home without being a historical site. By including key architectural features of a certain period, new house plans can contain all of the elegance and charm of a historic home without being as worn down by time.
Although it is possible to remodel a historic house, historical homeowners should be aware they may have to renovate in a way that preserves the home’s true nature and original construction. This often means the homeowner needs to obtain special permits to allow renovations. These permits may be restrictive to protect the property’s character or maintain the standards of the neighborhood.
The benefits of owning a historic home range from visual appeal and charm to comfort and amenities. While owning an older historic home may require more maintenance and potentially renovations, a newly built historic home can be aesthetic and unique with cutting edge appliances and a modern floor plan. Being a part of the planning process for your historic house will also allow you to customize certain aspects of your home for increased convenience without sacrificing the classic historic look of the house.
While some residences may meet the criteria to be considered a historical landmark, most historic homes do not. If you’re uncertain whether your house qualifies as a historical landmark, you can research your home’s history to check whether it is designated as a historic structure.
A historic home’s worth largely depends on location. Houses located within a historic district tend to retain their value better than if they were situated in another area of the town. Especially if the surrounding houses are historic as well, a historic home in a historic district could be worth a considerable amount.
If the past inspires you and you’re interested in all the benefits that come with owning a historic home, check out the wide variety of historic house plans COOL House Plans has to choose from. At COOL House Plans, you can find a home design with stunning curb appeal and a convenient floor plan you’ll love. We offer thousands of house plan options and custom modifications so you can be sure you’re building the perfect home for your family.
For more information about how you can get your dream historic house, contact COOL House Plans today.