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This article focuses on the colonial house architecture between 1600 and 1800, when people have moved to America from all parts of the world, including Latin America, Spain, France, and Germany. They all brought their own traditions, cultures, and house architecture styles. They wanted to feel at home, so they built their houses to resemble the ones they left. As you expect, the New World places were diverse and met the needs of the incoming population. 

American colonists had to adapt to the conditions the new land offered, and they used locally available materials to build houses that met the challenges the landscape and climate posed. Because they had to use materials different from those left at home, they made constructions they remembered and came up with innovations. Native Americans provided them with new building techniques; colonists adapted to serve the type of architecture they preferred. 

As the country grew, the colonists developed numerous architectural styles, therefore the unique Colonial American house styles. Centuries later, constructors were inspired by the early American architecture to build houses in the Colonial Revival and Neo-colonial styles. 

New England Colonial styles between the 1600s and 1740

When they first came to America, British colonists built timber-frame houses similar to the ones in Europe. Rock and wood were typical materials used for British constructions. Every time you see a house with diamond-pane windows and huge stone chimneys, you have a medieval vibe. Architects often call these houses post-medieval English because they are made of wood. Sadly, wood doesn't last in time, so few post-medieval English houses are intact. Most homes with New England colonial features are built during the neo-colonial times when people combined features to construct new buildings. 

German colonial between the 1600s and 1800s

German architecture is different from the English one because it developed in different climate and landscape conditions. So, when German colonists established in America, they constructed houses to resemble those they left in Europe. They first settled in New York, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. These regions were rich in stone so German settlers built sturdy dwellings with exposed timbering, thick walls, and hand-hewn beams. They used local limestone, so the first houses had red clay-tiled roofs that were often called biberscwanz and looked very similar to southern Germany. 

Spanish Colonial style between 1600 and 1900

Architects use the term Spanish Colonial to describe elegant stucco bouses built in courtyards with fountains and complex carvings. But most houses that feature these characteristics are part of the romantic Spanish colonial revival style. The early colonists that traveled to North America from Latin America, Mexico, and Spain used stone, crushed shells, adobe, and wood to build houses. Most houses from those times have flat low roofs, made from red clay, thatch, or earth. 

In California and the American Southwest, you can also find dwellings made in the Pueblo Revival style that mix Native American techniques with Hispanic styling. 

As with the New England colonial houses, few of the Spanish colonial constructions stand nowadays, but there are some beautifully preserved examples in St. Augustine, Florida. An interesting fact about St. Augustine is that it marked the first European settlement in America. An excellent example of this style is the Gonzalez-Alvarez House made in the 1600s, that's the oldest Spanish colonial house in the area. The National Park Service describes it as a one-story rectangular-shaped house, made from stone with thick walls covered in lime and whitewashed. The roof was made from shingles and featured large glass windows. Moving large volumes of concrete is easy now with access to trucks and utility vehicles. Still, back then people lacked these transportation means so building a stone house took extensive periods.      

Dutch colonial house between 1600 and mid-1800

Like all the other settlers, Dutch colonists also brought their construction traditions from home. Most settled in New York and constructed houses made from stone and brick with rooflines that resembled the ones from Netherland. The gambrel roof is a unique characteristic of this architecture style. Dutch colonial style has maintained its popularity over the years and many 20th century houses have a rounded roof characteristic that resembles the medieval Dutch constructions.

Cape Cod houses between 1690 and mid-1800

Architects describe Cape Cod houses, as part of the New England colonial style. Their name is inspired by the peninsula where the Pilgrims first settled when they arrived. Cape Cod houses are one-story buildings built to withstand harsh climate with cold, snowy winters and frequent rains. These structures are humble, lack carvings or ornamental details, and their interior practical for their residents. 

This style has become popular over the years for people who needed to build a house on a budget. They are frequent in the USA suburbs, even if the modern structures are cozier than the ones made in the 1700s. Cape Cod houses are not all from the colonial era, but the iconic style has preserved its characteristics over the years. 

Stone Ender houses between the 1600s-1800s

Early constructions in America were built according to a pragmatic architecture that included only local materials. In the region, now known under the name Rhode Island, limestone was the only available construction material, so colonists had no other choice than using it. most houses looked like constructions from Western England, only that they were made from different materials sourced from northern Rhode Island. In time, this unique style became known under the name of Stone Ender because only one part of the house was made from stone, as a stone extension that included a chimney. 

Georgian colonial between the 1690s and 1830

With more and more settlements built, the New World quickly grew and the original 13 colonies became more prosperous as they started to collaborate. More affluent families in the colonies constructed homes that imitated the British Georgian architecture named after the English kings. These structures were tall rectangular and with row windows symmetrically disposed on the second level. During this period, many colonial houses were built according to this style, and some lasted till nowadays.