About Housing Styles

In Denver, our housing styles are a combination of traditional styles from Europe and our own indigenous styles which have grown out of need. To learn more about the individual styles, see the sections on each one listed below.

Federal Style Federal
3 st wide lot
Denver Square Style Denver Square
2½ st wide lot
Craftsman Style Craftsman
2 st narrow lot
Traditional Style Traditional
2 st wide lot
Bungalow Style Bungalow
1 st narrow lot
Ranch Style Ranch
1½ st wide lot

Look at the impact each style has on the building height, width, and lot size. For instance, some styles are suited to wide lots and some are suited to multiple stories. So, there is a definite correlation between style, building size, and lot size. If your project is an addition, it needs to look like a natural extension of your existing house. If your project is a new home, it needs to blend with the existing houses in the neighborhood.

Style is important, but your needs must be met first. The implications of style are outlined below:

  1. More than two stories
    1. Living spaces such as kitchen, dining, and family rooms, are on the first floor.
      1. Home office on first floor depending on your need to see visitors and available space
    2. Bedrooms are upstairs but they are on two floors
      1. The top floor is usually a ½ story under the roof. Does it work better for you if the kids bedrooms are up here? This layout is more separated, the stair climbing is less, and the kids are a little more supervised.
      2. On the other hand, the second floor is larger than the top floor. So this makes us want to put other rooms on the second floor to fill out the space. The master suite is normally lots bigger than a typical bedroom but we still need things like laundry rm, utility rm, and maybe a baby’s rm to fill it up.
    3. Since the floors are stacked, and each level is approximately the same shape, each floor is dependent on the others to some extent.
      1. Basements are smaller, because the upper floors are smaller. This is good for efficiency because basements normally tend to be larger than needed. Even if you have a work room, or a tv room, there always seems to be extra space.
      2. The living spaces are smaller too. Of course, this is a personal choice so we need to look at the layout closely.
  2. Two stories
    1. Option 1 – All bedrooms are on the second floor. This tends to make the bedroom floor the determiner of the first floor shape because a master and 2 or 3 more bedrooms take up so much space. From a use viewpoint, parents have more supervision of the kid’s bedrooms, and this layout is commonly preferred for that reason.
    2. Option 2 – Master bedroom is on the first floor. This layout works well for older kids, or part time kids, who don’t need full time use of the upper level. No stairs for the owners. Less privacy from living space activities.
    3. This layout provides smaller living spaces and easy isolation of the upper floors.
    4. Basement space tends to be too large unless you need a large work room, tv, or extra bedrooms.
  3. One story
    1. From a space efficiency viewpoint, a one story layout is ideal because the rooms are not influenced by floors above, and there is no stair space used to get upstairs.
    2. However, it takes more space on the lot and tends to make the basement huge. If there is no basement, or a partial basement, the inefficiency is mitigated but we still need a perimeter foundation wall which is double the length of a 2 story house, and more than that for a 2½ story house.
  4. Lot width
    1. As you can imagine, lot width has a huge effect on house shape. For instance, if the first floor is 1,200 sf, and building width is constrained by normal setbacks, the following sizes apply:
      1. 25′ lot – 19′ x 63′
      2. 37.5′ lot – 27′ x 44′
      3. 50′ lot – 40′ x 30′