Minnesota Popular House Styles

The Twin Cities boast a wide array of home styles in every price point. Here are three different examples of the most popular designs you'll find in Minneapolis, St Paul and surrounding suburbs. Enjoy!

One Story Homes

Today's one story home plans have their roots in the 1930s when some creative architects in California designed the first one-stories known as "ranches." World War II put a halt to most residential building before the style caught on. But by the end of the war, the time was ripe for the "rambling ranch" to become the ultimate symbol of the American dream

Before the war, most people were dependent on streetcars and buses for transportation. Neighborhoods consisted of compact houses on small lots so people wouldn't have to walk too far to their stops. As soldiers returned home to start families, a tremendous housing boom took off. With more and more families owning automobiles, it became practical for neighborhoods to spread out. The stage was set for ranch homes to re-shape the American landscape.

These one story homes reflected changes taking place in society in general, from formal to casual. America's growing love of the outdoors made their picture windows and sliding patio doors added attractions. Even more so, busy lifestyles enjoyed the convenience of one story living and the practicality of fewer stairs.

While 1-story homes have remained a popular mainstay in American architecture, they've enjoyed a tremendous resurgence. Baby boomers looking forward to retirement years are choosing one story homes for their ease of accessibility. But many younger families are also seeking them out. Perhaps it's because they desire more permanence in their lives. They want a home that will grow and adapt, so they won't have to move to a different house every time their needs change. Many are picking a one story home plan with the idea of 'aging in place'.

Today's one story homes are designed better than ever -- with interesting roof lines, higher ceilings, open entertaining oriented floor plans, bigger closets and more style. Improved technology has made it possible to create finished lower levels that are beautiful living spaces and bare little resemblance to basements of the past. Many builders now incorporate higher basement walls, daylight windows and walk-out designs to produce bright, light-filled lower levels. In addition, new building materials are allowing greater open spans with fewer support beams. Source: Design Basics

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Two Story Homes

Two-story homes are more economical and eco-friendly per square foot than one-story homes. Take any amount of square footage and you'll find that stacking it in a two-story home gives it a smaller footprint, allowing it to be built on more lots with less environmental impact. And when you consider the volume to exterior wall area ratio, it is more efficient to build and live in a two-story layout. But many people simply prefer the aesthetic—grand foyers and lofts are just two of the distinct features you can get with higher walls and ceilings. Some homeowners also like clearly defined shared and private spaces, and having the bedrooms on the second floor creates this separation. Source: The House Designers

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Split Level Homes

A split-level home (also called a tri-level home) is a style of house in which the floor levels are staggered. There are typically two short sets of stairs, one running upward to a bedroom level, and one going downward toward a basement area. The basement level is usually finished, and often contains additional living areas (most often, a family room, an office and/or a hobby or playroom), as well as frequently laundry facilities and other utilities. The basement level often also features a garage, and is usually level with the driveway. Beneath the main level (downward from the basement level) is usually crawl space, or sometimes additional basement space, which is frequently unfinished. Source: Wikipedia

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-Kara Kurth