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The architecture in homes has changed dramatically over the past 150 years or so. Understanding these changes is an important part of my job as a home inspector – but it is also interesting!

Here are some of the changes in style that have happened over the last 150 years:

Victorian (1840 to 1900) – In the period that took us into the twentieth century, mass production was introduced which led to affordable housing. In terms of styes, we saw Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Octagon, and Folk.

Gilded Age (1880 to 1929) – Of course, this was a term coined by Mark Twain and described the extreme wealth that occurred in the country. Therefore, huge homes were being built by the rich businessmen of the world who enjoyed the grandiose structures.

Early 20th Century – After the great depression, we also saw some smaller, more compact homes with a little less pretence involved. Compared to the previous age, these homes were more economical.

Post-War (1945 to 1980) – Once the war had ended, the mass production of simple and affordable homes began. Over the years, many critics have said that these didn’t offer any particular style but production was spurred on by the returning soldiers with an emphasis on utilitarianism.

Neo (1960 to Present) – In the current period, we are borrowing all sorts of previous styles including Colonial, Mediterranean, and Victorian. Commonly, we have seen ‘McMansion’ houses that describe those built in good time but with very poor design.

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