House Styles in the United States: A Study

HomeAdvisor powered by Angi reached out to us for input on their recently released study “The Most Popular House Styles, According to Each State.” We were excited to pitch in! We helped the team select which 15 house styles they should use in their research. Plus, we provided brick&batten designs that exemplified each architectural style from their selects. These renderings were used in the study.

Read on for an overview of this research as well as our insights related to the findings.

At brick&batten, we created the concept of virtual exterior design. Not only are we a source for studies like this — we’re ready to partner with individual homeowners on updating their curb appeal. Learn more.

Example of a cottage style home

The Most Popular House Styles

In looking at the nationwide data, HomeAdvisor powered by Angi found that the most popular home style is cottage (above). This house style was selected by 11% of respondents and also won as the most popular style in eight states: Colorado, Connecticut, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

However, the cottage style didn’t win out by much. It was closely followed by three other leaders: contemporary (10%), Mediterranean (9%), and craftsman (9%). The contemporary home style also won eight states.

Here’s the state-by-state breakdown:

And the nationwide:

Most attractive house styles nationwide

Interestingly, contemporary homes also showed up on the list of Americans’ least favorite house styles (at 12%). And while 8% of Americans call mid-century modern their favorite home style, the same percentage call it their least favorite.

Our takeaways:

  • Some house style preferences are clearly related to geography. For example, Mediterranean homes are beloved in some parts of the South and in the Southwest. Cape Cods are the favorites in Maine. This makes sense: These architectural styles are an inherent part of the residential landscape in those parts of the country.
  • The aggregate data is interesting but harder to parse because of the aforementioned regional variation.
  • Just because you love a home style doesn’t mean your neighbor will — and they might love a style you hate! We liken it to musical taste. Some people love country music, some love metal, some love both… At brick&batten, our goal is to listen to our clients and really understand both their style and their wants and needs for the exterior update they’re planning. We then use our expertise on what works to give you a design you love.

How Americans Feel About House Exteriors

House Exterior Features

We love talking about architectural styles because it impacts the designs we create. But this data (above) from the study is the piece that we found most interesting.

Bring Us Your Ugly Exteriors

First, let’s talk about that 76% number. More than 3 in 4 Americans would buy a home that’s perfect on the interior but ugly on the outside. This is exactly why brick&batten exists! Updating the exterior of a house is more doable than the inside. When shopping for a home, most prospective buyers know that it’s not easy to change room sizes and layouts. A 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom home usually stays that way, unless the homeowner plans to undertake a pretty massive renovation project. But home exteriors can be updated with impressive results that don’t require structural changes. 

We’re all for buying a home based on its location and floor plan. If the curb appeal leaves something to be desired, all you have to do is reimagine it — with a professional exterior designer as your partner!

Before and after of a home with light siding and stone exterior

Visualizing New Builds

Next, we work with more homeowners who are remodeling older homes than those with new builds. However, we’re finding that the percentage of clients looking to visualize their exterior design from a blueprint or elevation is increasing. And we get it. It can be tough to imagine what your new construction home will look like from a flat line drawing. Our photorealistic renderings (like the one above) give homeowners the visual confidence they need before committing to important decisions on costly building materials and exterior design elements.

Two-story farmhouse or Craftsman style home with green vertical and shake siding and natural wood accents

We All Want a Porch

We were not surprised to hear that almost 3 in 10 Americans think of the porch as the most important exterior design feature. We’ve been helping homeowners reimagine their existing porches or add on new porches to their homes since the earliest days of the company. Then, COVID hit, and homeowners were looking for a way to be social while socially distancing. Front porches allow you to be a part of the neighborhood and your community simply by sitting on them. During COVID, you could wave at passersby from a safe distance or even host a couple of people outdoors if you had the space.

But the benefits of a porch go beyond this, and beyond pandemic times. Sit on your porch regularly and you might learn who takes their dog for a walk at 8pm every day. Maybe you’ll get to know the postal worker who handles your route. Or perhaps you just get some fresh air and Vitamin D while sitting on a comfortable porch swing.

What we’re saying is, porches are the best, and we can help you envision your best porch possible.

A Tudor-style home with an updated color palette and fresh hardscaping

All Homes Have Potential

As the leaders in virtual exterior design, we know how to find the potential in homes of every architectural style. Love your home’s bones? We’ll help you highlight them with simple changes that make a major difference. Or maybe you bought your home for its location or interior layout but aren’t digging the view from the outside. We can help you with that, too. Get started on your brick&batten exterior design today.