Home Sweet Home: Trends in the Housing Market Since 1917

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New homes during World War I were usually built in the Prairie or bungalow style with open floorplans off long interior hallways and lots of cross ventilation. As soldiers came home from World War I and the industrial revolution began, trends in housing started to change. Your home may look and feel different from these historical designs, but you can always rely on equipsupply.com to provide all of your DIY homeowner tools!


1918 to 1945

While the first Revival-style homes were built in the United States about 1880, the trend really took off after World War I. These homes came in a variety of sub-styles including English, French, Italian, Mission and Spanish. The house's geographical location often determined which sub-style was used with English Revival-style homes being favored in New England while the Southwest saw many Mission-style homes. Meanwhile, many homes in California were built in the Spanish style.
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Image source: Builder House Plans

1945 to 1950s

Soldiers returning from World War II started producing babies leading to the need for more housing. Many developers used a minimal traditionalist-style allowing them to build a large number of homes quickly and inexpensively. Loosely based on the Tudor Revival-style, these homes had lower pitched roofs although they were still built as one story homes.

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Image source: Country Living

1950 - 1960s

Reflecting the hippie lifestyle of the West Coast, Ranch style homes quickly became the new building style. These homes have rambling interior rooms inside an elongated box shape. Most had a one or two car garage as Americans became more able to afford luxurious automobiles. Many also had more decorative features along with a back patio perfect for entertaining.

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Image Source: Kentwood Real Estate

1960 - 1970s

While many homes in communities were still built in the Ranch style, vacation properties during the 1960s were often built in the A-frame style. Many had roofs reaching clear to the ground. Some had front entryways, but it was not uncommon to find A-frames with an entryway carved into the side of them. If you are facing foreclosure defense, it may likely be on one of these homes because they were some of the easiest homes to get approved for home loans.

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Image source: Family Home Plans

1960 - 1980s

Another very popular choice starting in the early 1960s was the split-level. Homeowners found these homes convenient because they could easily be divided into zones with most having an active zone often including a basement below ground level, a quieter living room and kitchen at ground level and an extremely quiet upstairs containing bedrooms. Bi-level homes are a variation on this theme, but they have no basement.

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Image source: We Are Found Home Design

Additional Resources:

Antique Home Style
Ronald D. Weiss
This Old House

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