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Sketch of basic architectural house styles with common period dates Determine the Age of a Building from Architectural Style

  • ARCHITECTURE, STYLE, & BUILDING AGE - CONTENTS: How to determine the probable age of a building based on its architectural style. Architectural style guide to houses
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about identifying the age of a building or its components, systems, or materials of construction based on architectural style or details of architectural features
  • REFERENCES
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Building architectural style as a clue to building age:

Here we provide a photo guide to determining the age of a residential or light commercial building by examination of the architectural style of construction or the building materials and components that were used in the structure.



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Here we list some helpful clues to answer the question "how old is the house?" and we provide photographs of key visual clues useful for determining the age of a building.

For more details about identifying and dating building or building component see the building component or construction method article links listed at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article

Photo Examples of Architecture & Style Providing Typical Dates of Construction

Sketch of basic architectural house styles with common period datesThe age of a building can be determined quite accurately by documentation, but when documents are not readily available, visual clues such as those available during a professional home inspection can still determine when a house was built by examining its components, building materials, even nails, fasteners, and types of saw cuts on lumber.

Our page top photo shows a Mid-Victorian multi-floor structure built in Hudson, NY, USA ca 1874. The entire building exterior facade is made of cast iron, including the window parapets and sills and the faux stone exterior walls and corner quoins.

While building architectural styles such as "Victorian" continue to be built into the present, the combination of a recognizable architectural style with an inspection of the building materials which have been used provide considerable information about the age of a home as well as its history of changes and additions.

Article Contents:

American Colonial Architecture ca 1774

The home shown below is the Suffolk Resolves house in Randolph, MA, USA, a historic house built ca 1774.

Sketch of basic architectural house styles with common period dates

Photograph of Gothic Revival Style Architecture ca 1840

This is the Justin Morrill Smith homestead in Strafford, VT, USA.

Sketch of basic architectural house styles with common period dates

You can see window hardware from this home at  WINDOWS & DOORS, Age, Types.

Photographic Example of Early Victorian Style Architecture ca 1850

This frame building in Hudson New York is dated ca 1850.

Sketch of basic architectural house styles with common period dates

We are not sure why "Victorian" is applied to this home based on its exterior, other than the window type and size and entry door design.

Photographic Example of Mid-Victorian Style Architecture ca 1874

This photo shows a Mid-Victorian multi-floor structure built in Hudson, NY, USA ca 1874.

Photograph of Mid-Victorian building in Hudson NY ca 1974 with cast iron exterior faux stone

The entire building exterior facade is made of cast iron, including the window parapets and sills and the faux stone exterior walls and corner quoins.

Photographic Example of Colonial Style Architecture ca 1875

This photo shows a Colonial style home built in Newburg, NY, USA ca 1875. You can also see some of the framing details of this home at FRAMING MATERIALS, Age, Types.

Photograph of Mid-Victorian building in Hudson NY ca 1974 with cast iron exterior faux stone

Example Photographs of Neo-Victorian Style Architecture ca 1900

The home shown just above was constructed at 57 South Grand Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY ca 1900 and includes numerous Victorian architectural designs as well as turned barrel stave porch columns made in Brooklyn, NY.

Sketch of basic architectural house styles with common period dates

(Later restored by the author, photo above right shows copper-lined eaves trough gutter reconstruction in process.) by 1984 the home had been covered with aluminum siding and indoors ceilings by ceiling tiles and other newer materials that were removed during restoration work.

Sketch of basic architectural house styles with common period dates

This house at 57 South Grand Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY and the work at which I am shown pounding away (above) back in the 1980's is shown (in sadly deteriorated condition) below and is discussed thirty years after that job,
at PORCH COLUMN REPAIR or REPLACEMENT

Poughkeepsie home front porch box beam and columns (C) Daniel Friedman

Photographic Example of Modern Dutch Colonial Style Architecture ca 1939

This home was constructed in Poughkeepsie, NY ca 1939. While the basic shape follows a two story Dutch Colonial design, the building exterior has been covered by a PermaStone veneer, probably applied during the 1960's.

Sketch of basic architectural house styles with common period dates

Log Home Styles

Antique log home Susquehanna River Pennsylvania

Antique and pre-colonial log homes and log cabins are described
at ANTIQUE & OLD LOG CABINS as is the sod-roofed home shown just below. This antique sod-roofed log structure is located in Oslo, Norway.

Antique log building, Molde, Norway (C) Daniel Friedman

Below is a more recent but traditionally-constructed log home:

Elk Lake Michigan Log Cabin (C) Daniel Friedman

20th century log homes such as this Michigan home are discussed
at LOG HOME GUIDE

Contemporary spline system solid log homes are described separately
at SPLINE & GASKET DESIGNS for LOG HOMES

Article series contents

For detailed guides to identifying building architectural styles and building roof, dormer, window, and other component styles see

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Continue reading at ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID where we aid in identification of building architecture, components, and styles, many of which also can help date the era of construction of a building. or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine

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ARCHITECTURE, STYLE, & BUILDING AGE at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to BUILDING ARCHITECTURE

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