Home buyers who are planning to build brand new custom homes often list longevity and energy efficiency as top motivations, but even more important is the ability to select custom floor plans for new homes. Custom home building allows buyers to create their dream home from the ground up, selecting everything from paint color to appliances.

What will often have the biggest impact is the style of custom home design you select. Let’s look at the ever-popular Colonial.

Colonial custom home designs evoke the refined and simplistic tastes of early settlers in America’s colonies.

Most colonial custom home designs are easy to construct thanks to their rectangular or square bases, hipped or side-gabled roofs, and symmetrical layouts. They’re usually two stories and often feature a welcoming central hall that leads into a living room on one side, a dining room on the other, and a kitchen and family room in back.

Stylistic variations are often regional and depend on the early design influences in the area. Here are just a few of these variations:

Cape Cod Style Colonials
<spanCape Cod custom home plans have their roots in medieval English cottages, but their simplistic floor plan and roof line brought them back to popularity during post-war building booms over the last century.

Cape Cod designs are cozy, picturesque and often revolve around a central fireplace. The steep roofs are designed to shed snow. Cape Cod designs are ideal for starter homes or vacation retreats.

Georgian Style Colonials
Colonial Georgian homes started appearing on the East Coast in the 1700s, with design influences primarily from England. Georgian homes are usually made of wood or brick and often feature a second story portico, an elaborate staircase, and large rectangular bedrooms. Georgian home designs are elegant, spacious and highly adaptable to modern living.

Dutch Style Colonials
Dutch Colonials also share the standard rectangular foot print, side gabled roofs and symmetrical exteriors of standard colonials. However, they often feature roofs with dual pitches, like barn roofs, to create extra space on upper floors. They may be sided with tone, brick, clapboard, or shingles. Dutch Colonials are solid, durable and homey.

If colonial designs appeal to you, ask your custom home builder if you can apply them to your own home design.