Comox and Area Building Styles
When people look at Comox real estate listings without being familiar with how home building styles are classified in the local area it can sometimes be confusing. The following building styles are often referred to in online listings:
Single Level Homes
Single level homes are classified as ‘Rancher‘ style homes as shown in the following diagram.
Two Level Homes
Two level homes are classified into four different styles of homes.
The first is the ‘Main Level Entry‘ which means the main floor and the entrance to the home are on the same ground floor level
The second is the ‘Ground Level Entry – Main Up‘ which means that the main floor is upstairs from the entry to the home
The third is the ‘Main Level Entry with Basement‘ which means that the main entry leads to the main floor but that there is also a walk out basement
The fourth is the ‘Split Entry‘ which means that the main entrance to the home leads to the middle of the home between the main level and basement with stairs up to the main floor and stairs down to the basement. Each set of stairs is about 1/2 of what a full flight of stairs would be between two floors in a home.
Three or More Level Homes
Homes with three or more levels are classified as being ‘Main Level Entry with Basement and Second Floor‘ with the main entrance to the home leading to the main floor.
A multi-level home connected by short staircases between the various levels is classified as a ‘Split Level Home‘
Generally found on the West Coast is the ‘WestCoast Contemporary‘ Style of home which means that there are vaulted ceilings, dramatic windows and roof lines and there is either a slab, crawl space or basement.
When a home is classified as other it merely means that the style is other than the common ones discussed above. 4-Story homes, and Panabodes (homes built entirely of cedar) fall into this category of home.
Strata properties are fairly common in British Columbia. They include ‘Apartments” (multi-storey hotel-style accommodations), ‘Townhouses’ (two or more storey residences with private main level entrances), ‘Patio Homes’ (one level dwellings in a complex with individual entrances at street level) and ‘Duplexes’ (two homes connected by a common wall with separate entrances).
The classification of Building styles is different from architectural styles which include modern, gothic, victorian, art deco, neoclassical, gothic revival, revivalism, classic, georgian, Italianate, Venacular, Romanesque, Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, International, Classicism, Queen Anne Style, Tudor, Greek Revival, Beaux-Arts, Streamline Moderne, American Craftsman, Timber framing, Postmodern, Shingle Style, Renasiiance Revival, Dutch Colonial, Burtalist, Prairie School, Federal, Mission Revival, Second Empire, Eclecticism, Romanesque Revival, American Colonial, Renassiance, Mansion, Edwardian, Palldian, Mid-Century Modern, Ancient Greek, Art Nouveau, Renaissance, Historicism, Picturesque, Contemporary, Ranch-style, Byzantine, Richardsonian, Neoclassicism, Spanish Colonial, and WestCoast Contemporary. A few of these architectural styles will be found in the local area such as
Contemporary and modern architecture is often used interchangeably but they are not the same. Contemporary architecture is the architecture of the 21st Century. Architects are working with a dozen different styles and computer aided design is often involved. In the local area ranch style and American Crafstman styles are popular. You will also see Timber Frame and WestCoast Contemporary designs in the local area. Two examples follow.
Modern architecture refers to a group of styles of architecture which emerged in the first half of the 20th Century and it was based on new (at the time) technologies of construction such as glass, steel and reinforced concrete,
Ranch-style homes are noted for their long, close to the ground profile and wide open layouts
The American Craftsman style began in the last years of the 19th century and it has continued with revivals through present times
Timber framing (post and beam) involves building with heavy timbers instead of dimensional lumber such as 2×4
WestCoast Contemporary is a fairly new architectural style that is known for their large geometric designs and use of heavy timber structure.
Tudor style architecture stems from Medieval architecture in England
Colonial Revival homes like this Cape Code style home with a moderately steep pitched gabled roof can be occasionally found in the local area