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Trends3 min

Design Focus: Dutch Colonials

If you live in the Northeast, your home is likely to represent or be surrounded by great examples of Dutch Colonial architecture. 

While the traditional Colonial home is a quintessential American design, the Dutch Colonial style is different, and made popular by Dutch Colonists who settled in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut areas in the mid-1600s. Known for their masonry skills, Dutch Colonists built brick homes with deep V-shaped roofs. It wasn’t until the late-1700s when Dutch Colonial design embraced its most distinctive feature: the broad, barn-style gambrel roof. This type of roof has two slopes on either side with the upper slopes nearly flat and the lower slopes positioned at a steep angle. 

This unique roof design maximizes headroom inside the home's upper level without the expense of building out a full second floor. The style was also an ingenious way for avoiding heavy taxes, which were levied on two-story houses. Homes with gambrel-style roofs were taxed as one-story houses.

If you currently live in a "newer" Dutch Colonial home, the proper term is "Dutch Colonial Revival." Architectural styles often gain and lose popularity, and in the early 1900s, as Americans romanticized their early Colonial roots, they revived the older Dutch Colonial design to add a few modern touches. This Revival period lasted from 1890 to 1940 and heavily influenced home designs and exterior paint colors.

Besides the gambrel-style roof and two-story design, there are several key exterior features that make up Dutch Colonial home design:

Gable Ends

The gable, which is the triangular portion of the wall between the intersecting roof pitches, is very pronounced with round, decorative windows on each end. Early Dutch settlers built chimneys on each gable end.

Dormer Windows

Integrated into the roofline, the windows have a grid configuration of six-over-one, six-over-six or eight-over-eight. An eight-over-eight grid pattern, for example, has eight pieces of glass in the top sash and eight in the bottom.

Symmetrical Facades & Full-Width Porches

Facades are balanced and symmetrical. Porches are under the overhanging eaves.

Classic Siding

Architecture favors wood clapboard, brick or stone with many Dutch Colonial Revivals using brick on the front facade and wood clapboard on the remaining three sides. 

Today, Dutch Colonial Revival homeowners have a never-ending palette of colors to celebrate the practical and functional personality for their home. To help ensure Dutch Colonial Revival designs stand the test of time—regardless of architectural trends—use products with a track record for optimal performance and durability. LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding allows homeowners to mimic the look of traditional wood while enjoying game-changing longevity due to its engineered wood technology that protects against hail, wind, fungal decay and termites. The cedar wood option offers a lively, textured effect and mixes well with existing brick facades.

To create a unique look among neighboring Dutch Colonial Revivals, use additional elements like LP® SmartSide® Perfection Shingle and LP® SmartSide® Cedar Texture Shake Siding to accentuate the gable ends, dormers and other architectural features.

Want to know which colors will make your Dutch Colonial Revival the envy of the neighborhood? Visit our Colors & Inspiration page for the full download.

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