Farmhouse Architecture Transcends Time
Side gables. Variations on roof configuration in American vernacular are many. Most are simpler, as this is the nature of the style. This house is side gabled. Gabled dormerspenetrate the eave line for the second floor, and a shed roof creates the porch, but the main gabled roof dominates. In this example the primary structure is rectangular, but appendages extend to the sides, making a contemporary plan.
Notice the simplified details. The porch posts and balusters of the railing are unadorned square supports. A simple molding wraps the top of the posts to imply a capital. The rafter tails are left exposed, which adds rhythm to the theme and echoes the repetition of the porch railing. Shutters and a classically referenced entrance door contribute to the more traditional feeling of this house.
Gables atop hip roofs. Less common but quite distinguishable is the gable on a hip roof, like this example. Though the two roof forms can have the same pitch, the gable is steeper than the hip here. As well, the gable portion gets pierced with a shed dormer. Double-hung windows refer to historical precedent. The dance between contemporary and traditional, as this house demonstrates, defines more sophisticated examples of American vernacular.
Farmhouses with unifying materials. You will notice that with the exception of the last example below, these houses are clad almost entirely in one material each. This unifying technique adds to the simplicity that is important to the theme of the American vernacular style. The Central California coastal design here has board and batten siding, reminiscent of the ranch house, as exterior sheathing.
Almost all of these houses have wood or simulated wood siding. Roof shingles of wood or asphalt are used on some, but the standing-seam metal panel is a good fit for this style, as seen on this house and the first and fourth examples.