Types of San Diego Home Builds

Posted on: June 23, 2023

Diversity is a strong suit for San Diego’s architectural scene. No matter where you live in the county, you will surely find some interesting and gorgeous homes. While marveling at the scenery, you may even find some homes that appeal to you on a fundamental level. Now, you cannot get the thought of building a home inspired by that architectural style out of your head.

If you are curious about some of the home-builds you have seen, we are here to provide additional information about them. Check out the popular San Diego custom home builds below and select the style you like most for your upcoming project!

Bungalow Homes

Leading off this list of San Diego homes is the bungalow. Bungalow-style homes feature three defining characteristics. The first characteristic is a low-pitched roof. The low-pitched roof could be useful for solar panels or a rooftop garden. Although not necessarily characteristic of the bungalow style, many homeowners in San Diego do add ornate decorations to their low-pitched roofs.

Bungalow homes also have open-concept designs. Because bungalow-style homes are typically small, open-concept floor plans give homeowners more room to work with. Those spaces allow for more decorating and entertaining possibilities. You will also find that bungalow homes have covered front porches. It is not hard to see why covered front porches would be a hit with San Diego residents. In the afternoon, you can sit on your porch and enjoy the California breeze.

Those are the main characteristics that separate bungalows from other home builds. However, additional elements distinguish the ones built in California from the standard bungalow. For instance, redwood is the building material of choice for California bungalows. The redwood’s appearance is also often integrated into the home’s interior design.

Cape Cod Homes

Although the Cape Cod architectural style is primarily associated with New England, you can still see it quite often in San Diego County. People first used this home style in the United States in the 17th century. According to the Old House Journal, Cape Cod-style homes became more prevalent in New England and Long Island around 1740. Cape Cod houses would take a while to make their way West, but they have stuck around. 

Cape Cod homes have steeply pitched roofs. The steep slope is not useful in California, but homeowners still retain it to keep the style true to form.

Shingle siding is another signature feature of Cape Cod homes. The shingle siding offers design versatility. If you are not a fan of shingle siding, you can swap it out for brick or stone and still retain the essence of a Cape Cod-style house.

Windows and dormers are usually found on Cape Cod houses as well. You will find an even number of windows on both sides of the house. The windows on Cape Cod homes also usually come with shutters.

Contemporary Homes

Arguably no style of building lends itself better to customization than the contemporary approach. You can integrate signature elements of other architectural styles into your contemporary home design. You want to avoid more traditional design elements, but your options are wide open beyond that.

If you are building a contemporary-style home, you must also be willing to push some boundaries. Your architect may suggest elements you have never seen before, but that inclination to innovate is welcome if you are designing a contemporary-style home.

Ideally, you should also work with an architect who knows about the latest housing trends. Otherwise, you run the risk of constructing a contemporary-style home that features outdated design concepts.

Contemporary architecture also prioritizes sustainability and efficiency. You can integrate eco-friendly features into your home without compromising your desired design scheme.

Natural elements also work well inside contemporary-style homes. Use plants to freshen up your design scheme. You can also use plants as centerpieces in certain rooms if you are so inclined.

Craftsman Homes

Craftsman-style houses are all about showcasing expert architecture and beautiful surroundings.

Let’s start by highlighting the architectural flourishes of these structures. When you look at the low-pitched roof of a craftsman-style house, you will probably see exposed beams and brackets. Those exposed elements are signature features of craftsman architecture, and they showcase the skill of the builders.

You also integrate intricate details into the design of craftsman homes. Those intricate details help give the home more personality and can also be unique additions.

Open porches supported by columns are usually in front of craftsman homes. You will get plenty of uses out of those open porches during San Diego summers. While relaxing on your open porch, you can also check out the beautiful craftsmanship featured on the supporting columns.

Those are only some of the elements that highlight architectural expertise in craftsman homes. These houses also come with bay or picture windows designed to showcase beautiful surroundings. Adjust the orientation of your bay or picture window to ensure it highlights the most spectacular elements of your outdoor landscape.

Mediterranean Homes

Mediterranean-style homes are all over San Diego County and the rest of California. That makes sense when you consider the defining traits of these homes.

For starters, Mediterranean-style homes have stucco walls. Stucco walls work well on California homes because they excel at keeping cool air inside your home. Thanks to the sunny California climate, you do not need to worry that much about rain affecting your stucco walls.

In most cases, Mediterranean-style homes also feature outdoor living spaces. You do not use any specific type of exterior space to complete Mediterranean-style homes, but you should have it present. Hang out in that open space at night and enjoy the cool air passing by.

The Mediterranean architectural style also leans heavily on decorative elements made from wrought iron. For example, wrought iron elements can complete the windows and balconies. 

The builders normally use clay tiles to finish Mediterranean-style homes. The curved tiles lend more visual intrigue to the roof’s profile. Dark red is also the color choice for those clay tiles.

Finally, Mediterranean houses are big and spacious. They often feature two stories and wide floor plans. From the outside, you will also notice that the exterior dimensions of Mediterranean-style homes are symmetrical.

Mission Revival Homes

Perhaps no architectural style is associated more with San Diego than mission revival. According to the National Park Service, the mission revival architectural style first emerged during the late 19th century. The mission chapels inspired California’s mission revival architectural style during that time. 

Mission revival homes are famous for their mission-shaped dormers and parapets. Those multi-curved elements often serve as the crowning features of mission revival homes. To build on the architectural theme established by those mission-shaped dormers and parapets, you will also find that most mission revival homes have arched windows and doorways.

Look up, and you will find they also come with tiled roofs. Similar to Mediterranean homes, red clay tiles are often used to create those roofs. The tile roofs also come with wide, overhanging eaves.

The exposed beams accentuate the breezy feel of the mission revival architectural style. You can leave those beams fully exposed if you want, but they also present more opportunities for homeowners to feature their favorite decorative elements.

Mission revival homes often come with mixed color schemes, with the roofing elements usually covered in darker paint and the rest of the home featuring a lighter shade. Builders still follow that combo today, but they use more varied colors. 

Modern Homes

Since we already discussed contemporary-style homes earlier, you may be wondering why we are doubling down by bringing up modern architecture here. Although the terms “contemporary” and “modern” may evoke ideas of similar-looking homes, the two philosophies are not the same.

Whereas contemporary architecture focuses more on innovation and new design trends, the modern approach adheres to the philosophy espoused by architect Louis Sullivan that “form follows function.”

The general idea behind the modern design is to ensure that every element serves a purpose beyond looking pretty. That is why many modern-style homes feature a minimalist design. These homes also tend to be shorter because designers do not want them to be tall to achieve a certain look.

Modern homes also come with open interior spaces. Walls or doors do not separate common living areas, so they can flow into each other. You can also use the extra space to add more appliances and furniture.

You will also see certain materials used consistently in modern homes. The usual suspects are aluminum, brick, concrete, glass, natural stone, steel, tiles, and wood.

Ranch Homes

Take a tour through the less populated parts of San Diego, and you are bound to find some ranch-style houses. Ranch-style homes are single-story properties with open-concept interiors and low-pitched roofs. Their roofs also come with eaves that extend quite far away from the exterior walls. Large windows also cover the front-facing walls of ranch-style houses.

Variations of ranch-style houses also exist. In California, most ranch-style houses are either L or U-shaped. They also feature elements of Spanish architecture and come with exterior living spaces. Ranch-style homes built in California also place more emphasis on featuring natural elements.

To compensate for the single-story limitation, owners of ranch-style houses will often build attached garages and finish their basements. Do not feel like you will struggle for living space if you use this design in your custom-build.

Tudor Homes

The Tudor architectural style is the oldest design approach detailed in this article. Even though Tudor architecture only made its way stateside around the start of the 20th century, this approach to building has been in England since the late 1400s. So, what are the signature elements of this architectural style?

First, we cannot talk about Tudor architecture without mentioning the half-timber frame. Wooden beams are positioned vertically along the home’s exterior walls. Note that these beams do not hold any weight and are added simply to improve the home’s appearance.

The exterior walls of Tudor-style homes are also commonly built using bricks. If you want to keep things traditional, you should use two-toned bricks. Chimneys may also be built on a Tudor-style home’s steep roof.

Homeowners can experiment a bit more with the interior layout of a Tudor home. You do not even need to keep the interior floor plan balanced. That should allow you to explore more design ideas.

Victorian Homes

Unlike some of the architectural styles we have already discussed, the Victorian approach to building is not shy about being spectacular. Intricately designed elements are all over the exterior of a Victorian home. Gables and dormers added to Victorian homes usually come with those ornate details.

Victorian-style homes are also known for their height. Towers and finials send these homes soaring into the sky. You can use those eye-catching elements to make a strong impression on anyone who sees your home. You can also go bold with your Victorian home’s color scheme. Choose whichever colors you like and make your custom home stand out.

The interior of a typical Victorian-style home is also not lacking in terms of memorable features. Often, there is a grand staircase in the heart of the house that features intricate detailing. The ceilings are also high above the home to provide enough room for your favorite light fixtures.

Parquet floors are traditional for Victorian homes. Depending on the type of wood used, your parquet flooring can enhance your home’s appearance, even if kept bare. Decorative fireplaces are also fixtures inside Victorian-style houses.

San Diego Custom Home-Builders

Have you identified the architectural style you want to use in your custom San Diego home? If so, you can share your plans with us at Eco Minded Solutions, and we will work to bring your custom home to life. Aside from implementing your chosen design, we will also use green building techniques to turn your new home into the crown jewel of your neighborhood. We will also utilize the design-build approach to deliver your custom home on time and within budget.

Contact us today if you are looking for San Diego custom home-builders!  

Ready to Learn More? Book a FREE Consultation Now

Schedule a Consultation