Hot Tips for Heritage Looks in New Home Construction

new home constructionNew home construction doesn’t always mean making like the Jetson’s and going ultra-modern.

If your architectural preferences are rooted in the more traditional looking homes of the past, an experienced Vancouver builder can create pretty much any look you want, from the ground up.

“Heritage” can mean different things to different people, so it’s wise to do a little research before you sit down with your new home builder to get specific about what you like. Are you more drawn to the Victorian or Edwardian style? What does a Queen Anne house look like?

Here’s some useful info to help you identify some of the particular features you’d love to see in your newly created house and what style they belong to.

Be on the Lookout for Homes You Like

Start by looking for examples of houses you are attracted to, in magazines, on-line and in local neighbourhoods. Greater Vancouver has an interesting mix of heritage style homes and you will likely see something that really speaks to you.

Begin by breaking down the features of a home to figure out and determine its fundamental defining characteristics. Can you find any additions or other more modern portions? If that’s the case, pretend they’re not there and then picture the basic look of the home.


  • Asymmetrical, steep-pitched side-gabled or front-gabled roof
  • Slight eave overhang, open, not boxed; flared eaves
  • Hipped dormers, square towers, trusses in gables
  • Ornamental fascias, gables and cornices
  • Wrap-around verandahs and gabled porch roofs
  • Drawn glass double hung and leaded glass windows
  • Cedar clap, bevel and shake siding
  • Symmetrical elevations and floor plans


  • Low hip roof with central front dormer
  • Full width open front verandah and deep overhang
  • Front entrance at right or left side
  • Interior floor plan is mirrored right and left
  • Diamond patterned leaded windows and bay windows
  • Narrow exterior wood siding
  • Classically inspired mouldings and porch columns

Queen Anne

  • new home constructionTypically wood, with bold, unconventional colours (e.g., San Francisco’s “Painted Ladies”)
  • Steeply pitched roof that may include gables, dormers, turrets and towers
  • Variety of surface textures and ornate motifs on surfaces such as gables and spandrel panels
  • Materials might include patterned brick or stone, wood shingles and clapboard, slate, and sometimes stucco and terracotta panels
  • Square, round, or polygonal towers, capped with a conical, tent or domed roof, finished with slate shingles and copper finial
  • Window sashes featuring stained glass in upper portion of a double-hung window or transom. Curved glass, occasionally found in round bays and towers
  • Single-story, wrap-around porches, often framed by decorative columns or brackets

New Home Construction Holds Every Possibility

Historic homes continue to have wide local appeal, but it’s not always possible (or preferable) to acquire and renovate an actual heritage style home. Why not achieve that authentic look in a newly constructed house? And better yet, with brand new electrical and plumbing behind the scenes and all the modern amenities. It’s the best of both worlds, and can definitely be done!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Kerr Construction.
Doud KerrDoug Kerr is the owner of Kerr Construction in Vancouver. With over 25 years of experience in the renovation and new home construction business, he has developed the Kerr System for designing and building. With this Design/Build system he has helped hundreds of clients achieve their dream homes while also winning multiple national and provincial building and renovations awards. Being a former world-class athlete…” Read more.


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