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Video:Characteristics of a Folk Victorian Home

with Fred Abler

Folk Victorian homes can be found in many residential neighborhoods in America. Learn more about the characteristics, charms and drawbacks to the Folk Victorian architecture style in this About.com videoSee Transcript

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Transcript:Characteristics of a Folk Victorian Home

Hi, I'm Fred Abler, Graduate Architect and CEO of FormFonts.com. I'm here today for About.com to talk with you about the characteristics of Folk Victorian homes.

Folk Victorian Homes Are Less Ornate Designs

As the name might suggest, this was a style of home for plain folks between 1870 and 1910. As a vernacular style, Folk Victorians weren't nearly as ornate as some of their Victorian relatives, but rather were more orderly, and made of local, or easily obtained materials.

Initially, these homes were often in remote areas, but as the years progressed this style of home began popping up nationwide in an array of residential neighborhoods. The Albert J. Young House in Danville, California is a terrific example of Folk Victorian architecture.

Features in a Folk Victorian Home

Characteristics of this style include: a square, symmetrical shape with front gable and side wing; a low-pitched, pyramid shaped roof; a front porch with spindle work; brackets under the eaves; and flat, jigsaw-cut trim. Many Folk Victorians, especially older ones, also have Carpenter Gothic detailing, such as bay or oriel windows and vertical board and batten trim. Victorian floor plans tend to have living rooms or sitting rooms on the ground floor at the front of the house, with kitchens in the back, and the bedrooms upstairs.

Folk Victorian Design Drawbacks

The only potential drawback to owning a home such as this, is the likely upkeep it will require. In general, Victorians need a lot of attention and maintenance, as most are more than 100 years old. All Victorian homes, Folk or otherwise, tend to have a small and devoted following, so their values remain stable in most markets, increasing over time. All in all, they're a worthwhile investment for those looking to obtain their piece of architectural history.

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