by | Aug 22, 2017

Popular Portland Home Style Guide

Portland has so many things to offer, including distinctive houses and architecture. With over 150,000 houses in the city, you can find a variety of home styles– from Bungalows, 2-story Tudors, large Foursquares, and more.

If you’re wondering what era your house is, or want to identify the style of a home just by looking at it, keep reading. Below is our comprehensive guide to the most common home styles in the Portland area.


Photo credit: Daniel Case


Bungalow style houses are one of the most iconic architecture styles in Portland. It’s also one of the most sought-after styles by homebuyers. People love the look and feel of these small, cozy houses.

Original Portland Bungalows were built around the 1920s. These homes were constructed entirely with wood and feature an asymmetrical shape and sloping rooflines. If you’re looking for a neighborhood teeming with Bungalows, they’re especially easy to find throughout Ladd’s Addition, Sunnyside, and Richmond.

Distinctive Features of a Bungalow

Is your Portland house a Bungalow? Look for these characteristics:

  • Low-pitched roof
  • Covered front porch with large columns under the roof extension
  • Broad eaves with exposed rafters
  • No more than 1 ½ stories tall
  • Often has 2 symmetrical windows on either side of the porch
  • Open floor plan

Don’t get a Bungalow mixed up with a Craftsman– they look alike!

Bungalow Home Maintenance Tips

Bungalow style homes have seen a lot of years, so giving your home a fresh coat of paint can really help it stand out. Maintaining the exterior look of your Bungalow style home is especially important if it has wood siding. Wood siding should be repainted every 3 to 7 years or stained every 4 years.


Photo credit: M.O. Stevens


Arts and Crafts homes, or Craftsman style, are very similar to Bungalows. In fact, from the outside, most people have a hard time telling the two apart.

Craftsman homes are essentially larger versions of a Bungalow. These homes were built around the 1910s and 1920s and were especially prevalent on the East side of Portland.

A Craftsman home has a larger floor plan than Bungalows (typically 2-stories tall) and an emphasis on built-in cupboards and cabinets. This house typically has a detached garage set back behind the home, or no garage at all.

Distinctive Features of a Craftsman

Is your Portland house a Craftsman? Look for these characteristics:

  • Low-pitched roof
  • Covered front porch with chunky wood columns
  • Broad eaves with exposed rafters
  • 2-stories tall with 2-3 bedrooms upstairs
  • Open floor plan

Craftsman Home Maintenance Tips

Like Bungalows, Craftsman homes require special attention to keep you and your family comfortable. Since these homes were built so many years ago, it’s especially important to pay attention to the exterior features of your home–including your gutters.

Gutters can get clogged and worn down thanks to all the rain we get in Portland. It’s always a good idea to make sure your gutters are properly aligned and functioning correctly.


Photo credit: Famartin

Cape Cod

The Cape Cod style was common in Portland between the 1930 and 1950. This simple architectural style has captured the hearts of many homeowners throughout Portland.

Cape Cod homes are pretty distinctive. You can recognize this style of home by its moderately steep-pitched, front-facing roof and centered front entryway. Most Cape Cods are single-story homes, have very little ornamentation, and have a large central chimney.

This style of home is common all throughout Portland– from East to West and even in the suburbs.

Distinctive Features of a Cape Cod

Is your Portland house a Cape Cod? Look for these characteristics:

  • Rectangular shape
  • Symmetrical front facades
  • Steeply pitched, front-facing roof
  • Centered doors and windows
  • 1 to 1 ½ stories
  • Closed-off living spaces and rooms

Cape Cod Home Maintenance Tips

Original Portland Cape Cod homes have been around for a long time! These homes need regular maintenance to continue running smoothly.

Window repairs and replacements are especially common for Cape Cod homes, as many still feature single-pane windows. Installing new, energy efficient windows is a huge benefit for Cape Cod home owners.


Photo credit: Ian Poellet


As you can guess, this house is named for its cubic look. The name also references its standard 4-room floor plan. There are typically 2 floors with a staircase in the middle of the house.

The Foursquare was one of Portland’s first modern houses and is very well built. This style popped up in the 1800s and was constructed through the 1930s. Today, this type of house can easily be found in the inner East side of Portland.

Distinctive Features of a Foursquare

Is your Portland house a Foursquare? Look for these characteristics:

  • Boxy, cubic exterior
  • Full-width front porch
  • 2 to 2.5 stories tall
  • Pyramid, hipped roof with wide eaves
  • Simple floor plan

Foursquare Home Maintenance Tips

One of the best parts about Foursquare homes is its large, full-width porch. These houses were made for entertaining and enjoying the beautiful Portland outdoors.

Make sure you keep this feature of your home in great condition. Replacing or repairing your outdoor deck may be necessary at some point during the life of your Foursquare home.


Photo credit: Mcheath

Mid-Century Ranch

Ranch style homes are incredibly simple and unpretentious. This type of house came from the desire during the mid century for access to more informal family living.

The basic Portland ranch style home has an open floor plan on a single level. However, some Ranch styles have basements or daylight basements. Rooms are large and flow freely into each other. You’ll typically find lots of windows and natural light in these homes.

Portland ranch homes were built from 1950 to 1960. These mid-century style homes can be found throughout the entire Portland area.

Distinctive Features of a Ranch

Is your Portland house a Ranch style? Look for these characteristics:

  • Single story
  • Low-pitched roof
  • Wide eave overhang
  • Sliding glass patio doors
  • Sidewalk from the driveway to the front door
  • Attached garage or carport

Ranch Home Maintenance Tips

Many Mid-Century Ranch style homeowners have to deal with deteriorating siding material– especially if it’s never been replaced in its lifetime. When you replace your siding, make sure to choose the correct reveals (board sizes) and textures to match with your Ranch home.


Photo credit: Visitor7

Tudor Revival

Tudor Revival homes have a certain fairytale quality. Maybe it’s the steeply pitched roofs and towering chimneys, or the tall windows and arched doorways. Whatever it may be, these homes certainly have a unique and charming appearance.

Tudor-style homes were built in Portland from the 1920s through the 1940s. These homes are especially common in the older neighborhoods of Portland, including Alameda, Irvington, and Eastmoreland.

Distinctive Features of a Tudor

Is your Portland house a Tudor style? Look for these characteristics:

  • Steeply pitched roof
  • Side gables
  • Elaborate chimneys
  • Exposed beams
  • Stucco or brick exterior
  • Arched doorway

Tudor Revival Home Maintenance Tips

Like all Portland homes, Tudor style houses need regular roof maintenance. If you live in a Tudor style home, it’s important for you to seek professional help when repairing your roof.

The steeply-pitched style of these homes makes you even more vulnerable to falls. It’s very dangerous for you to go at any roof maintenance on your own.


Take Care of Your Portland Home

Which Portland home style is your favorite? What type of home do you currently live in?

At Cutting Edge Contracting, we offer professional roofing, siding, painting, and other general contracting services for every style of Portland home! Our team pays attention to the smallest details and is committed to providing a high level of care to your home. You can count on us to get the job done right.

No matter what type of home you live in, taking care of your property is important. If you have a home project or want to learn more about our services, give us a call at (360) 4330-2803! We would be happy to hear from you and answer all your questions.

Sean Kelly

About the author: Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is the COO & President of Cutting Edge Contracting. His background in business, accounting, and the construction industry helped him become the award-winning manager of a nationally-known paint company before joining Cutting Edge.

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