How to recognize a 1700s house

New Hampshire is a unique state in a lot of ways – particularly when it comes to the rich and dynamic history of each city and town. An intriguing way to experience this history is to tour homes dating back to the 1700s. For those familiar with these types of homes, characteristics of the exterior and interior of each house provide clues to its age. However, for those with less experience viewing or studying old homes, here is a cheat sheet of features you might find in a home constructed during this time period.

Wood Floors

The flooring in 1700s homes in New England is easy to spot in houses that still have the original flooring. Similarly to some of the flooring preferred today, many historic homes contain wood flooring made of thick planks of pine, oak, or maple; however, unlike homes constructed later, the flooring was typically unremarkable in terms of being stained or treated to improve its appearance.

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Inside 1790 home in Amherst, NH

Georgian Home Styles

A common style of homes built in the 1700s was known as Georgian. The Federal style of home emerged fairly soon after. Though many of these homes appear similar to modern day Colonial style homes, technically they are not Colonials as we know them today. Many of these homes were made of wood. Windows were often asymmetrical and small.

Paneling

Common interior characteristics in 1700s homes included various types of paneling. It is not unusual to find paneling surrounding areas such as the fireplace.

Built-Ins

Shelving built into walls is a feature you may come across when inside a home this old.

Ceiling Beams

In the 1700s many homes were still constructed in a manner that left the large beams in the ceiling exposed. This was a trend that continued after the 1600s, but became somewhat less common into the 1700s as less of a home’s structure was left exposed in a manner people could see.

Setback

Many homes of this era are positioned on a lot where the house is closer to the road than homes constructed in the following century.

Large Barn

Some of these homes have a large barn that may be larger than the house itself.

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Large barn next to home built in 1790

Though not all of the interior and exterior features frequently found in homes built in the 1700s are included here, these may help you determine the time period of an old home you are curious about.