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26 Outstanding Features of Mediterranean Style House Plans

Mediterranean house plans are specifically designed keeping in mind the hot and harsh climate of the Mediterranean region.

The countries of Italy and Spain face scorching heat for most part of the year and hence the need of a design was realized that would not only enable the builders to make airy houses but also make use of self-cooling techniques.

All this led to two separate kinds of designs – Spanish and Italian in the respective countries. Finally, the fusion of these two designs along with the Moorish architecture gave rise to the popular modern day Mediterranean house plans which had the best of all three.

The name of the house plan comes from the sea because the countries where it was born are near to the Mediterranean Sea but these houses are perfect for places far away from sea including the countryside. Due to the nature of beautiful Mediterranean house plans, the states of Florida and California which have a sunny climate are perfect for this style of houses.

The Mediterranean design was introduced to the American architecture in the 20th century and architects August Geiger and Bertram Goodhue were the first to build a house based on Mediterranean house plans.

Features of Mediterranean House Plans

While most of the features of the Mediterranean house plans concentrate on protecting the residents of the house from the climate, these houses are nothing short of a luxurious possession in any way.

The designs and ornamentation is simply a treat to look at and every owner proudly shows off their Mediterranean flavored house gracefully. Here are a few things that are common to every Mediterranean house plans:

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  • The Mediterranean houses are usually single story to make the most of the self-cooling techniques. A multi-story house generally does not cool down naturally and the upper stories get hot quickly. A single story or a two-story house cools down naturally and keeps the interiors comfortable. Also, this reduces the need of installing a high end HVAC system for cooling.

  • The ceilings in the Mediterranean house plans are usually high which are again aimed at keeping the house cool. However, in case of 2 stories, the roofs are a little lower as compared to the single story ensuring that the second floor is equally breezy and spacious.

  • Another important feature of an excellent Mediterranean plan is big windows. This ensures free flowing of air into the house and hence keeping it cool and comfortable.

  • The exteriors of the house are usually large and filled with impressive ornamentation. The exteriors or the courtyard in Mediterranean house plans are also used for entertainment. In case of a 2 story house, the upper floor has a veranda which makes the exterior feel spacious and comfortable.

  • The exteriors are made out of Stucco. The designs are beautifully carved and in one word – adorable.

  • Since the houses are not aimed for regions that face snow, the roofs in Mediterranean house plans are usually low-pitched and covered with red tiles.

  • The plots used for Mediterranean house plans are usually rectangular or square. However, the shape of the plot is rarely a problem, it’s fitting the typical L or U shape onto the lot. The L or U shaped buildings of this type usually encompass a courtyard, pool, or recreational area designated for the occupants of the building and also for the visual advantages such scenery can offer.

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Is This Style Suitable For Your and Your Family?

Apart from considering the fact that these house plans are made for regions with hot climate, there are a few more things that you should consider before investing in a Mediterranean style house.

  • Flexibility

Mediterranean house plans have the least rules when it comes to adopting a specific style of design for your house.

There is no written rule regarding the position of the chimney on the roof or any specific rules about the symmetry of the house or walls. The only thing that you need to worry about is keeping the roof low pitched and tiled.

  • Lot Shape and Size

The Mediterranean house plans require a big plot size. This is important because these plans are aimed at making the house breezy and cool.

A large plot enables the home builders to create a big garden or a courtyard which not only proves to be a great entertainment site for the family in the evening but also helps in free flow of air in the house. Also, a rectangular plot is favored because they make the design simpler and economical.

  • The Attention Grabber

The exteriors of a Mediterranean house plans are impressively built and have a lot of ornamentation in the form of garden and courtyard (even verandas in case of a multi-story house).

As a result, these houses are big time attention grabbers. An unusual drop in the roof level which is rare in any other house design makes the house even more noticeable. Therefore, if you are going to buy such a house, expect a lot of attention and compliments.

However, this has a downside too – you must take a lot of care else a beautiful house might end up looking messy.

  • Strong Architecture

The structure of the house is pretty simple and straight-forward. Although the exteriors are luxurious and complex, the interiors are simpler and wider.

This simple architecture is powered with strong columns and big porticos which give the house the strength it needs to withstand the wear of time and weather.

  • Future Aspects

Traditionally the Mediterranean house plans do not have more than 2 floors. This limitation ensures that the house remains cool even during the hottest days.

However, if required the house can have more than 2 floors and the fact that architecture is simple, the house plans are highly scalable. Erecting a third story after a few years of original construction is never a problem with these houses. Also, large open areas in the exteriors enable the home owners to build extra rooms and shelters outside the house which can be used for any purpose required, including living.

  • Expansion Plans

Unlike many other house plans, Mediterranean house plans allow for a lot of customization and even empowers the owners to add a hint and feel of other house plans like a cottage (by adding stone exteriors) or a craftsman style (by adding a nook in the kitchen and other minor changes). However, any major change even in this kind of style is not advised and is difficult to pull off.

  • Cost of Construction

Depending upon the style and complexity of the plan you choose, the cost can be high or low. The Italian styles are usually complex with varying lengths of walls and hence layered roofs while the Spanish styles are a bit simpler and hence cheaper.

However, no matter what style you choose, the overall cost as compared to other styles is on the lower side.

What Should You Look for In a Modern Mediterranean House?

Now that we know about the features of the best Mediterranean house plans and if this style house is perfect for your family or not; the question arises – how to ensure that you get the best Mediterranean house for yourself and your family? Here are a few points that you should use to weight all the options available before taking a decision.

  • Shape of the Plan

The modern Mediterranean house plans are either L-shaped or U-shaped. Anything other than that is either old or too much futuristic; and both of them might (or might not) turn out to be a bad decision.

Since you would be putting in all your fortune into this, the best bet would be to go with the U or L shaped plans.

  • Number of Floors

The latest designs are usually single story but depending upon your requirement, you might want to consider a double story plan too. However, anything more than 2 stories is not a modern Mediterranean house.

The roof remains low pitched irrespective of the number of stories, typically with the ratio of 4:12.

  • Outer Walls

Like the older Mediterranean house plans, the walls are made of Stucco and mostly have an earthly color and feel. This is to ensure that the structure remains easy on the eyes and blends with the beautiful garden in front of the house.

  • Windows and Doors

Not just for Mediterranean house plans, windows and doors are important for any design.

Modern Mediterranean houses are usually fitted into the thick walls of the house. The boundaries of both walls and doors are usually ornamented using molded concrete or tiles. In certain cases iron and wood are also used to beautify them.

  • Column Detailing

The latest Mediterranean house plans lay a lot of focus on the columns. The columns are large and prominent and beautified to give an eye-catching look to the exteriors. In some cases, small but dominating columns are also used with arched windows to make them stand apart. These columns can either be plain or have a pattern on them.

The pattern can be anything that depicts the taste of a home buyer. While most of the home owners prefer a simple floral pattern at the base and top of the column, bold abstract designs on full length of column are also very common these days.

  • Courtyard Ornamentation

One thing that the latest Mediterranean house plans have copied from their older counterparts is the arched courtyards.

Although these arches are small but a lot of effort is put into them to make them look beautiful and welcoming. A beautiful entrance is sure to get you a lot of compliments.

  • Rafter Tails

Due to the historic nature of Mediterranean homes, another item that remains consistent even today is the visible roof structure, which when exposed are called ‘rafter tails’.

These decorative elements are typically seen beneath the eaves of the roof to represent the extension of the trusses holding up the overhang of the roof. Overhangs were important back then and still today to help shade the walls, windows, and doors from the sun.

Other than these, there is no major change when we compare the new designs with the old Mediterranean house designs. However, you might want to change a few things even in the modern designs to suit your need and budget.

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Should You Really Buy a Mediterranean Styled Home?

Now that you know everything you need to consider before putting your money in a Mediterranean home or not, here are a few personal things that will help you answer this question.

  • The Money

Mediterranean styles homes come in all shapes and sizes and hence finances are never a problem.

That being said, if you are willing to go for an Italian style, you WILL need to put out a few extra grands as compared to the Spanish version of the Mediterranean home.

  • The Plot

Do you own a big piece of land? If the size of the plot you own is small, Mediterranean house plans might not be the best choice for you.

Yes they will fit in a small piece of land too but you will have to compromise with the courtyard and expansion and scalability capabilities of the design.

  • The Weather

The region you live in should also be considered before going for this kind of a house. If your state faces cold winds and heavy snow, Mediterranean style houses are not meant for you.

These homes are not designed to stand snow. Although you can still get rid of the snow by making the roofs a little less steep but to make the house less airy (you do not want the chilling wind in your house) is totally against the basic idea of Mediterranean house plans.

  • The Family

Do you have old people and/or small children in the family?

The best bet would be to go with a single story house and a simpler floor plan. This will ensure that the kids are always safe and the older people do not have to climb staircases.

Also, if you are planning to grow old in this house, you should go for the single story designs, because once old, you would definitely not want to climb staircases and have bad joints.

  • Investment Perspective

Mediterranean house plans are the most basic kind of houses and with outstanding exteriors, they are always on the buyer’s favorites list. Thus, if you are looking to invest in property, these home plans might just turn out to be an excellent option.

However, do consult the experts to check on the performance of Mediterranean houses in your region.

Mediterranean houses have an elegant and classy feel to them. They are designed in a way to portray the relaxing and comfortable life of the Mediterranean countries.

The exteriors are stunningly beautiful and infuse seamlessly with the breezy interiors and hence Mediterranean house plans are always the best choice for regions with hot climatic conditions.

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