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Building Types and Architectural Style Definitions


The RANW MLS Committee Sub-Group and Appraiser Committee compiled the following Definitions for the data fields of Building Types and Architectural Style.

1-Story: One finished level above grade. May have an additional level, finished or unfinished, below grade.

1.5 Story: Two finished levels with the upper finished level having less square footage than the first level.

2-Story: Two finished levels, unstaggered, above grade. Could have a third level, finished or unfinished, below grade. The second floor finished level is essentially the same finished square footage as first floor.

Bi-Level: Two finished levels with the front door “between” the floors. Stairs immediately lead up and down from the entry way. Below ground level may have daylight windows. The front door is usually in the middle of the home. Also referred to as a raised ranch or split entry. May include garage on the basement level.

Multi Level: Four or more unstaggered levels above grade. May have an additional level, finished or unfinished, below grade.

Other-See Remarks: Any building type allowed in RANW MLS but not noted on this list. Any “Other-See Remarks” answer must be described in the Public Remarks section.

Tri-Level: Three staggered levels with two finished levels above grade and the third level below grade (finished or unfinished). Also referred to as a split level.

Quad Level: Four staggered levels with two finished levels above grade, a finished level below grade and a fourth level (below grade) considered the basement which could be finished or unfinished. Also referred to as a split level.

A-Frame: Steeply-angled roofline sides that usually begin at or near the foundation line, and meet at the roof peak in the shape of the letter A.

Bungalow: Typically a 1-story or 1.5-story older home with a finished attic, less than 1,000 square feet above grade, and most often has a dormer.

Cape Cod: Typically 1.5-story with a central entrance, steep pitched roof in front, with side gables or with 1-3 dormers facing the front or rear.

Colonial: The most prevalent 2-story design (may also be a 3 story) home in northeast Wisconsin. Can take many forms with or without a front porch. Usually has straight 2-story front design. Could include Salt Box.

Contemporary: Also called modernistic or international. Design relies on clean lines, which are functionality, light, and few intricate details. Comes in many shapes and sizes and is the evolutionary outcome of Frank Lloyd Wright's housing

Farmhouse/National Folk: Old Style country home that is or may have been on a working farm, or home designed in similar style. The Folk house built primarily for functionality and shelter, may reflect stylistic influences from a number of other housing styles.

Log Home: Created from full logs and structurally identical to a log cabin. In contrast, split log is a siding and should not be classified as a Log Home.

Prairie / Craftsman: Low-pitched roof generally gabled and unenclosed, with exposed roof rafters in the Craftsman, and occasionally hipped with enclosed overhanging eves in the Prairie.

Raised Ranch: It is essentially a ranch that is “raised” to create more living space and often includes a garage on the basement level. The entrance is usually on ground level; however, it may be on the upper main level. Also see Bi-Level.

Ranch: The standard one-story home in Wisconsin, typically built post-1930. Generally has a low-pitched roof. May be finished or unfinished below grade. Note: A Walk out ranch is a ranch with a walk out basement. If Walk out Ranch, check Yes in the Walk out data field for RANW.

Split Entry/Bi-Level: See Bi-level Building Type.

Transitional: This style originated in the 1990's. The transitional is a blend of styles used in both traditional and contemporary homes. The outside is patterned after the colonial style home, while the inside reflects the functionality, openness and light of a contemporary home.

Tudor / Provincial: With a steeply pitched roof, the Tudor is usually side gabled. There is a decorative half timber frequently present along with stucco or masonry veneer exterior walls on the upper portion of the house and brick on the lower portion.

Victorian/Federal: Like the Colonial, the Victorian has innumerable variations. Most show elaborate detailing and complex shapes. Strong asymmetrical facades and steeply pitched roofs are also common features.

Other – See Remarks: Any architectural style allowed in RANW MLS but not noted on this list. Any “Other-See Remarks” answer must be described in the Public Remarks section.

Seasonal Dwelling (non-permanent heat): A seasonal property with no permanent heating.

Manufactured/Mobile with Land: A prefabricated home built in a factory and placed on site on a permanently attached chassis (mobile home-built prior to 6-15-76) or on a crawl space or full basement (manufactured home-built post 6-15-76 with HUD stickers in or around the electric box indicating Manufactured status).

Modular/Sectional: Modular homes are constructed to the same state, local or regional building codes as site-built homes. Other types of systems-built homes include panelized wall systems, log homes, structural insulated panels, and insulating concrete forms