What Kind of New Home Should I Build?

Debra Lopez

January 11, 2021

Home Builders Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Things to consider when choosing from Milwaukee Wisconsin Home Builders. Is your dream home a grand structure or a cozy cottage? Does it have a large, welcoming front porch or a deck on the back for entertaining? Is the house nestled in the quiet countryside or the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life? Do you love the details of a Victorian home or the clean lines of a contemporary dwelling?

Before building your dream home, there are many things to discuss. Knowing which builder to hire and what style of home you prefer are the first major decisions you need to make.

Best Milwaukee Wisconsin Home Builders

When you search for the best in Milwaukee, Wisconsin home builders, one name that stands out is Joseph Douglas Homes. Founded in 1998 in Menomonee Falls, this builder provides amazing and award-winning skills and craftsmanship to southeastern Wisconsin homeowners.


The homes built by Joseph Douglas Homes have received many awards throughout the years. These awards include “The People’s Choice Award” and “Silver – Best Overall Home” plus six other prizes from the 2018 MBA Parade of Homes. This was for their model home, “The Bristol.” Also, they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Angie’s List’s highest rating, and received the NRS Award (equivalent to the JD Powers award for cars) after placing second in the nation for homeowner satisfaction. Milwaukee, Wisconsin home builders don’t get any better than that!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin Custom Home Builders

Even better, Joseph Douglas Homes offers their customers the option of building a home using one of the JDH house plans, making a few changes on a current project, or creating something completely custom from a blank piece of paper. This gives their customers a wonderful and personal building experience.

menomonee falls new home for sale

Homeowners can work directly with JDH experienced in-house designers to personalize the structure’s interior and exterior to their exact specifications. Joseph Douglas Homes also has interior designers on staff who can assist with decorating and choosing finishes. Then, before it’s even built, customers can see what it will look like from every angle with Joseph Douglas Homes’ 3-D software. At no additional cost, every customer is offered this home design service.

The Joseph Douglas Home Building Team

The staff at Joseph Douglas Homes will make the process of building your dream home as easy as possible for you. From the first meeting to the final walk-through, you’ll have peace of mind because they have a pricing philosophy that is all-inclusive of everything you want and need in your new home. This is called “complete base pricing.” They also offer “guaranteed pricing,” which means they have fixed costs for improved lots. There won’t be any surprises when it comes to the final price of your custom home.

No matter what style of house you want, Joseph Douglas Homes strives to make your dreams come true. They are thrilled to be considered one of the best Milwaukee, Wisconsin home builders and work to make all their customers happy with both the process and the final product.

Ranch Home Builders In The Milwaukee Area

Top Milwaukee Home Builders Jewell Homes
Winner of 8 awards for Bristol Model in 2018 MBA Parade of Homes including Peoples Choice

One of the most popular styles, Joseph Douglas has many floor plans for one-story Ranch homes. If that’s what you’re hoping for, begin by looking through their portfolio. Determine what features you want: the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the kitchen and great room, an office, an attached garage, a deck, a porch, etc., and they will create it for you.

Is your family growing? Will your elderly parents eventually move in with you? If you find something close to what you’re looking for, Joseph Douglas Homes can customize the floor plan to fit you – for what you want now and may need in the future.

However, because many people like more than one kind of architecture, we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular styles of homes. Some of these house features can be combined (i.e., roof pitch, window style, siding type, front porches). When you talk to Milwaukee, Wisconsin home builders, be sure to let them know what you want. Below are some styles of architecture and a brief description for your review.

Cape Cod Home Plans

Cape Cod homes are named for the location where they were first built and became popular. This architectural style was created in the early 1800s when English colonists arrived in the United States. Because of the stormy weather along the Massachusetts coast, these houses were designed as a modified English parlor house with wooden clapboards and shutters. Very charming, Cape Cods are broad, low, single-story frame buildings with little or no ornamentation, with a gabled roof (moderately steeped pitch), and a sizable central chimney. Beginning as one-story homes, after a few generations, they were eventually built larger as 2-story structures.


French Country Home Building Designs

The Somerset by  Joseph Douglas Homes

This home design reflects the rural French countryside and includes details from both estate-like chateaus and modest farmhouses. French Country exudes comfortable designs and rustic warmth. Typically, the design elements include stonework, soft lines, brick, and curved arches. The interior offers plaster walls, stone floors, and wood beams. The home’s exteriors can be formal and ornate, with steeply pitched roofs and symmetrical windows on each side of the front door.

Even though these homes are comfortable and welcoming, they can also be grand, so French Country houses often look best on large land plots with long driveways.


Colonial Style New Home Designs

Colonial Front Elevation of the Williamsburg by Joseph Douglas Homes

Besides the Ranch home, the Colonial-style home is one of the most popular architecture types in the US. Various styles have developed from the original, but no matter how large or different the houses may seem, they all have some common characteristics. Most often, Colonial homes’ front doors are in the center with two windows on each side. Five windows are placed equidistant across the second floor, above the front door. Other features include a fireplace (or sometimes two – one on each end of the house), a medium pitched roof, and a staircase just inside the front door, which bisects the home.

These two-story homes generally have four rooms on the first floor and four on the second floor. The Colonial-style is known for its love of symmetry and has evolved to sub-styles such as Georgian, Dutch Colonial, saltbox, etc. Wisconsin homeowners seem to love the Colonial style of architecture, and many Milwaukee, Wisconsin home builders are happy to build one for you!


Victorian Home Plans

The Fairfield Victorian Front Elevation by Joseph Douglas Homes

Of course, Victorian architecture is named for Queen Victoria, who reigned over England from 1837 to 1901. This distinctive style became most popular in the US between 1860 and 1900 with a recent modern resurgence. It reflects an era of lavish decorating and lots of details. These homes’ interior has individual rooms, usually with 9 to 10-foot ceilings, and sometimes rounded as turrets. The exterior is generally painted with three or four different colors (known as Painted Ladies) and “gingerbread” – elaborately detailed wooden embellishments, brackets, and cutouts along the roof line, around windows and porches, etc.

This house style is popular throughout the entire United States, but places such as San Francisco, New Orleans, and Milwaukee’s east side are known for their Painted Ladies and large Victorian homes.

While this style is less popular than it once was, adding Victorian touches to your home is always an option.  Ask your Milwaukee, Wisconsin home builders what they can do for you.


Tudor Style New Homes

Tudor architecture, best known for the half timbers and brick or stucco on the exterior, was developed in England during the 1800s. It is a very recognizable style of home. The top half of the house can be rather ornate with timbers, and the roofs are usually steeply pitched. The interior of Tudor style homes generally has timber beams in the great room, long rows of windows with diamond-shaped panes of glass, and railings or chandeliers made of wrought iron. It often has a “medieval castle” feel to its interior.


Craftsman Style Houses

Newberry Craftsman Front Elevation by Joseph Douglas Homes

Craftsman style homes began in the early 1900s through the 1940s. This architecture is in direct contrast to many of the overly decorative styles (Victorian, Tudor). Raw and natural materials, oak, stone, clean lines, shingled siding, exposed beams, and handmade crafts are highlighted. There is also a strong connection between indoor and outdoor living with expansive terraces, porches, and sunrooms.

Although this architecture style faded in the 1950s for many decades, it is currently making a strong comeback for newly built homes of all sizes. This updated style is called the Contemporary Craftsman. These new homes continue to use stone details, walls of windows, clean lines, open porches, shingled siding, and deep overhanging roof lines. Most Craftsman homes have very comfortable and relaxed interiors with soft, earth tone colors and minimal décor.


Cottage Style

The Cottage style home is typically small with a cozy front porch and welcoming facade with windows and shutters. These pretty little homes can be built with stucco walls, shingles, or board-and-batten. They usually have bay windows and gable roofs, making you think of the kind of house you’d see in a child’s storybook. 

Typically, a cottage’s rooms are all on one level, forming a square or rectangle footprint. Sometimes the bedrooms are on the upper level and tucked under the roof eaves or have a dormer or two. Cottages focus on charm and comfort over grandeur and elegance.


Mediterranean Style Houses

As you can guess, this architectural style is influenced by the warm and sunny countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, especially Italy and Greece. However, there is also a style called Spanish Modern, which is very similar. These homes feature stucco walls, sloping tile roofs, and are usually painted a cheerful peach, yellow, salmon, or bright white, with red roofs. 


Traditional Ranch Designs

The Bradford by Joseph Douglas Homes

Since the 1940s, the traditional Ranch house was, and probably always will be an incredibly popular architecture style. A Ranch is a single-story structure with a rectangular footprint. Originating in the United States, a typical Ranch home floor plan has 3 bedrooms, 1 or 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, an eating area, and a living room. A modern Split-Ranch has two bedrooms on one side of the home, and the master suite on the other side, with a great room in the center “splitting” the sleeping areas.

Ranch homes are ideal for first-time homeowners, couples with young children, and those looking to downsize. The convenience of having everything on one level cannot be overstated and creates a casual and easy-going lifestyle. Exteriors can be everything from siding, brick, stone, or a combination of them.


Contemporary Style Houses

Contemporary homes come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have a few features in common. First, this home style enjoys large windows, using the natural sunlight to warm and illuminate the interior. The architecture may incorporate metal, concrete, and geometric shapes, and also uses clean lines and smooth textures in its design. These homes are often asymmetrical and creative looking without using too much ornamentation or fancy details in their open floor plans. Even the landscaping is usually kept to a minimum.

Many people perceive this style of décor and architecture as cold and stark. Still, by using natural wood, soft paint colors, and texture in furniture, accent rugs, or pillows, homeowners can easily “warm up” their space.

About Joseph Douglas Homes

One of the best Milwaukee, Wisconsin home builders, Joseph Douglas, will bring your dream home to life with outstanding designs, competitive pricing, and great customer service. They can create the architectural style you want to make your home completely custom.

Choose what you love – Craftsman, Victorian, Contemporary, Tudor, or something in between – and Joseph Douglas Homes will build it for you.

Best of all, their homes always conform to the highest standards of energy efficiency and are built to Energy Star criteria. Certified by an independent third party, Joseph Douglas uses energy-efficient equipment like direct vent fireplaces, power-vented water heaters, energy rated windows, doors, insulation, and high-efficiency furnaces in all of their homes.

In the long run, this equipment and high standards save their customers money in utility bills and shows how much Joseph Douglas Homes cares about the environment and southeastern Wisconsin.

Designing your dream home with the ideal floor plan, wonderful standard features, and favorite architectural style will be an enjoyable process. Plus, because there won’t be any surprises regarding costs, it will be a thrill to see the final product when you work with Joseph Douglas Homes.

Turn your dream home into a reality today and contact Joseph Douglas Homes!



Meet the Author

Debra Lopez

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