Polymeric Exteriors – Ideal Product Selections for Victorian/Folk Victorian Style Homes of All Sizes

When choosing architectural styles for big and luxurious homes, many designers agree on one thing: go big or stay home. In other words, a designer would lean towards four square, modern or even colonial styles for their “big house” projects but would take a pass on using these for small- and mid-sized homes.

There is, however, one exception that is “one style fits all sizes.”

The Victorian style and its American cousin, Folk Victorian, are perhaps the optimal choices for a traditional neighborhood project with various home sizes, including multi-unit dwellings. Often referred to as "gingerbread houses," Victorian homes are adorned with high-pitch Mansard or multifaceted roofs, intertwined shingles, textured exteriors, and detailed wood or metal trim. Victorian siding can often be spruced up with patterned masonry or half.

On pages 18-21 of the Polymeric Exterior Products Association's (PEPA) Architectural Design for Traditional Neighborhoods (by Fernando Pagés Ruiz, Korkut Onaran, Ronnie Pelusio and Tom Lyon), the Folk Victorian and Farmhouse (that’s derived from the Folk Victorian) are portrayed as architectural styles well suited for traditional neighborhoods with a thoughtful integration of home sizes. Here you will find examples of small houses with small bays and/or gable roofs running parallel to the street; large houses with cross gables; and apartment buildings with small bays and forward-facing gables.

With each size, the Victorian style creates a strong character and a front porch that scales down the perceived size of the building. And on each type of building, the porches are generously sized, promoting communal harmony along the block face. The porch roofs can also have subtle but complementing variations on the same block face.

While the ornamentation for Folk Victorian and Farmhouse is simplified, these styles allow for distinctive features like elaborately decorated impediments (including two-layer), half stories with changing colors, other contrasting color opportunities, corner windows, and porches with balustrades, spandrels, brackets and ornate columns.

The Americanized Victorian styles also can integrate well with other styles. They can utilize the wide variety of polymeric exterior products that would be specified for these other styles.

Imagine the wide selection of polymeric and vinyl products that beautifully emulate wood, stone and other traditional materials. Imagine also the vast color schemes available in the product selection and the variety of shakes, scalloped siding and ornamental products you can specify for your next Victorian project.

If you can, you are well on your way to a beautiful Victorian home and neighborhood design with more sustainable, higher quality performance products and greater cost efficiencies.