The term “Tudor” in architecture refers to a style of home that shows a variety of stylistic characteristics of both late-medieval and early-Renaissance architecture. Although it’s a combination of two styles, Tudor style homes have their own distinctive look and feel. One of the most distinctive features of Tudor style homes is their half-timbering and stucco exterior. Half-timbering is the use of beams in a horizontal or vertical fashion, which in the 16th century were built with the structural beams showing on the outside to avoid the extra cost of covering up the large timbers. Tudor Revival homes feature cosmetic half-timbering that has nothing to do with the architectural integrity of the home. Tudor style homes also feel heavy and solid. Despite the high roof peaks, rooflines on Tudor homes sweep toward the ground, and half-timbered gables give the appearance of timeless resilience to the elements. Inside, beams stretch across the ceilings of the larger common rooms. Substantive newel posts finish off the staircase of two-story Tudors, while ornate millwork is found in the form of kitchen cabinets or baseboards throughout the home.
The facade of Tudor style homes often resembles a fairy tale cottage and looks like it is better situated in the English countryside than a city street. Some homes have turrets, while others have dramatically swept rooflines. It is very rare to find a true Tudor that is symmetrical. Sections of the house might be faced in stone or brick, and the use of a combination of building materials is common. Lantern-like lights often hang next to entrances to light the way inside.