Home Plan Detail

Gambrel House

By: Carol Marsh, AIA & Chris Hosford, LEED AP
Helios Design Group


Square Footage

Total living area: 2801'
Basement: 3927'
Footprint: 33' 0" W x 47' 6" D


Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Master suite location: Upper Floor


Levels: 2
Modifiable to:
Crawlspace, Pier, Slab
Lot type(s):
Modifiable to:


  • Large Sunroom/Family Room
  • Deck Off Master Bedroom
  • Fireplace in Living Room
  • Optional Apartment In Attic
  • Covered Decks


This classic home was designed for a family in New England, but it would fit in beautifully in most neighborhoods. It features a lateral gambrel roof – where the slope changes part way up – along with a gambrel dormer that faces the front. Just as a dormer does, this provides for more usable space on the second floor, and as is the case with this unique home it even provides living space on a third level. A covered porch spans the entire front of the house, while the rear features a large (19'x17') sunroom on the main level with an even larger deck on the upper level outside the master suite.

As you approach the house, the first thing you notice besides the unique shape of the dormer is the gorgeous wood detailing, particularly at the columns in front and the deck in the rear. As you can imagine, this attention to exterior details carries through the interior of the house as well. The front porch is 8'–deep, so there's plenty of room for outdoor furniture. As you step into the foyer, there's a pocket door on your left that opens to a powder room, and just beyond it are the stairs to the upper level. Straight ahead a door opens to the stairs to the lower level, but should you choose not to build a basement, this space could be converted to a coat closet with lots of storage space.

A wide opening on the right brings you to the living room. Like all of the rooms on the main level, the ceiling is set at a comfortable 9'. There's a large fireplace at the far end of the room with windows on either side. There are also views to and through the front porch provided by a bumped–out bay with three tall windows. Two openings opposite these windows provide access to the dining room and the kitchen. These two rooms are open to each other, separated by two half walls with decorative columns.

The kitchen features countertops that wrap around three sides, an island in the center, and a trio of windows above the sinks for light and views. A large sunroom is positioned next to the kitchen at the rear of the house. This room is wrapped in windows and sliding glass doors on three sides, making it a great space for casual dining, entertaining, or just relaxing with a good book. An opening off the sunroom provides access to a mudroom with a coat closet, a built–in bench, a window, and a door that opens to the back yard.

At the top of the stairs to the second level there's a uniquely shaped loft with windows on two walls and space for built–ins that could be an ideal space for an office or a place to study. There's another staircase in this space that leads to an optional third level. One door off the landing opens to bedroom 2, while another opens to the master suite. Bedroom 2 has its own full bath, and windows on two walls for light and ventilation.

The master bedroom has two pairs of windows facing the side and rear, along with a glass door that opens to a huge private deck! You pass through an extra large closet on the way to the master bath. This room features a soaking tub beneath a wide window, a separate shower, and views in two directions.

Should you choose to build out the third level, there's room for a bedroom with a view, a skylight above the bed, and plenty of closet space; a full bath; and a good sized living room with a view and another skylight. And should you choose to build the basement level, it has a recreation room that takes up most of the space, off of which there are doors to a mechanical room, a laundry, a powder room, and a storage room.

A Modification Idea:
If you prefer to have the laundry on the same level as the bedrooms, and don't need all of the space on the landing, you could place it in the existing enclosed space and still have room for a desk beneath the window facing the front. Then all you'd need to do is add folding doors at the opening.

Floor Plans