Popular Exterior Styles for Custom Homes in 2020

October 20, 2020

The sky’s the limit when you choose to build a custom home! From floorplans to appliances, you can contribute to every aspect of the design process. Exterior styling can be an especially exciting aspect of the design process.

There’s a lot of room to get creative with your new home. But with complete creative license can come a lot of tough decisions. So, maybe a little inspiration from some more well-known styles can help. What’s on-trend in the world of custom home building?

Let’s explore a few styles and trends for custom home exteriors in 2020.

Country French-Style  

Source: Har

Based on European architecture, the country french-style home has been a mainstay in custom home building for ages. And for good reason! Sometimes the classics don’t need fixing. This style captures a timeless essence with its ornate windows and whimsical fairytale charm. 

Usually, country French-style homes have a brick or stucco exterior. Stone walls and floors are a common feature. You’ll also notice raw, distressed wood to finish off the rustic design. They capture the comfort of a cottage while bringing in an air of grand luxury. Though many country french-style homes boast a lofty square footage, you can still draw inspiration from this aesthetic if you’re building a modest home as well.

Cottage Style 

Modest and quaint, the cottage is a timeless favorite shaping the design of many custom homes today. This style plays with similar playful elements of the country french-style home. Cottage homes often revolve around muted, earthy tones and sophisticated architecture with roots in Victorian Tudor architecture. 

Some key features of this exterior design include gable roofs and bay windows. Some cottage style homes will include a small porch area as well. The overarching theme here is “cozy”. With a footprint typically under 2,000 square feet, the cottage home is the perfect option for you if you’re looking to downsize. 

Modern Farmhouse 

Source: Realtor.com

Covered porches and classic silhouettes define the modern farmhouse. This is a popular style many draw inspiration from when building a custom home. Tradition mingles with contemporary design in this long-loved architectural style. 

Some key hallmarks of the farmhouse include clapboard siding –or overlapping, horizontal wooden boards– as well as distinctive soffits. You’ll also notice details such as vintage lighting fixtures and clean symmetry. Inside, you’ll see the most recognizable features of the farmhouse style: a big kitchen, barn house doors, and reclaimed wood galore. 


Defined by simple lines and contrasting textures, the contemporary style home is a bold new look for the modern homeowner. This exterior style gained popularity in the ’60s and ’70s but garnered newfound popularity in recent years. 

Characterized by irregular shapes and oversized windows, the contemporary home takes design and runs with it. You won’t see any ornate embellishments or granular detailing. Contemporary homes are no fuss, leaning on modern engineering to create a simple, one-of-a-kind home. Most will feature an open floor plan and sleek, modern appliances.

Today, many contemporary homes are notably eco-friendly and affordable to build as well. If you’re after a design to call uniquely yours, this might be the route for you! 

Nod to the Planet: Eco-Friendly Home  

Eco-friendly homes are more popular than ever! There are several factors to account for when seeking out a sustainable home: building materials, energy-efficiency, and, of course, the architectural style.

In most cases, eco-friendly custom homes are more of a concept than a distinct style. You’ll notice words like “sustainable” and “efficient” pop up throughout the custom home build process. Most new-builds aim to include eco-friendly elements in their design. But there are a few design options that take sustainability a little further. Let’s take a look at a few different styles of eco-friendly custom homes. 

Disclaimer: H3 Construction & Design doesn’t build any of the following homes. We have included them for your convenience and to inspire!


This is one of the most popular eco-friendly options today. Prefab –or prefabricated– homes are typically built partially or completely off-site. The elements of the home piece together like a puzzle once it’s assembled at the land lot. Prefab homes are manufactured in such a way that no excess waste is produced making them a great option for the environmentally conscious. As an added bonus, they’re far cheaper than a traditional home to produce! 

Glass Home 

Source: WSJ

Glass homes aren’t just stylish; they can also be a great option for the environmentalist! Usually, this type of home is built with a south-facing wall of windows. This allows the home to naturally heat up as the sunrises saving you tons on your energy bill. 


If you want to minimize your impact as much as possible, look no further than the earthship! This option takes sustainability to the extreme with a completely self-sustaining design. Usually, they’re built using natural or upcycled materials. Most earthships run completely on solar panels and wind power. They even collect their own water from rain or a nearby body of water.  

Tiny Home 

Another popular eco-friendly option taking the world by storm is the tiny home. These miniature abodes are similar to the prefab. They can come pre-manufactured in full or in parts. But a lot of the time, people will set out to build their tiny homes from scratch. With less space comes less energy usage. That makes the tiny home a great option for the environmentally conscious. 

When You’re Ready to Build Custom, Give Us a Call

Make your Colorado dream home a reality with H3 Construction & Design! We know the custom home building process can be exciting and overwhelming all at once. Our team of expert home builders will be your ally every step of the way to assure you have the best experience possible. 

If you’re in the Northern Colorado area and you’re ready to start your custom home build journey, get in touch with us! Call or email us with any questions and let’s build the perfect home for you and your family!

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