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Why So Many Colonials?

8KentRoadOne of the features that originally gave Scarsdale its pleasing neighborhood character was the variation in design of the original homes. Tudor, Dutch Colonial, English Cottage and Mediterranean homes were all in the mix when Scarsdale was first planned in the early 1900's. However today, as I peruse the neighborhoods and see the homes that are for sale each week, I am struck with the similarity of design of many of the new offerings. Colonials dominate the market. On both large and small lots Colonials are replacing splits, ranches, Cape Cods and whatever else is available to be torn down.

Why is there so little design innovation? Why don't people hire innovative architects to design custom homes? It turns out it's all in the numbers. We asked a local architect who's familiar with the landscape to tell us why developers almost exclusively build Colonials and here is what she shared:

1. Developers favor them because they have the most popular appeal and are the most economical to build.
2. Colonials are more economical to build than a home with complex volumes and picturesque rooflines.
3. Colonials generate the classic center-hall floor plans which have the most popular appeal.
4. The structural design is economical because framing is repetitive and foundations are rectilinear.
5. Colonials are best suited for simple rectilinear floor-plans with tall interior spaces with flat ceilings which are economical and most popular with buyers.
6. Colonials can render the largest interior floor area within the smallest exterior surface area.
7. Exterior detailing can be executed simply and economically because standard building components can be employed (uniform windows, gutters, shutters, trim-boards, etc)
8. Colonial roof lines perform well in Northeast climate -- as opposed to flat roofs.
9. Colonials are easier to render energy efficient than a house with walls of glass.
0. Most other styles require custom detailing or unique building components that may drive up the cost of construction.

There's your answer! If you see examples of new design approaches in your neighborhood, send photos and details to and we'll feature them on the site.


63griffenave63 Griffen Ave: New construction colonial on majestic, park like 1.18 acre in Quaker Ridge. Spacious rooms, finest materials and exquisite details abound. The home features 6 bedrooms and 5.5 baths. Room for pool and cabana.
Sale Price: $4,027,000
Real Estate Taxes: TBD



26 Cayuga Road: Newly constructed 7,500 square foot home on a cul-de-sac in Heathcote. The home is located on a half an acre lot and includes 15 rooms, 6 bedrooms and 5.5 baths. Built by KOS Building Group.

Sale Price: $3,450,000
Real Estate Taxes: $83,330


33Cushman33 Cushman Road: Center hall colonial on tree-lined street in Heathcote. Renovated with quality materials and fine finishes. First floor boasts an open floor plan with a new gourmet kitchen, adjoining family room with fireplace that opens to a blue stone patio. Living room with fireplace, dining room, library and powder room. Six bedrooms and 5.5 baths. Large Master Bedroom Suite and deluxe master bath.
Sale Price: $2,437,500
Real Estate Taxes: $42,095

305heathcoteroad305 Heathcote Road: Beautiful 3,519 square foot Heathcote Colonial expanded & renovated on private .43 landscaped acres. This home features 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and a finished basement.
Sale Price: $1,300,000
Real Estate Tax: $29,676


108leeroad108 Lee Road: Fabulous renovated Fox Meadow Colonial with open front porch, gracious rooms and quality architecture throughout. The home features a kitchen with stainless appliances, a large family room with a fireplace, a flat fenced yard, and a finished basement with a playroom.
Sale Price:$1,123,000
Real Estate Taxes: $19,423


31wynmorroad31 Wynmor Road: This classic red brick colonial has a sunroom, living room, dining room, working fireplace, and an updated kitchen. The home also includes four bedrooms, a rooftop balcony, 1.5 baths, and hardwood floors throughout.
Sale Price: $950,000
Real Estate Taxes: $17,800



170Bradley170 Bradley Road: Edgewood Tudor with classic layout. Special features include an eat-in kitchen, bright sunroom and two bedrooms on the third floor with a full bathroom. Wood deck off the eat in kitchen commands a view of the beautifully landscaped backyard. Home includes 5 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.
Sale Price: $686,000
Real Estate Taxes: $15,677


3ClarendonPlace3 Clarendon Place, Edgemont: Spacious Split style home on quiet cul-de-sac. In ground swimming pool with large deck, 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 3 family rooms. .35 acres in Edgemont School District.
Sale Price: $607,500
Real Estate Taxes: $25,508



Featured Listing: 19 Penny Lane, Edgemont

HLChristieSmallFabulous value in prime Edgemont on.45acres with gorgeous fenced in-ground 19pennylaneheated pool and cabana with tons of room for play and gardens. In addition to living room, dining room and dine-in-kitchen, enjoy a lovely family room/library with built-ins, library ladder and beamed vaulted ceiling. Huge lower level with 2nd family room with fireplace and wet bar opens to patio, pool, recreation, exercise room, laundry room/mudroom and tons of storage. Built for comfortable entertaining and living. Click here to learn more

List Price: $999,000


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