French Colonial

French houses have a tradition of being externally focused, frequently expressed by featuring many narrow door and window openings; a steep, hipped roof that extends over a wide porch that wraps three sides of the house; and slender columns supporting the porch roof.

line drawing of door with a French Colonial style

Originally, many French Colonial houses had vertical board shutters hung on strap hinges to cover windows and French doors – including the transom.


French Colonial houses feature traditional clapboard predominantly (with a choice of 3” to 8” reveals). Beaded siding (in a choice of 6” to 7” reveals) and Dutchlap (in a choice of 3” to 5½” reveals) were also used.


While not entirely authentic, today’s architects have customized the French Colonial tradition by using vinyl and polypropylene shakes to accent gabled dormers. Shakes come in a variety of sizes and looks — straight edge or staggered from 6” to 10” reveals.


A light to medium palette — especially soft island and southern colors — is frequently used for French Colonial houses. Vinyl and polypropylene siding come in hundreds of colors certified to sustain their vibrancy for a lifetime.

Trim and Accessories

Options suited for the French Colonial style include crown molding on fascia or friezes; decorative front door surrounds and pilasters; window crowns and lineals; band boards between floors or at the foundation; gable vent covers; shutters and beaded soffit.