Historic Saltbox Home Designs

View and print photos and measured drawings of floor plans, exterior elevations and construction details.


New England Saltbox Style Home


Saltbox House Designs from the Historic American Building Survey 


What is a saltbox house? According to the Library of Congress, it's a Colonial style of architecture which originated in New England. Saltboxes are frame houses with two stories in front and one in back, having a pitched roof with unequal sides, being short and high in front and long and low in back. The front of the house is flat and the rear roof line is steeply sloped. The simplicity and strength of this design, first seen around 1650, continues to make saltbox houses popular today.


The saltbox shape may have developed because it is a good response to cold New England winters. When oriented with their fronts to the south or south-west, saltbox homes expose their largest exterior wall and most windows to the warmth of the sun.


The Library of Congress list of Saltbox home designs, shown in photos and measured drawings, includes seventy houses homes built in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Virginia.


The Historic American Building Survey is a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the National Park Service. Read more about their efforts to preserve America's heritage by visiting their website: Built in America  To learn more about any of the designs listed here, search for it by its card number. Then, explore the vast and ever-growing HABS collection to view related building designs.




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