Spanish/Mediterranean-Style Homes

The British were not the only ones to establish colonies in the New World. In areas from Florida westward to Texas and on through most of California where the Spanish language prevailed among early settlers, Spanish is also the language of the architecture.

Homes built with a Spanish/Mediterranean flair still are among the most popular home styles being built in these states and they work well with the local vegetation and climate. You will find lots of tile flowing from the indoors to the outdoors and perhaps more style on the roof. Front doors may feature elaborate wooden carving and you can find fancy wrought-iron or another metal made to look like iron grilles on banisters, balconies, fences or windows. Homes may wrap around a courtyard or feature covered walkways.

The seamless tradition from indoors to outdoors aided by the same flooring and views out to the garden or courtyard is one of the nicest features of Spanish/Mediterranean-style homes making them particularly suitable for places with a mild year-round climate. However, all those hard surfaces can lead to harsh echoes unless you soften the rooms with throw rugs and plush furniture.

The exterior finish is often stucco. These days you will also find a faux stucco called EIFS which is an acronym for exterior insulation and finish systems made essentially of foam and plastic. Both real and faux stucco are great insulators, useful for hot climates and are resistant to the termites that plague the South. But stucco tends to crack over time and faux stucco can trap dampness inside the walls if it was not applied with competence and care leading to mold or rot. Make sure your home inspector pays particular attention to this point if you buy a home made with faux stucco.