Homes with classic architectural design elements continue to entice buyers wanting a home with a bit more personality and drama. But what some buyers don't know is that many of these aesthetically appealing elements actually have functional purposes in the home as well.

If you have listings with any of the following traditional architectural features, make sure to let prospects know that not only do they add value visually, but also to the overall quality of life of a home.

Read moreHistoric Homes Niche 101


Many buyers are attracted to the patterned visual contrast that wainscoting gives to typically smooth walls. While wainscoting, or paneling, adds a regal touch of design to a home, it was originally a mainstay in homes for a very functional reason: insulation. According to Houselogic, the pre-industrial dwellings of the 1700s had stone walls that kept living spaces drafty and wet. Wainscoting, traditionally made from riven oak boards, absorbed the heat and made living spaces more comfortable. In the modern era, wainscoting isn't needed for insulation, but it does help protect a home's plaster walls from inevitable dents and scuffing.

Bay Windows

The benefits of bay windows extend far beyond their visual appeal. Not only do they help regulate the temperature and airflow to a room, they also add to the overall curb appeal of a home and can make any room feel more spacious. The amount of sunlight let in by bay windows adds to a home's comfort and as Houselogic suggests, can even make owners happier.


For many years, parapets were a staple of design that kept out intruders, but they also serve another purpose: protecting a home's roof in high winds. According to Building Science Insights, their small walls can actually stop pressure differences at the edges of a roof that in the worst case scenario, would suck the roof off of the building.


Dormer windows add a visual punch to the monotony of a shingled roof, but their main benefit is adding habitable space to a home's top floor, which can be turned into an extra bedroom, a game room, or a storage space at a minimal cost. Dormer windows also provide natural light and help a home's ventilation.

Source: "4 Surprising, Practical Reasons Behind Your Home’s Gorgeous Architectural Details," Houselogic

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