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What is a 'Dallas-style' home?

by Richard Mize Published: July 18, 2012

Art, a reader, writes:

Would you please explain to me what a Dallas-style home is? I have lived in Dallas for the past 45 years and do not recall every hearing the reference. Maybe being there it was not necessary to have a style called a Dallas-style. Thanks for the info.


I wrote back:

Howdy, Art.

Dallas-style, as explained to me: “several gables in the front with a taller entry gable” with a brick, stone or mixed facade. Also, attached is an example, and below is little story I wrote about the style … Lordy, 11 years ago. Might be time for an update!

The story:

A DECADE OF STYLE, SUBSTANCE ‘Dallas style’ remains popular through ’90s

By Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor

Saturday, January 13, 2001
Edition: CITY, Section: BUSINESS, Page 1-C

ONE thing about home building in the Oklahoma City area scarcely changed over the past decade.

Buyers, builders and designers were looking south for inspiration in 1991, and they were still looking south in 2000.

“Dallas-style” homes are almost as popular as ever, although some builders are venturing into untested territory to find different kinds of niches.

The label is peculiar to this part of the country. Ask for a “Dallas-style” home somewhere else and you’ll probably draw a blank stare.

A Dallas-style house has a somewhat steeper-pitched roof – a slope of 10 percent to 12 percent – full brick, including bricked gables, and lots of windows. Inside, ceilings are 10 feet high or higher, hallways are uncommon, kitchens are large and floor plans are open.

“I can’t think of any other period where we went a 10-year stretch building the same house,” said Mike Grissom, president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association. “We’ve virtually built the same house for 10 years.”

And Grissom said the style is still popular in – where else? – Dallas.

The staying power of the style has to do with functionality as well as form, said longtime Oklahoma City home builder J.W. Mashburn.

“A lot of it is the low maintenance, the brick gables,” Mashburn said, referring to the lack of wood needing the occasional paint job.

But, he added, “A lot of it is builders are just afraid to step up and make a change – ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ “

The Dallas style does “looks good,” said Robert Fillmore, whose Fillmore Design Group draws plans for thousands of houses a year.

Some builders are branching out to build Southwestern styles, European cottages, homes with French country themes and even some neo-traditional homes that are resurrecting styles from the 1920s and 1930s, Fillmore said.

While style largely has been consistent, size of homes followed national trends.

The 1990s began with average new homes here at around 1,700 to 1,800 square feet and ended with them at around 2,200 square feet, Fillmore said. Nationally, the average size of a new home in 1990 was 2,050 square feet and in 1999 was 2,230 square feet, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The decade began with the standard new home here having three bedrooms and maybe a study. It ended with four bedrooms as the standard, plus a study or bonus room, he said. Ahead, Fillmore sees more two- and three-bedroom homes, but bonus rooms, studies, playrooms and extra storage space are here to stay.

Grissom said the infrastructure of new homes will continue to reflect consumer interests and desires.

Special nooks and closets to hide cables, wiring and computer and telecommunication equipment are becoming staples in new homes, even though the added cost is passed directly to buyers, he said.

And with natural gas prices up and home heating bills walloping household budgets, homes built with energy conservation in mind are popular again, he said.

Now you know.


by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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