The Kootenay Kind of Homes

Sometimes the question isn't about price, it's about style.. Lifestyle. While there are many many more types and styles of homes than listed below, here are the majority of homes you can expect to see when searching for a home in the West Kootenays.


A-frame - The A-frame home is a triangular tee-pee shaped home that peaked in popularity during the 1960’s. They have steeply sloping roof that extends to the ground on two sides and are typically 1 ½ to 2 ½ stories. They feature many large windows on the front and/or rear facades and have few vertical wall surfaces. The A-frame roof allows heavy snow to slide to the ground rather than remaining on the roof weighing it down. One of the setbacks is the steep roof creates a triangular “dead space” at the base of the walls limiting living space. Because of this, it is more common to see A-frame cabins or guest homes rather than personal dwellings.



Colonial - A typical colonial home has a first floor of 3-4 rooms (Dining, Kitchen, Living and/or Family room) while bedrooms and bathrooms are situated on the second floor. It is one of the more common styles of homes as newly constructed colonial homes often maximize square footage while minimizing the cost offering great value. They offer a cost effective expansion by finishing the basement or attic.




Rancher/Bungalow – The Rancher is a one level home. The majority of Ranchers range from 1000 to 1800 square feet with the larger homes feeling more spacious than those of colonial style because there is a lack of stairs eating up space. Finishing the basement is a cost-effective way to increase square footage.




Split Level – The more common split level home is named such as you are greeted by two sets of stairs as you enter the home (one set to the upper floor, and one to the basement). The upstairs typically consists of bedrooms, kitchen, living and dining room, while the downstairs has a family room, laundry room, and either an office or 4th bedroom. Because of their layout, split-level homes are favoured by those looking for a potential in-law suite.




Townhouse – Sometimes referred to as row-houses are usually attached in units of 3 or more, with each unit sharing one or more common walls with another. Townhouses are usually cheaper than detached homes, and their taxes are often less. Most have a monthly maintenance fee that takes care of repairs, garbage collection, etc. The drawbacks of owning one are the noise from neighbours through the common walls, and value tends to hold less than single family detached homes.



Duplex – Duplex’s are homes that are split in half with separate entrances for two families. The units can either be side by side and share a common wall, or be split where one unit is above the other. They can also be extended to 3 or 4 unit buildings, commonly known as a triplex or fourplex. If you don’t mind sharing the yard one of the benefits of owning a duplex is the revenue from renting the second suite, just be prepared to pay for any maintenance costs if you are managing the building.



Manufactured – Also known as mobile homes, are prefabricated homes built in factories that are then taken to the place where they will be occupied. They are built on a permanently attached chassis and usually transported by semi. While homes are usually placed in a location and left there permanently, they retain the ability to be moved if required. Unlike traditional homes and modular homes manufactured homes depreciate in value over time, and tend to be less structurally sound. Be sure to check the data plate usually found on the electrical panel, kitchen cupboard or bedroom closet for wind zone/snow load before moving it from one zone to another.


Modular – Modular homes are similar to traditional homes with the exception that construction of a modular home is started in a factory. These energy efficient homes come in a number of designs and since work is conducted in a controlled climate, modular homes tend to be cheaper than traditional homes as there are fewer costly interruptions. Be sure to check your financing options as most modular home builders require payment upfront, and most lenders require 50% or more down on land only purchases.


There are benefits and pitfalls in every type of home. Weigh the pros and cons to make finding your perfect home easier and one of our Century 21 experts will help make it a reality.