Original Dutch colonial houses are rare in this country today. Most are concentrated in the northeast part of America (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania), where Dutch immigrants migrated in the 1700's and brought with them there building traditions. One story designs were more common in the rural areas while one and one-half stories and two stories, while rare, were common in urban areas. Brick was the common choice of material used by these early settlers in constructing this subtype colonial style.
There is one main distinction that sets the dutch colonial architecture apart from the other colonial styles. That would be the unusual roof which is called a gambrel roof. This roof became common as a means of increasing the roof span and making use of the attic space as livable space. With this type of roof, the homeowner was able to use the main floor for business operations and the upper floors for the family living quarters as seen in the urban tradition of Dutch colonials.
Common features of dutch colonial house designs include a gable or common gambrel roof with little or no rake overhang, parapeted roof with paired end chinmeys, flaring eaves, and shed or gable or radius type dormers.