Colonial homes come in many strands and variations. "Colonial house" may be used broadly to encompass homes built from the earliest European settlements until well after Independence. On one end of the spectrum are the rustic cabins with their informal colonial house plans, that grew up over time to become rambling, comfortable farmsteads. On the other end are the grand brick Colonial home plans such as Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest. Whether colonial homes are built of white pine from the Northeast, or warm brick further south, Colonial house plans share simple geometries, axial arrangements of rooms, and essentially classical details. A few samples, representing the range of colonial house plans may be found here.
Historic Home Plans --- Colonial Homes --- Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest

colonial home plan

Poplar Forest - 18th century

Thomas Jefferson's masterpiece, the ultimate octagon house
$125 - 21 Sheets measuring 24 " x 36 "
Ext. Dimensions apx. 67' x 78'
2+ Stories, 4 Bedrooms, 3+ baths
Built, 1806-1819, Bedford County, Virginia
Drawings prepared by HABS in 1985


Poplar Forest - 1806-1819

Poplar Forest, a National Historic Landmark and a masterpiece of design by Thomas Jefferson, was built for himself as an escape from Monticello when life there was too busy. The house is octagonal, with a half-basement containing service rooms, principal rooms on the main floor and a spacious attic.

As a work of art these prints are worth purchasing in their own right. For those of you interested in building a historically inspired house, these plans could easily be adapted to a moderately sloping sight, providing a "walk-out" basement level with children's bedrooms and play area, while principal reception rooms and master bedroom suite occupy the first floor. The spacious attic provides plenty of bonus room as well. The octagonal shape and the porches would make this an ideal design for a country setting.

  • Building name:      Poplar Forest

  • Designer/Architect:      Thomas Jefferson

  • Date of construction:      1806-1819

  • Location:      Bedford County, Virginia

  • Style:      Palladian

  • Number of sheets:      21 sheets measuring 24"x36"
Sheet List
  • Cover sheet, information, Elevation

  • Site Plan, 1"=35'

  • Ground Floor/Basement Plan, 1/4"=1'-0"

  • First Floor Plan, 1/4"=1'-0"

  • Attic Plan, 1/4"=1'-0"

  • Roof Plan, 1/4"=1'-0"

  • North (Entry) Elevation, 1/4"=1'-0"

  • East Elevation, 1/4"=1'-0"

  • South Elevation, 1/4"=1'-0"

  • West Elevation, 1/4"=1'-0"

  • 2 sheets of Sections, 1/4"=1'-0"

  • 6 sheets of Interior and Exterior Details, various scales

  • 2 sheets of outbuildings, including kitchen, dairy and octagonal privy

The prints you are purchasing are crisp, high resolution black line copies on white bond paper. The original drawings were beautifully delineated in 1985. This extensive set of drawings includes beautiful interior details of doors, windows, stairs and trim, as well as 2 sheets of outbuildings from the estate. The octagonal �privy� is especially charming, the ultimate escape from a hectic social life. The original drawings were beautifully delineated in 1985, by the Historic American Building Survey.

SHIPPING: Your drawings are shipped to you, by US Postal Service, rolled, not folded, in a Priority Mail tube.

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO BUILD: These plans are NOT complete architectural drawings as might be required by your local permitting agency and do not contain all the structural, waterproofing and other details and information necessary for construction. But your local builder or architect should be able to adapt these drawings and add to them as necessary. What they do provide is accurate design information about a REAL Colonial building, not a pseudo-colonial tract house as you will find in the house plan magazines on your supermarket shelf. (CO002)

Other historic home plans that may interest you
James Dinsmore House, Thomas Jefferson
Dinsmore House
James Dinsmore- 1820s
University of Virginia Thomas Jefferson
Univ. of Virginia
Thos. Jefferson- 1822
Ashland Plantation home plans
Ashland Belle Helene
Unknown - 1850s
Watertown Octagon House
Watertown Octagon
Richards - 1853
  colonial williamsburg home plans colonial williamsburg house plans colonial williamsburg homes colonial williamsburg houses colonial williamsburg home plan colonial williamsburg house plan colonial williamsburg home colonial williamsburg house
House Plans by Style
Early American Styles
Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Homes
Dutch (Gambrel Roof)
Antebellum Period Styles
Plantation Mansions
Creole Cottages
Victorian Period Styles
Queen Anne
Romanesque / Gothic
Shingle Style
Craftsman Style
Prairie Style
Frank Lloyd
Wright Homes
Mid-Century Modern
Southwest Styles
House Plans by type
Row houses (attached)
Narrow lot homes
Large lot homes
Single story homes
Steep slope homes
Midsize homes
Estate homes