What is a Charleston Single House? It occurred to us that while we reference the Single House all the time, those of you who don’t live in Charleston might not be quite sure what we’re talking about! After our post earlier this week, and the reference to Privacy Doors, we figured it was high time we gave the explanation of what a Charleston Single House is. Above is 89 Beaufain Street, a Carriage Properties listing which is a great example of a Charleston Single House.

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Designed as a reaction to the narrow and deep lots throughout Charleston, as well as a way to take advantage of harbor breezes during the warmer months, a Charleston Single House is a house turned on its end, that is a single room wide and two rooms deep, often with a kitchen or dependency at the rear. The two rooms are separated by an entry hall, which include the stairs to the second story. The Single House can be anywhere from two to five bays wide at the street, with three window bays being the most common.

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The Privacy Door is the door on the street side of the house, that allows the visitor to gain entrance to the piazza. On Charleston Single Houses throughout the city of Charleston, piazzas are always built on the south or west side of the house, again in an effort to keep the house cool. If the Single House is on a north/south street, the piazza is on the south side, if the house is on an east/west street, the piazza is on the west side, as those are the sides of the home that get the maximum sun exposure. After entering the privacy door on the street side of the house, then you can enter the front door, which leads you into the stair hall with a single room on either side. This floorplan is then repeated on the additional upper stories.

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