Mission style houses are either balloon frame or structural clay tile construction with a stucco finish. Most have a flat roof with a parapet. On the street facade, the parapet may have a curvilinear gable. Some Mission homes have gabled roofs. These are traditionally covered with barrel tile. Each house has a stucco chimney, some of which have tiled gable-roofed chimney tops. The ornamentation on Mission style houses is usually minimal, and confined to niches, over doors, or hoods surfaced with barrel tile, and occasionally a decorated architrave surrounding the main entrance. The front door is often of heavy wood with wrought iron hardware.
The Mediterranean Revival houses are similar to the Mission style homes, but generally, have a more regular plan. A single house may combine a flat roof and parapet with gabled, hipped and shed roofs. Mediterranean Revival residences have more ornamentation and add wrought iron balconies, towers, and turrets.
Most Frame Vernacular houses are rectangular, an economic shape. West Palm Beach builders often framed Vernacular dwellings with Dade County pine, which becomes very hard and is so resinous that it deters termites. Frame Vernacular houses often have steep pyramidal roof lines, roof overhangs with exposed rafter tails, wooden or sheet metal shingles (perhaps later replaced with asphalt or composition shingles), and dormers for attic circulation. Many exteriors are covered with horizontal plank siding, with patterned shingles covering the gables or second stories. Typically, the shingle patterns and roof brackets, plus porch railings or columns, are the only decorations.
Mid-Century Vernacular houses are built of brick or concrete block and have attached one-car garages or carports. They feature showcase front windows and front gable or hipped roofs topped with flat cement tiles. Typical layouts include a split bedroom plan, a Florida room in the back of the house, and a rear patio accessed by sliding glass doors. Other windows were jalousie or aluminum awning windows.