Side Hall & ADU

What is a Side Hall?

The Side Hall is typically a long, thin house found in dense neighborhoods. The entrance to the house is toward one side and follows the house plan. The house plan is simple, featuring an entrance porch, a singular hallway and staircase to one side, rooms branching off of the hallway, and a smaller back porch. Usually two to three stories, the side hall is usually found on a narrow lot, which gives the house its thin shape. Due to its thin shape and small floor plan, options for this type of house include, but are not limited to, a garage conversion (if one exists and is large enough), an exterior addition or a detached new structure. Interior conversions are possible, however if done will eliminate a considerable amount of the space for the family.

Special Features

Side HallAlso known as the Two-and-a-half Gable End to Street, these houses emerged during the mid-nineteenth century and were popular through the early twentieth century. They can be found in urban and dense town neighborhoods.

  • One-and-a-half to two-and-a-half stories high. 
  • Gable roof with end facing street.
  • Three bays wide.
  • Rectangular in form, with narrow end facing street.
  • Entrance doorway located to one side, opens into an hall with a staircase.
  • Sits close to street or sidewalk.
  • Typically on lots of 5,000 to 10,000 square feet in dense neighborhoods.
  • Lot size is narrow but deep. 

Options for Conversion: 

On the pages that follow, take a closer look at housing's connections to the Exterior Attached Addition, and Freestanding New Structure.

Exterior Attached Addition »

Freestanding New Structure »

Five Bay »

Cape »

Ranch »

Split Level »

Garage Conversion»


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One Empire Plaza
Providence, RI 02903

RI Alliance for Healthy Homes

A project of
HousingWorks RI