The pair house is defined by its distinctive three-room-wide floor plan. The name comes from the Swedish parstuga, meaning a house with a pair of rooms flanking a central room.
The pair house differs from the central-passage type in that the central room is more than a passageway; in fact, it is usually either the kitchen or the living room.
The house may stand one, one and a half, or two stories tall and has either gable-end or internal chimneys. The presence of paired internal chimneys (more widely spaced than central-passage chimneys) indicate a pair house.
The house usually has three or five bays. In the five-bay examples, the inner windows are very close to the central doorway, and the gaps between them and the outer windows reveal the location of the internal walls. This distinctive fenestration pattern becomes another readily recognizable diagnostic feature of the pair-house form.
Mormon immigrants from Scandinavia introduced the pair house into Utah. Not surprisingly, most examples stand in Sanpete and Sevier Counties, where many Scandinavian immigrants settled, but other examples are scattered throughout the state.