The saltbox type is defined principally by its roof shape rather than its plan. The saltbox has a two-story front section and a one-story extension, or outshut, to the rear. A long sloping roof contains the entire house. The continuous, unbroken roofline gives the house the shape of an old-fashioned salt storage box.
Utah examples occur in central-passage, hall-parlor, and pair-house plans, but all share the distinctive sloping roof. The saltbox is a New England colonial form that never became very popular in Utah, despite many settlers’ Yankee origins. However, people often erroneously give this name to any house with a rear lean-to roof.