What is a Craftsman style home?

You may not know the name, but you certainly recognize the look: a simple but solid-looking square house, with steps leading to a covered front porch and pillars supporting a V-shaped roof. The Craftsman-style home can be found all over the country, especially in the West and Midwest—and remains as popular today as it was a century ago.

Let’s explore this quintessential American-as-apple-pie home style in more detail, including its history, features, and cost.

What is the history of craftsman style?

Although the Craftsman style was born in the US, it was inspired by the British Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century. Arts and Crafts advocates and designers such as John Ruskin and William Morris sought to move away from the mass-produced, machine-produced goods born of the Industrial Revolution and instead champion high-quality craftsmanship and artistry. They also rejected gaudy, detail-laden Victorian styles in favor of a simple and functional aesthetic.

Among their followers across the Atlantic was the American furniture designer Gustav Stickley, who began publishing the magazine in 1901. The craftsmanFocused on arts and crafts movement and practical application of its principles. The magazine publishes articles that show readers how to build their own furniture, crafts and houses – simple, airy one- or two-story buildings, open, light-filled interiors, built in harmony with their landscape and especially the best from local materials. . He founded the “Craftsman’s Home Builders Club,” where members could get free blueprints, specifications, and kits for the home, which was called “Craftsman” in deference to Stickley’s publication.

Meanwhile, other architects and designers were building similar designs—most notably Pasadena-based Charles and Henry Greene, two brothers who popularized bungalow houses. Thanks to Greens work, California was one of the places where the Craftsman style first flourished. Today, several of their buildings are still in use, including the National Register of Historic Places-listed casino in Pasadena.

The Craftsman style had its heyday from the early 1900s to the late 1930s. Although it did not stop completely, other styles began to replace it in post-World War II areas of America.

What distinguishes a craftsman style?

There are many common elements that give Craftsman homes their signature look – both inside and out.

“The purpose of Craftsman homes was to create a connection between people, their homes and nature, so it’s common to see features that contribute to that purpose,” says Shaun Larson, a real estate broker at Park Real Estate in Brentwood, Tenn. “Interior and exterior surfaces both have natural and textured materials and are exposed to become part of the interior finish rather than hidden by purposeful finishing materials.

External features

Although they may look a little different from house to house, one of the most recognizable features of Craftsman homes is the low-slung, hipped roof and eaves or beams. You can sit under the canopy and enjoy a covered patio.

“Front porches are considered a signature part of a Craftsman home,” says Jeff Tricoli, Palm Beach County, Fla. Based on Keller Williams. “They can come in the form of a wrap-around porch or a small covered porch that leads to the front door of your home.”

Craftsman style features earth-tone exteriors in materials like brick, stucco and painted wood siding, Tricoli says. These bring a natural, down-to-earth beauty to homes.

Finally, these types of houses generally include supporting columns that are narrow at the top and wide at the bottom. In most cases, they are rectangular rather than round.

Internal characteristics

While the exterior features are very characteristic, the Craftsman style also features certain elements inside the home.

For example, Craftsman floor plans are often designed for functionality, with open and closed entrances between different rooms creating an interesting flow. All interior living spaces in a Craftsman home are perfect for comfortable living and communication, Larson says. Fireplaces are common features.

Craftsman-style interiors are also built with natural materials such as wood and stone. Often, these features and furnishings are handcrafted to reflect the aims of the Arts and Crafts movement. However, by modern standards, the predominance of wood and small rooms can make Craftsman homes feel dark, despite the often large bay windows.

Houses of different types of artisans

Although they share certain characteristics, there are actually many types of craftsmen. The four most popular are:


These are early Craftsman houses, typically with low-pitched roofs, double-hung windows, and thick buttressed columns. Bungalow Craftsman homes are usually one-story and became popular in Southern California in the early 1900s.


Originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Prairie-style Craftsman homes have a low profile, spacious floor plans and visible horizontal lines. Craftsmen of this type are often found in the Midwest, and their designs are intended to mimic and blend in with the vast plains of that region (hence the name).

Mission Awakening.

Infused with Spanish and Mediterranean influences, these artisans often include Mission-style touches and are constructed of stucco, terracotta and red tile – following the arts and crafts mantra of using local materials. Like Bungalow Craftsman, they are most popular in the Golden State but also have locations in Florida, Texas and the Southwest.

Four square

Four square Craftsman style homes are a larger version of the original Craftsman, a modest one-story residence. They usually have four rooms on the first floor, and four rooms on the second (hence the name). Found across the country, these boxy two- or two-and-a-half-story properties share many of the same traditional features, however, including columns and low-sloped roofs.

What do craftsman homes cost?

The value of a Craftsman home depends on many factors, including location, size and condition. You can find one-story Craftsmans selling for $300,000 and up in very affordable areas like the Midwest and South. However, if you’re looking for a large multi-story home or live near a major city, prices will increase significantly if Craftsman homes sell for more than $1 million. In Virginia, where it’s the most expensive style of home, an average craftsman can spend more than $900,000.

That may seem expensive given their size or lot size, but many Craftsman homes are 100 years old (if not longer) putting them into historic home territory. They may even be the work of a famous architect. So they may be paying a premium for their offspring.

Not interested in buying an old craftsman? You can also build your own. Again, the costs will vary quite a bit depending on where you live, the materials you choose, the size of your new home, and how committed you are to creating high-quality craftsmanship and unique touches.

Average construction cost of 2,000 square meters. A new home in the United States costs more than $280,000, according to HomeAdvisor; Real estate agent search site Clever Estimates. If you go with the more modest 1,500 sq.ft bungalow with a partial second story — like the original models Stickney reviewed — the average price jumps to $187,500, according to Fixr.com.

A final word on Craftsman-style homes

A staple of American architecture, the Craftsman home can be found in all corners of the country in many variations and price points. Functional and adaptable, it has been a perennially popular, quintessential middle-class neighborhood home for over a century.

However, if you’re considering buying one of these homes, it’s important to think beyond the appealing curb appeal and consider the special maintenance required due to age. If you build one, keep in mind that it will cost more than the modern style, especially if you want to pay attention to detail, material and the same love of craftsmanship.

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