Craftsman House Plans Style – All You ever wanted to Know

Craftsman house plans style has long been famous. It is one of the first house designs that are likely to pop into your mind at the mention of American architectural house plans designs.

It could be the charming front porch of this house design that draws people’s attention or its elegantly sloped roofline that many find irresistible. Either way, there is no denying the truth that craftsman home is the favorite of many people, just like other classic house designs, like Mid-Century Moderns, Cape Cods, and Colonials.

But have you ever asked yourself how craftsman home style came to be and where it got its unique architectural details from? This article contains an overview of the unusual features that the craftsman house design style has. It also includes a brief history of the style’s existence.

What is the Unmistakable Look of a Craftsman House Plan?

Many people only need to take one look at a house to know that it is a craftsman home. Fundamentally these types of homes are known for their individuality. Even so, there are a few aesthetic and structural elements that set them apart.  The most general features of a Craftsman-style house plan are listed below.

Exterior Features:

  • An entry lined by pillars
  • Has a covered front porch
  • Deep overhanging roof eaves
  • Low-pitched rooflines, often designed in a gable or hip style
  • Tapered columns which prop the roof are usually stronger at the bottom. As such, they become smaller at the top
  • Double hanging windows with different panes of glass on the top and bottom. The panes are cased in wide trim
  • Rafter tails are exposed. They are the beams that point out of the house, and you’ll see them under the eaves
  • They have visible knee braces. There is an exposed triangle that supports a deep roof eave from underneath
  • Very large and centered single dormer which usually have multiple windows
  • Doors are generally only partially paned around the upper third of the door

Internal Features:

  • Has some stones and woodworks that are crafted by hand
  • Features like window seats are custom made and unique.
  • Only natural materials such as wood, stone, and brick are used throughout
  • They have Built-in cabinetry and shelves
  • They come with a grand fireplace which is usually a prominent feature of the living room
  • The floor plan is open and practical. These houses have only a few small rooms and hallways for easy movement from the kitchen to other areas of the home.

The History of the Craftsman House style

Craftsman house style has a deep root in History, though the facts are not entirely clear. This unique house model can be traced back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Because of the immaculate but basic lines of these houses, it is not hard to locate the architectural style to the art and craft culture of the British people.

During the late 19th century, an industrial revolution like no other began in Britain. The contrarian Arts and Crafts Movement as this social movement was called, was aimed at rejecting the new, mass-produced construction style. Instead, they preached that handcrafted products made by artisans should be embraced. Eventually, the Movement thrived, and handcrafted works became dominant.

Gustav Stickley

As time went on, perhaps at the beginning of the 20th century, this revolution was brought to America. The cause was headed by a famous furniture maker in New York, Gustav Stickley. He was also the founder and editor of The Craftsman magazine which he distributed far and wide across the country. He popularized craftsman house plans in the nation by selling affordable blueprints of houses patterned artistically and craftily. The goal of this was to make serious architecture available to ordinary people.

Not long after, the home-style reached southern California. Two architects, Charles, and Henry Greene, after being inspired by the English reactionary architecture and Oriental wood architecture, went ahead to design a craftsman pattern home. With this turn of event, the popularity of Craftsman homes spread even more throughout the United States.

The word Craftsman was initially used to refer to a home constructed from a blueprint in Stickley’s magazine. However, its meaning has now expanded, and the word encompasses any home built in the Arts and Crafts style.

Even till today, this particular architectural style of homes has many identifying characteristics which conforms to the original vision of Stickley. They still have details that make the home both unique and functional. Though the Midwest, New York, and southern California are the three places in which they are most common, craftsman houses is a home style that people all over the nation recognize.

Why are Craftsman House Plans so Popular?

Stickley can be said to be the number one and most important figure that spread the fame of craftsman house plans. He got his inspiration after his visits to Bangala, India, where he saw their design for the first time. The simplicity of their bungalows drew him the most. Upon his arrival, Stickley went ahead to release a publication about their house plans. A lot of other American designers got inspired by this.

Though, at the time, Victorian architectural style which put aesthetics and beauty first already existed and was quite popular, Stickley chose the craftsman style because it is more functional. To him, craftsman homes are not only modest, but they are also small and not too hard to maintain. These are what captivate and keep the attention of most homeowners.

Craftsman homes have never lost their functional nature. When you add this to their charms, how can people not like them? Their owners constructed most original bungalows. What this means is that you cannot find two of these buildings that look exactly alike.

A lot of these houses have some unique details and elements that are very difficult to implement nowadays. Because of this uniqueness, craftsman homes are widely known and irreplaceable to many people.

Different Craftsman Homes for Every Taste

Craftsman house plans come in different types. However, all of these various types do maintain their uniformed decorative details as well as their open floor design. You’ll find them in different price points and sizes, and this makes them an excellent option for either a first-time house buyer or a more experienced buyer.

These are the four main styles:

Bungalow House Plans

Bungalows are perhaps the most common. They are the traditional and most conventional style of craftsman homes

Prairie House Plans

Prairie style homes are like a subcategory of craftsman houses. The founder of this style is Frank Lloyd Wright. Usually, this type of home is low slung and has sturdy horizontal lines. The most commonplace in which they are found in the Midwest

Mission Revival House Plans

This craftsman style does have some few similarities with the prairie style, the lines for example. However, the exterior of mission revival craftsman is often covered in stucco.

Four Square House Plans

Four square craftsmen got its name from its structure. The house has a typical four-room up floor and four-room down floor plan. This style is usually a two-story box. The home also has an internal staircase typically

Craftsman house plans have proven to be different, both in their design and other details. They compete favorably with other popular house styles. Perhaps you’re thinking about building a new home for yourself and your family; a craftsman home is not a bad option at all.

You can go ahead and select your favorite from the four different craftsman style homes.


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