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Craftsman House Plans: Key Features that Everyone Loves

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Based on the latest trends in home design, there are two primary things today’s homebuyers want. Less square footage and more character. It’s no surprise, then, that about a century after the Arts & Crafts movement became a hallmark of the American middle class the demand for Craftsman homes is once again raging. In fact, the popularity of the Craftsman spans all age groups and U.S. regions. Few, if any other, architectural styles are so widely appreciated.

Popularized in the early 20th century as a backlash to the opulence of the Victorian era, Craftsman house plans emphasized clean lines, natural materials, handcrafted details and quality workmanship. With many original Craftsman homes still bought and renovated today, designers responded to the revival by creating new home plans based on this beloved American style.

Editor’s Note: To learn more about American Home Styles, please see our article – 10 American Home Styles.

Craftsman homes offer an understated elegance that appeals to our increasing desire to simplify. They get back to the basics -where home lives in harmony with our community and environment.

Designed for Efficiency and Functionality

Efficient living was an important value of the mid-century working class. For many homeowners today, the Craftsman house plan reflects this. Using less square footage than was common at the time, Craftsman designers still managed to create a more open and flexible interior than the rigidly segmented Victorian homes. Furthermore, many of style’s defining characteristics were devised with efficiency in mind.

These include:

* Deeply overhanging eaves

Deep eaves help shield the home from solar heat, while also conducting rainwater away from the foundation. Their beauty wasn’t lost on early Craftsman designers, however; it’s common to see the eaves accentuated by exposed rafters or decorative brackets.

* Large front porches

Because these homes are more compact than other styles, they often feature large front porches for relaxing with the family. The front roof is typically extended to provide shade and is supported by the tapered square columns that have become a distinctive Craftsman feature.

* Wide sash windows

The Craftsman’s grouped, multi-paned sash windows maximize natural light within the home. It’s common for homes designed in this style to feature a bank of windows helping to minimize power usage.

* Built-in cabinetry

Built-in nooks and cabinetry are a common interior feature of Craftsman homes. Not only do they help maximize space within a compact design, but they provide an opportunity to showcase the quality craftsmanship for which this style is famous.

Putting the ‘Craft’ in Craftsman

In truth, Craftsman is more a design philosophy than an architectural style. Its original proponents emphasized using local and natural materials. It ushered in more individualized, handcrafted approach to homebuilding. These values are echoed by today’s eco-conscious homeowners. In fact, the first Craftsman homes protested the glut of factory-made, mass-produced products flooding the marketplace. (Ironically, Sears picked up on the trend in the early 1900s and began selling Craftsman building kits.)

In many ways, building a Craftsman creates more of a functional piece of art than constructing a home. This is perhaps why the style is still so widely treasured today.

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Article and photos courtesy of Gary Higginbotham, the Marketing Manager for Houseplans.coHouseplans.co is the online home of Alan Mascord Design Associates. The site includes 600 floor plans in a variety of styles, from Craftsman to Victorian. For much information on Architecture from us, please see our category = Architecture. ~jb

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