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Craftsman House

the front of a Craftsman style house

A craftsman style house is characterized by careful craftsmanship. Craftsman houses are generally modest in size and expense. This style was developed in the United States and emphasizes quality work to make a basic home well designed and affordable for "the masses". The style was started by designer and furniture maker, Gustav Stickley.

A common layout for a Craftsman house is 3 or 4 rooms on the first floor: a kitchen in the back, a living room in front, a dining room, sometimes a bathroom, den or office. Bedrooms are upstairs -- usually 2 or 3, one large and one or 2 small and a bathroom. If there is a garage it is usually detached in a classic Craftsman house.

The front of the house is normally symmetric, with a simple triangular roof sloping down to both sides and a porch in front. The yards are often small, narrow and larger in back. The combination of the porch and shorter front yard, especially in a neighborhoods with many Craftsman style homes that tend to have sidewalks feel very neighborhood friendly. These characteristics encourage neighbors to walk and to sit out facing the pedestrian traffic, stopping to talk or catch-up on the neighborhood news.

Other common characteristics of a Craftsman house are the use of local, natural materials (local stone and wood), grouped windows, exposed beams, detailed woodwork or ceramic tiles. (Notice that the decorative elements tend to be labor intensive, but made of inexpensive materials. Originally a good home for someone who might be a first generation home owner in the U.S. and willing to put much work and pride into home care.)

Styles

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