Craftsman house plans are known for their relaxed, simple, and informal look. The use and careful blend of local building materials is paramount in achieving the ideas of the arts and crafts style. Craftsman home designs make use of natural building materials that can be found nearly everywhere in the United States. Each region has different materials locally and use that to create craftsman architecture unique to their area. Materials used may be stucco, wood, brick, stone, cedar shakes (shingles), and lap siding. Usually, you will see a combination of two or three of the materials blended in perfect harmony in a craftsman home.
The Craftsman home style can be implemented on any size house plan – one or two story. This is where confusion sets in for some who would consider the bungalow house plan style and craftsman house design style one in the same. A bungalow is a type of house, not a style. To clear this up, you must understand that the arts and crafts style, like any other architectural style, is a design principle that employs a known set of features and building practices that produces that styles distinctive look. This in turn can be imposed on just about any building design to reflect the style. In addition to single family house plans (1 and 2 story), the craftsman design style can and has been used on apartment buildings, and public buildings.
The Arts and Crafts style or craftsman house plans all share unifying elements and design features. These elements include: A low pitched roof (gabled or hipped), extended eave overhang with exposed rafter tails, the use of brackets at gables, windows with divided panes in the upper sash and a single pane in the lower sash, medium to large front porches with square columns that may be full length or resting on a base. The columns are sometimes tapered (wide at the base and slightly narrower at the top). These are some of the main features of craftsman home plans.