Craftsman style homes became popular in the early 1900s in California and remained popular until the 1920s when the style largely went out of fashion. Popularized by two brothers, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, Craftsman homes were characterized by exposed roof supports, wood cladding, and wood porch support columns set atop a larger porch balustrade that extended from the ground to above the porch floor.
Another influential figure in the Craftsman movement was Gustav Stickley, whose magazine The Craftsman focused on simple designs that moved away from the mass production of the Industrial Age. He was a proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement happening in England as a response to industrialization, and the concept was also seen in America as a response to the Industrial Revolution.
Typically, Craftsman homes were one story, but one-and-a-half and two story homes weren’t totally uncommon. Victorian homes in the late 1800s had emphasized ornate details and soaring structures, but Craftsman homes took a simpler approach to comfort and emphasized horizontal lines and low pitched roofs with eaves that extended far beyond the exterior walls — a contrast to the steeply pitched and complicated Victorian roofs.
Today, Craftsman style homes can vary from the original style and bring in modern materials, like composite roof tiles, to create a unique yet nostalgic style.
Simple Wood Columns Embody Craftsman Style
The gabled porch roof on this home is supported by two simple wood columns on stone pedestals. Exposed rafters under the roof further exemplifies the Craftsman style. Some Craftsman homes feature a cross-gabled roof like this one, with one part of the home under a front-gabled roof and another part under a side-gabled roof. For protection against the elements, composite cedar shakes can be used to maintain a traditional feel but without the extensive maintenance that natural cedar shakes require.
The Low Pitch Speaks To Simplicity
The low pitch of this roofline is a hallmark of the Craftsman style bungalow. It has a more casual and comfortable feel than the steeply pitched roofs of Victorians that came before it, and it works well on a single story Craftsman.
Slate tiles could be found on Craftsman homes, popular for their longevity and natural look, but because they are extremely heavy, they can require additional structural support. Composite slate tiles offer a beautiful look and natural feel, and they won’t chip or flake over time. They are also lightweight and don’t require any structural modifications before installation.
Hipped Roof Lines Add Interest
The majority of Craftsman style homes feature a simple gable style roof, but some designs use a hipped roof to add interest to the roof line. This one story bungalow style house uses Composite Spanish Barrel Tiles in a multi-hued pattern to give this design elements of both Mediterranean and Craftsman style homes.
Arches Deviate From The Standard Horizontal Lines
Craftsman homes are known for their horizontal lines and clean look, but adding arches into a Craftsman style design can add an unexpected element. Clay tiles have been used on Craftsman homes due to their long life span and durability. Unfortunately, traditional clay tiles are heavy and require additional structural support to accommodate their weight, and cracked or broken tiles need to be replaced by skilled professionals.
As an alternative material, composite Spanish Barrel Tiles can be used to achieve the same look but without all of the downsides.
Craftsman Elements Add Character
Even for homes that don’t fully embody the Craftsman style, Craftsman elements can add character and charm to the home. Settled under a side-gabled roof with a sloping porch roof, simple columns set on concrete pedestals are reminiscent of the age when Craftsmans rose in popularity.
Often side-gabled Craftsmans included a dormer to add light to the attic space or second story. The Spanish barrel tile roof adds a Mediterranean touch and has a naturally variegated color pattern that mimics natural clay tiles.
Choose Brava To Complete Your Craftsman Style Home
Over the years, Craftsman homes have made use of natural materials like cedar shake, slate, and clay barrel tiles, but each of these materials come with their own concerns and drawbacks that make maintenance time-consuming and difficult.
Cedar shakes can cup, split, warp, and break as they withstand freeze-thaw cycles and sustained exposure to rain and sun. They require regular treatments for UV, fire, and moisture protection and to maintain their color whether they are stained or painted.
Slate tiles are heavy and, while durable, tend to chip and flake over time. Skilled professionals should be used when inspecting the roof and replacing any damaged tiles, because walking on this material can be dangerous if they’re wet and can damage the tiles.
Clay barrel tiles are also heavy and are degraded by constant sun exposure that can make them brittle and breakable. With proper maintenance, they can last a very long time, but that maintenance is costly and should be done by a skilled professional.
Brava’s composite roof tiles offer an alternative to these natural materials. The benefits of composite tiles include:
Lightweight and easy to install. They can even be installed by a skilled do-it-yourselfer.
Environmentally-friendly and sustainable
Natural look and feel with variegated colors, so there’s no discernible pattern once installed
Durable and has a 50-year limited warranty
With Cedar Shakes, Old World Slate, and Spanish Barrel Tile options, Brava has what you need to complete the look of your Craftsman style home and roof.
Contact the experts at Brava today to choose the best look for your Craftsman style roof.