Sunday, May 22, 2022

The Return of the Craftsman Style Home


                           This is an example of a modern day Craftsman style home. The contact information on the page will allow you to contact them and buy plans for it, if you wish.

                          When we were looking for a first home, we couldn't possibly have considered building one. We knew we needed to find a small home in reasonable condition, and it's styling could not be of paramount importance.  We were lucky in that our first affordable home that we were able to purchase had been a summer home on the side of a mountain range, near a lake. It took a couple of years to complete all we had planned, but we were able to convert the home to a year round home and make it lovely enough to sell for several times what we had originally paid. A few homes later, we were finally in a position that we could have a home built for us.  In those years, the McMansion was popular.  There were many different designs of slightly scaled down mini mansions of transitional design, sometimes made with different shades of brick.  Sometimes, these homes were not only larger than the family needed, but they were designed in such a way that maintaining them was harder than first or second homeowners could do. Since real estate was going up every few years, people tended to buy on the upper edge of affordability, thinking that those empty rooms would help them grow their investments even more.

         The last time we built another home, all styles and types were in vogue.  Everything from Frank Lloyd Wright copies, to all flavor of modern homes were available. There were also modern versions of farmhouses and traditional colonial homes available. Choosing one could be daunting and I think many people let their pocketbook help them choose what to build.

                In the years past "the Great Recession" families aren't seeking to build as large a home as they once might have.  Families are focused on keeping energy bills at a reasonable rate. Many people understand that a smaller space, well organized may be as comfortable as a large space that perhaps was not as well planned as it might have been. Families may be smaller now, and a fair number of single people are buying homes. Also, although my family and I moved about every four or five years and put the profit down on the next home, people are less likely to do that now. Many people are perfectly content to buy one home, and remain there indefinitely.

            In many places, including rural ones, modern version of the craftsman style home are being built.  What IS a craftsman style home ?  Between about 1900 and 1929, some reacted against the large highly ornate Victorian home and wished to build a simpler home that could be constructed with human hands, rejecting some of the more ornate items made by machines.  These homes have a more basic design and may have stonework and exposed beams that could have been made by artisans.

            The modern craftsman style home has broad appeal now.  They range from small bungalows with craftsman styling, to a larger more modern interpretation which may include a garage, wooden built-ins, masonry fireplaces, and stone accents. Some are two story now, and a few of them are inspired by craftsman design elements, but are large farmhouse or even mansion styled.  They have in common, horizontal lines and often gabled roofing. Some have dormers in the roof boosting the space.

            This aesthetic does please a lot of people and provides an awful lot of room for personalization.  There are a couple of words of wisdom that I would like to pass on to anyone buying or building a house. First, purchase all the land you think you will need.  Needing to move later to acquire more land is always difficult, and then recouping a similar house can also be challenging.  Collect pictures of houses and plans for such for a considerable time before entering a contract to have one built.  Understand that it almost always take longer to build a home than is anticipated, .  Often, when the exterior is complete and the roof closed in and siding on, you are only half way through the process because the interiors take some time and the septic and well are usually constructed last.

             The building of a family home can be rewarding, but takes care and consideration on the part of the family who has hired a builder.