Renovating A Craftsman Home? These Are The Features You Don't Want To Change

1 February 2017
 Categories: , Articles


There comes a time when every house needs a bit of updating and home remodeling. In a home that's only a few decades old, you don't have to worry too much about destroying valuable antique features or making changes that undermine the architectural style. But if you live in an authentic Craftsman home, you need to be a bit more careful in your renovation efforts. You don't want to accidentally ruin an element that's a quintessential part of Craftsman architecture. Here's a look at the basic elements you should strive to preserve when remodeling such a home.

Natural Woodwork

The Arts and Crafts Movement hinged on the use of natural materials, the most prevalent of which was often wood. Wood was never painted in Craftsman homes, and if it was stained, it was usually stained in a light color. So while you may be tempted to paint the woodwork in your Craftsman home to give it a more modern flair, this is a bad move that will decrease the value of your home and ruin its Craftsman appeal.

If the woodwork in your home needs some fixing up, consider sanding it down a little and then re-staining it. This will give it a newer look without making it look unnatural. 

Slate or Cedar Roofs

You may gaze up at that slate roof and think, "wow, that's outdated." But putting an asphalt shingle roof on a Craftsman home is often seen as an insult to the style. Chances are, even if that slate roof looks a bit worse for wear, it actually has a lot of life left in it. After all, many slate roofs can last up to 200 years. You may want to hire a roofing company to replace the damaged slate tiles, which should give the whole roof a newer look. This should cost you a lot less than completely replacing the roof.

If your home has a cedar roof, it may, in fact, need to be replaced since cedar roofs don't last nearly as long. Have the roof replaced with another cedar roof or with a slate one. Cedar is comparable in cost to asphalt roofing, and it's more natural, so it fits in on your Craftsman home. 

Pillars and Columns

Some pillars and columns within the home won't be able to be removed because they are load-bearing. Others are decorative, and you may be tempted to remove them because they look a bit outdated. However, they are a feature of Craftsman design, and leaving them in place will add value to your home since they give the home a more authentic feel.

Stained Glass Windows

If you're lucky enough to have a stained glass window in your home, protect it as carefully as you can. Not all Craftsman homes have these, and they're considered a great asset to the style. They can, however, start looking a bit dingy over the years. Instead of replacing the stained glass, have a glass contractor come professionally clean it. With the sunlight shining through the clean, colored glass, it will be a real thing of beauty.

Multi-Panel Windows

Is replacing your windows on your remodeling to-do list? While new windows are a good choice for conserving energy and keeping your home warm, you must be careful to choose the right ones. The windows you choose much feature a grille that divides the top window into four or six segments. The bottom window should remain in a single segment. This is one of the hallmarks of Craftsman architecture, and choosing any other type of window would undermine the style.

To learn more about Craftsman architecture and its elements, speak with a remodeling contractor in your area.


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