Features

Cross-Gable Roof Sleeping Porch Rafter Tails Bracket Eave Porch Front Stairs Pier Capital Water Table Board

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Click on the diagram or expand the term index to learn more about the features.

A structural member, often triangular in form, that projects from a wall or other vertical surface to support another component, such as an eave. Some brackets are purely decorative and have no structural or supporting function.

The decorative head of a column, pilaster, pier, or other vertical support.

Cross-Gable Roof

A roof type in which the major gables intersect at the ridge line, with a major open gable projecting from the façade.

The lower edge of a roof that projects beyond the face of a wall.

Front Stairs

Bridging the porch and street, the front stairs provide easy access to the home through the use of treads and risers. Staircases are found in a number of configurations on the façade in response to accessibility and style.

A square, sometimes tapered (as opposed to round) column.

A covered platform, usually with its own roof, attached to a building, serving as a covered entryway. May be limited to covering the front door area or may extend along the full length of the façade.

A sloping roof beam, the exposed ends of which are called rafter tails.

Sleeping Porches

Built with the idea of providing a cool place to sleep during the warmer months, the sleeping porch was often screened in for protection from the elements. Though generally an extension of the upper floor, some may be found on the ground level as well.

Water Table Board

A board placed in front of the siding which indicates the level of the first floor. Similar to the belt course that sits in front of the level above it.

Form

Craftsman is an architecture of abundance, enabled by the wealth of wood available in the Vancouver area. Its prominent knee brackets and the amount of exposed structure such as rafter tails and purlins easily identify the style. The best examples have stone or clinker brick for foundations, porch piers and chimneys. Shingles are the usual cladding and give them a rustic look.

Background

Craftsman is the American Arts and Crafts Style, mostly identified with Southern California and arriving in Vancouver about 1908-10. The emphasis on simplicity, quality, and local materials of the English Arts and Crafts movement inspired its development. It spread quickly throughout North America thanks to plans published in a popular magazine called ‘Craftsman,’ to which the style owes its name. It did not take long before other magazines and plan books started publishing their own interpretations of the Craftsman style. It was widely popular in Vancouver over a period of about 20 years, developing several variations unique to the region. The one-storey variant (sometimes called a California Bungalow or Craftsman Bungalow) is one of the most common types of heritage housing present in the city.

There are three main types found in Vancouver:

Front-Gabled single-storey Craftsman (California Bungalows)
Front-Gabled 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 storey Craftsman
Side-Gabled Craftsman (Swiss Chalets)

General Details

  • Low-pitched gabled roof
  • Exposed roof rafters
  • Decorative beams or knee-brackets under gables
  • Porches either partial or full width
  • Double-hung windows
  • Squared porch posts
  • Lower porch posts sections of stone, clinker brick or rough stucco

Materials

The main material of Craftsman houses was wood. Cedar shingles were used both for cladding and decorative components (e.g. in gables). A combination of narrow lap siding and shingles was also popular. The upper part of porch posts or other decorative pieces such as dentils and knee brackets were often smoother wood. Stucco was an accent material usually combined with half-timber dividers in gables. Brick was used for chimneys and as an accent. Clinker bricks and off-placed or protruding bricks were popular to achieve a rustic appearance.

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