East Van Architecture: Vancouver Craftsman


Vancouver Craftsman Style Houses in East Van

Vancouver has a few different iterations of Craftsman Style houses, which depended on on big the house itself was going to be and what the build budget was. Traditional Craftsman were the largest, with Vancouver Craftsman being two storeys and Craftsman Bungalows being one and a half storeys. Vancouver Craftsman and Craftsman Bungalows were typically found on standard 33′ lots in Vancouver, and you can find a lot of them in Mount Pleasant, Grandview-Commercial Drive and Hastings East.

Vancouver Craftsman were popular in the first 3 decades of the Century, and are the more decorated, elaborate versions of a classic Vernacular Style for earlier in the century. Because this style of home spanned such a long period of time, and were in vogue almost a Century ago, you’ll see quite a few different examples of this style in Vancouver, and at this point in time, some houses that have been well maintained, and other that need some work.

View all our blogs on Architecture Styles

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Exterior of a Vancouver Craftsman

Vancouver Craftsman were two storey homes, with a front gable (triangle shape at the roof line), and side gables running down the side of the home. This style of roof line maximizes the upper floor square footage by offering higher ceiling heights for most of the rooms (often with a lowered ceiling near the walls). 

Craftsman style houses are generally known for having full length, covered porches with a staircase (either in the middle or to the side) and strong columns on either side of the stairs. On the upper level, there is often a sleeping porch, which is a smaller, enclosed porch underneath the point of the roof. In terms of the details you’ll see on a home, Vancouver Craftsman’s often had wooden bases (rather than stone bases in other styles of homes). The porch often had decorated balustrade (bannisters). The gable ends (i.e. the end of the roof line) often had exposed soffits and lots of detail in the brackets and overhangs. The upper gable (the front of the house that’s set within the triangle shape) had decoration as well, typically shingles, or wood set on the stucco.

The front door often had sidelights and a small window. The window in the living room (looking out onto the front porch) was often large and had stained glass  (at least on the upper portion of the window), while the other windows in the house were piano windows (smaller upper windows) or stained glass.

The exterior of Vancouver Craftsman were often wood, with lap siding covering the bottom portion of the home. Stone and brick may have been used for accents, but the exterior was mainly wood shingles.

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Interior of Vancouver Craftsman Homes

The interior of these homes are similar to Edwardian Homes, or other styles, withe the main floor divided into 4 main rooms (sometimes more) including the main living room, dining room, kitchen and another room. The interior staircase was often located near the front door. Upstairs were the bedrooms and bathrooms. There was a lot of great wood detailing. The interiors of these homes have probably seen a lot of changes of the years, with owners adding extra bathrooms, closing in porches or adding additions to make the homes bigger, so there are many iterations for what the interior might look like.

The Vancouver Heritage Foundation is the best source for anything relating to heritage houses (but we’re here if you want to buy or sell one!) – they offer history, walking tours, grants, and more. For real estate information, tips and interesting listings, follow WeLoveEastVan on Twitter and Facebook!


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