A Guide to American Craftsman Window Styles

Published November 10, 2022
american craftsman windows
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The American Craftsman home is one of the most noteworthy architectural designs used throughout the United States to this day. These beautifully crafted homes can be found across the country in various styles, depending on the region where the house is built. With such a unique form of architecture comes complimentary windows designed to complete this handcrafted aesthetic.

This article will show you how to select the perfect craftsman-style windows for your American Craftsman home.

The History of the American Craftsman Bungalow & Home

american craftsman bungalow

At the turn of the 19th century, Americans began to move away from the elaborately-designed Victorian homes of the Industrial Revolution in favor of simple handcrafted architectural designs. After nearly two centuries of celebrating machinery and mass production, the Arts and Crafts Movement ignited a new appreciation for individual craftsmanship, quality handmade goods, and simple designs in contrast to the mass-production mindset of the Industrial Revolution.

American Craftsman architecture was born and became particularly popular in California and the Midwest through this movement. The design then began to spread across the county after a well-known American furniture manufacturer, Gustav Stickley, published his first issue of The Craftsman magazine in 1901.   

American Craftsman Home Styles

The terms “craftsman” and “bungalow” are frequently used interchangeably when discussing American Craftsman homes. However, the bungalow is a specific style of home that became extremely popular due to its incredibly low building cost. While bungalows are the style that most often comes to mind, there are four styles of craftsman homes found across America.

  • The California Bungalow
  • Mid-West Prairie-Style (popularized by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • The Mission Style
  • The Four Square

American Craftsman Architectural Characteristics

Some telltale architectural characteristics of American Craftsman design made these homes unique compared to the machine-made Victorian homes being built at the time. Each craftsman home included artistic detailing that created a unique and charming identity. However, many shared the following characteristics:

  • Low-pitched hip or gabled roof lines
  • Deep overhanging eaves with exposed rafter tails and decorative brackets
  • Covered front porches that often wrapped around the home.
  • Tapered pillars lining front doors entryway
  • One and a half or two stories
  • Protruding wide dormer windows
  • Mixed materials such as brick, wood siding, stucco, and concrete
  • Double-hung windows
  • Earth-tone colors
  • Decorative glasswork

Recommended Craftsman Window Styles

It’s common for American Craftsman homes to use sets of three, sometimes five, windows to create the eye-pleasing symmetry characteristic of the design. There are several window styles that work well in these homes, including

Double-Hung

craftsman double hung window

The most commonly used American Craftsman-style window is double-hung windows. With two operable sashes providing excellent ventilation, these rectangular windows offer home builders the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality.

Casement

casement window

Another popular style that can be paired with double-hung windows or used in their place is casement windows. However, those who want to keep in line with traditional aesthetics may consider casement windows with multi-pane grilles.

Awning

awning windows

While awning windows aren’t a typical craftsman-style window, they can easily be used with double-hung and casement windows without compromising the aesthetic of the home design.

Picture

picture windows

Large picture windows are less common than sets of three windows cased together in craftsman-style homes. However, they can still be used to great effect. Following the rule of three, home builders often install a center picture window approximately ⅓ larger than the two smaller windows on either side. Likewise, many home builders use a picture window for the second-story dormer.

Additionally, smaller picture windows can be used throughout the home in various geometric shapes, including small squares, trapezoids, triangles, eyebrows, and full circles.

Transom

Both interior and exterior windows and doors in craftsman-style homes often feature decorative transom windows. The transom may be a single solid pane or divided into multi-pane sections.

Recommended Craftsman Window Glass and Grilles

When it comes to window grilles, some specific patterns are characteristic of American Craftsman-style windows. Likewise, stained glass was a popular decorative feature in many homes.

Multi-Pane

To adhere completely to the American Craftsman aesthetic, double-hung and casement windows should include multi-pane grilles on the upper sash while keeping the lower sash unobstructed. The grille pattern may be divided into three vertical sections, four equal squares, or six smaller squares.

Stained Glass

The popularity of stained decorative glass reemerged during the Arts and Crafts Movement when American Craftsmans were first designed and incorporated into many houses, especially Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Prairie-style homes.

Recommended Craftsman Window Materials

Another hallmark of traditional craftsman-style design is beautifully finished-wood trim. However, as time has passed, many homeowners have chosen energy-efficient windows over standard wood.

Clad-Wood Windows

Fortunately, ProVia has created a solution that addresses energy efficiency while maintaining the beauty of a natural wood finish with its clad-wood vinyl windows. This is the perfect material choice for those who want to benefit from modern window technology while honoring the traditional style of their craftsman home.

Fiberglass Windows

For those who value the highest level of efficiency available, Milgard’s fiberglass windows are unmatched. While this material does not come with a clad-wood finish, several earth-tone color options work perfectly with American Craftsman home designs.

Recommended Craftsman Window Finishes

Whichever material homeowners prefer, one could argue that the window finish is the most important detail from a design perspective. When it comes to window finishes, we recommend

Wood Stain

Those who choose the ProVia clad-wood vinyl windows will have sixteen different wood stain finish options and the option to leave the trim unfinished. With so many style options, homeowners will easily find the perfect stained wood interiors to match their home aesthetic.

Earth Tones

Whether homeowners choose clad-wood or fiberglass windows, both material options are available in various painted earth tones, perfect for the American Craftsman color pallet.

Choose The Industry’s Top Manufacturers for Craftsman-Style Replacement Windows 

At Lake Washington Windows and Doors, we’re committed to providing the highest quality service with the highest quality materials available. For this reason, we only work with the top window manufacturers in the industry and recommend window buyers do the same. Our top recommendations for any style of window are

Milgard Windows & Doors

Milgard’s commitment to excellent product quality and its strong local presence (founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1958) has earned them several awards and recognition throughout the nation. Most importantly, Milgard stands behind its product like none other. Their industry-leading full lifetime material and labor warranty ensure customers their windows will be protected against any problems that may arise throughout the product’s lifetime.

ProVia

Built-in a small Amish community in the Midwest, the craftsmanship, pride, and attention to detail of the Provia window is second to none. Over the last 16 years, we’ve built a stellar reputation by selling and installing ProVia’s custom doors and vinyl windows for a fair price. Additionally, ProVia offers limited lifetime warranties, covering the original customer and up to one subsequent homeowner, on all their windows and doors for those who need assistance.

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Written by Lake Washington Windows

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