This post was most recently updated on January 17th, 2022
In this article: How to create the look of a craftsman home exterior from any standard, builder-grade home. With just a few artisan-inspired upgrades, like a Craftsman door with dentil shelf, tapered columns, stonework, cedar shakes and shingles, you can easily create the curb appeal of a craftsman home exterior. Today, I’m sharing examples of some exterior upgrades that will help you get the look!
Hello lovely friends! Are you as obsessed as I am over Craftsman home exteriors? Craftsman style is one on my all-time favourite designs. In particular, I adore the details of a craftsman home exterior. For me, the curb appeal is of a craftsman home is unmatched. Those deliciously charming exterior details are simply drool-worthy.
Let’s face it, though. Not all of us are lucky to live in an authentic Craftman home with those sweet artisan details like over-sized tapered columns, beams, cedar shakes, and wooden doors. If you are one of them, I am so jealous!
Builder-Grade Exterior Upgrade: Our Home’s Evolution
Recently, I’ve been researching ways to add some of these gorgeous, signature Craftsman home exterior details to our standard, builder-grade two-story.
If you’re like me, perhaps you live in suburbia in ‘builder grade’ two-story. And, perhaps, like me, spending money on your home exterior wasn’t a priority way back in the beginning, right? Maybe, like me, you’re ready to change that.
The Goal Back Then: I Was Happy with “New”!
When we built our home 10 years ago, we were just thrilled that it was brand spanking new. It didn’t matter a row of beans that it was ‘builder-grade’. And, we weren’t about to spend money on exterior features when it could be better spent on our home’s interior.
After all, everything’s relative! A decade earlier, our starter home was a 40-year old bungalow with 1980s-upgrades. I’m talking semi-gloss emerald paint, 4 layers of wallpaper, and wall-to-wall shag carpeting. A true DIY nightmare. So, hello, this new, builder-grade, 2-story home WAS A DREAM.
The Goal Now: Curb Appeal, Craftsman Style
But now, we are nearly a decade in, and we’ve finished almost everything on the interior. And, I’m growing tired of our builder-grade exterior. We are finally ready to upgrade the exterior of our home to enhance its curb appeal.
Can a Builder-Grade Home Really Be Upgraded to Craftsman Appeal?
So, at this point you might be asking, can a builder-grade home really be upgraded to achieve the look of a craftsman home exterior? And, the answer is, YES! For sure!
Obviously, a home that is designed with a craftsman style aesthetic from the beginning will have structural features – like overall shape and peaks – that cannot be easily replicated. However, there are also many purely cosmetic craftsman features that can be easily added to a builder-grade home.
In fact, most builder-grade homes are a perfect blank slate for creating craftsman appeal. Take a look at the photo below. I’m not sure if this home was built from a craftsman-inspired plan. But it definitely provides some great inspiration for creating craftsman curb appeal with a standard two story home.
A quick word of advice, though: craftsman home exterior features might not work for ALL new home styles. Obviously, if your home is ultra-modern or traditionally Victorian in it’s design, craftsman features wouldn’t look appropriate or authentic. But, if it’s like any average builder-grade home, it might be good candidate for Craftsman appeal.
Craftsman Home Exterior Signature Features:
SIX (6) You Can Easily Add to Any Builder-Grade Home
Here are five of the features we’re thinking of changing on our builder-grade home’s exterior to ‘get the look’ of a Craftsman home exterior. Each of these upgrades is an ‘easy’ upgrade in the sense that they are cosmetic changes, and they do not require major structural work to the exterior of our home.
Upgrading from a standard steel front door to a stained wood-look ‘Craftsman’ style front door with a dentil shelf.
Adding cultured stone to the front porch and entire front of our home.
Adding cedar shakes/shingles in the peaks, or a high quality vinyl look-alike.
Upgrading our porch pillars to tapered columns.
GABLE PEAK TRIM:
Adding craftsman style trimwork to the gable peaks.
Changing out the exterior lighting to a signature Craftsman style.
Craftsman Home Exterior Style: My Inspiration
I found a few gorgeous craftsman homes online that are serving as my inspiration for upgrading our builder-grade home. Take a closer look at how these absolutely stunning craftsman style homes incorporate the signature features I mentioned above.
This first beauty has stonework, oversized tapered columns, artisan garage doors, and vertical siding that extends through the peaks. These are all exterior upgrades that would be possible to re-create on any builder-grade two story home.
This second craftsman home exterior also features stunning stonework and gorgeous tapered pillars. But, this has a couple of differences. First, I love the craftsman trim in the gable peaks. Second, this home uses cedar shakes as siding. If you are considering changing the siding on your builder-grade home to create a craftsman vibe, I would definitely recommend considering cedar shakes, or a vinyl look-alike.
This third inspiration craftsman home exterior has a cleaner look. I think that the monochromatic colour scheme (grey, black and white) gives it a crisper and more modern feel. However, the stonework, the tapered columns, and the vertical siding definitely give it a craftsman vibe. I think this exterior shows that it really only takes a couple of craftsman home exterior features to create the look.
My Favourite Feature: Craftsman Home Exterior Door
Of all the gorgeous features that you can add to a builder-grade home to create the look of a craftsman home, my favourite is a craftsman door with recessed panels and a dentil shelf.
The ‘dentil shelf’ below the window (and, yes, that’s really what it’s called!), has an sweet artisan aesthetic that has gorgeous curb appeal.
Our Home: A Good Fit
Fortunately, our builder-grade home seems like a good fit for some craftsman exterior appeal . It is basic in it’s design with a nice peak for cedar shakes, and it already has a covered front porch which is a Craftsman-style feature. Also, our home’s vinyl siding has a clapboard-style profile, and it is a green hue that is often seen in traditional Craftsman home colour palettes.
So, do you love the appeal of a Craftsman home as much as me? If you are looking for some inspiration, check out these links out which I found helpful:
- Craftsman-Style Home Ideas slide show from Better Homes & Gardens
- Masonite fibreglass Craftsman-style doors
- Craftsman colour palettes from Behr
- Houzz.com: search Craftsman exterior design photos
Until next time,
Before + After: Want to See How Our Home Turned Out?
Interested in the ‘Before and After’? I partnered with Masonite to replace our steel door with a gorgeous craftsman wood grain door. We also added cedar shakes and stonework. Pop over to my post where I share the changes in our builder-grade home.