Rehabbing a CA Crafstman

4 Replies

Hi all,

I'm currently in the process of rehabbing a California Craftsman Bungalow built in 1908 in the Los Angeles area.

It's in a Historic Preservation area, and I need to create an entrance to the backyard (the current entrance to the backyard is going to be walled off).

I need some help in choosing a style of door. I would love to put a sliding glass door in, as it lets in more natural light, which would greatly improve the space.
Someone suggested French Doors, however, I'm not sure how well that would mesh with the Crafstman style.

The city won't let me do anything that contradicts with the style anyway, so I guess I can't shoot myself in the foot too badly. However, I obviously only want to go to the city once, and I want to choose a door that's perfect for the style.

Please let me know any suggestions you have! Photos and links to some information and recourses would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Spencer,

Lucky you! Craftsman Cal Bungalows are one of my absolutely fave architectural styles (I grew up in one, guess I got imprinted), and I've rehabbed quite a few in LA.

What interior space will the new rear entrance open into? In what room is the existing door? Have any pics of the back of the house as it is now, including the existing backdoor?


I'm in the process of rehabbing a historic home in Upland, California and it's been a positive experience.

I'd recommend checking out open houses of other historic homes in that area to get a sense of the style - but for us, we just had to get certain permits for any changes that weren't original to the home.
From my experience so far, I didn't mind going to the city a couple of times as it was a chance to build a relationship with the staff. I believe I've gone 3-4 times so far to get permits for additions, paint colors, and electrical/plumbing.

Personally, I think the French doors look elegant and would be a nice touch if your area allows for door changes. I wasn't able to change out my windows, so I'm in the process of refurbishing them to bring the originals back to life.

All the best, hope that helped.


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@Spencer Wardwell Stock Building has some good doors, wood and vinyl. Chances are you wont be allowed sliding vinyl but that all depends on your city rules. Depending on where you are in LA, there are strict and laxed, some are very stringent. Take lots of pictures and go to a door supplier (never home depot), and they'll be able to give you some pictures and prices. I suggest you match the front door vs going with what you want, if you want to change both, then that's the time you can choose a design. Good luck.

I love architecture and am passionate about keeping the style of a house --- it drives me batty when I see changes to beautiful old houses that are totally out of character. So thank you for working to restore a cottage and protect its style!

If you simply google 'craftsman patio doors' you will find a lot of great examples, there are definitely a few specific styles that are true craftsman.  Here are two links to get you started:

And if you'd rather go slider, I'd stay in the same style... although I think french doors are much more attractive to buyers.  But also depends on how much space you have for the doors to swing in (or out). And a single door is of course your possibility.

If these styles are out of your budget, just do a single paned set of french doors (without the dividers in between, not classic craftsman).

That said, it also very much depends on the style of the windows and other doors in the house. If you want to post photos I"m happy to take a look and offer further advice.