What’s a bungalow?

The identify has an unique, vaguely vacation-home sound. However the bungalow is definitely a particularly frequent American type of residence. Relationship from the flip of the twentieth century, these small and comparatively cheap residences supplied working class individuals their first shot at property possession — they usually stay superb for first-time homebuyers at present, in addition to these trying to downsize to a extra modest dwelling.

Let’s discover bungalows in all their selection.

What’s a bungalow home?

Whereas Realtors could use the time period “bungalow” to explain any small or single-level house, true bungalows are a selected type of home. Bungalow houses stand one- to one-and-a-half tales tall with inviting entrance porches shaded by roof overhangs held up by seen beams and rafters. Architect Peter LaBau, creator of The New Bungalow Kitchen, says you may spot a bungalow by “its hipped roof, large overhanging eaves and porch, and sometimes easy sq. footprint.”

The inside of a bungalow house typically options built-in cabinetry — to make most use of the compact dwelling area — and is usually flanked by two or three bedrooms.

Historical past of the bungalow house

Bungalows originated in South Asia (the identify comes from the Bengal area). They have been designed to defend houses from the new solar, with the large roof retaining each the home itself and a protracted entrance porch or verandah shaded.

The U.S. iteration of bungalows first developed within the 1870s, however actually began to flourish within the early 1900s, from a few sources on reverse coasts. Impressed by the dwellings of India and Asia, Charles and Henry Greene, a fraternal pair of progressive architects in Pasadena, started designing what they deemed to be bungalow-style homes. Wildly in style in California, the so-called California bungalow or West-Coast bungalow quickly unfold throughout the remainder of the nation.

They have been met midway by homes whose blueprints and ground plans have been printed by New York-based inside designer Gustav Stickley in his journal The Craftsman. A giant advocate of the Arts and Crafts motion, with its easy, artisanal aesthetics, Stickley additionally dubbed his houses “bungalows,” proposing them as common, full-time residences.

Actually, individuals at present typically use the phrases “Craftsman house” and “bungalow” interchangeably. They’re not the identical factor, although. Craftsman is an architectural type that may apply to any house inside or exterior, whereas a bungalow is a selected kind of house building. Which means you may have a Craftsman-style bungalow, however you may also have a Craftsman-style home that isn’t a bungalow. And a bungalow, a considerably extra generic time period, doesn’t should be within the understated Craftsman type (the truth is, a few of the Greenes’ efforts have been fairly massive and lavish).

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Nevertheless it’s referred to, the bungalow took off as a super if modest house: Since they have been simple in design, and capable of sit on small plots of land, they may very well be constructed pretty cheaply. They supplied an unprecedented alternative for homeownership for a lot of working-class individuals, and a trip or second house for the higher center courses.

Their heyday continued as much as the Nineteen Thirties. After World Battle II, different types suited to the mushrooming suburban subdivisions, like ranch homes and split-level homes, started to supplant bungalows.

What are the various kinds of bungalow houses?

There are various sorts of bungalows, because the definition isn’t lower and dried. Right here’s a take a look at frequent types, as detailed within the ebook American Bungalow Type:

  • Craftsman bungalow: That is the basic bungalow house, constructed through the early 1900s (or styled after these constructed round that point), typically from a catalog-order equipment. They function low-slung, gabled roofs, large entrance home windows, and full or half-porches in entrance.
  • California bungalow: To go well with California’s local weather, these houses usually use supplies like wooden, shingle-siding, and stucco. When designing California bungalows, many architects — together with the Greene brothers — pulled inspiration from Japanese structure.
  • Queen Anne: Queen Anne bungalows have a Victorian aptitude, with shingled or clapboard-covered sides, wraparound porches and a medium-pitched roof.
  • Mission type: These bungalows take inspiration from Spanish structure, with spherical arches, artwork glass and tile roofs.
  • Prairie type: Developed by Frank Lloyd Wright and different architects in Chicago, these houses function a linear design that goals to mix into the panorama.

What are the professionals and cons of a bungalow?


  • Since bungalow houses are sometimes smaller than different single-family houses, they could price much less to buy (though they could price extra per sq. foot).
  • Single-floor dwelling could be interesting to younger households and downsizing empty nesters or retirees. They’re additionally “superb for individuals with mobility points as entry to the primary dwelling areas is straightforward to rearrange and entry from exterior is straightforward to assemble if a ramp is required,” Fiona Dogan, a Realtor with Sotheby’s Worldwide Realty in Rye, New York, says. “The format is ideal for having house care or assist close by.”
  • Whereas not fairly a tiny home, the smaller measurement of a bungalow signifies that your utility payments will possible be decrease than these in a bigger house, and the property could have a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Older bungalows could have distinctive options like built-in cupboards and lighting, wainscoting and uncovered ceiling beams. “For individuals who like that design, they’ve actual attraction,” says LaBau. “They’re stunning and environment friendly and an excellent place to dwell.”
  • There’s extra potential to broaden when you want extra space sooner or later, since you may both construct up or out (although the completed house could not be thought of a bungalow). Many bungalows have a loft that may simply convert into both storage or dwelling area.
  • Usually positioned in cities or vacation spot cities, bungalows could have attraction as a trip property or second house.“A bungalow could be a charming place to get away to,” says Judy Zeder, a Realtor-Affiliate with the Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker in Coral Gables, Florida. “[Consider them] when you’re going someplace and also you don’t wish to dwell in a high-rise rental or personal one other huge home. You simply need a bit of place to fly into on the weekend.”
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  • Although solidly constructed, many bungalows have been constructed round 100 years in the past. Which means they could require extra maintenance and bills, relying on how effectively they’ve been maintained by earlier homeowners.
  • By design, bungalows let little daylight into the property, so the interiors are usually darker than different sorts of houses.
  • The bedrooms and bogs in bungalows are usually smaller than these in newer houses, and have a tendency to supply much less space for storing.
  • The format of many bungalows signifies that the bedrooms are in shut proximity to the lounge and kitchen, which may make it tough to entertain whereas relations are sleeping. “As soon as the children are a bit of older, the dad and mom don’t actually wish to be socializing whereas the children are proper subsequent door,” Dogan explains.
  • Chances are you’ll must put extra house safety measures in place, since all home windows are accessible to potential burglars from the bottom.
  • In the event you’re not up for main renovations and count on your loved ones or area must develop, you could not be capable of keep in a bungalow for the long run.

Who’re bungalow houses greatest for?

At between 1,000 and a couple of,000 sq. toes, bungalows are an excellent possibility for younger households in search of a starter house, empty nesters hoping to downsize in a house with out stairs, or single householders who need a indifferent home and residential life-style with out managing an enormous property.

In the event you plan to construct your individual home, they can be an economical possibility. Setting up a bungalow comes with a median construct price of $125,500 to $345,000, in comparison with $260,000 to $710,000 for a median single-family house, in accordance with Fixr.com.

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“For people who don’t wish to cope with the problems that associate with all previous homes however who need the ‘genuine’ look and taste of the actual factor, a brand new, historically styled bungalow is a good various,” LaBau says. “Some other small home is simply that, a small home. “

Discover different housing sorts:

Condominium Flats are suited to anybody trying to keep in a first-rate location close to buying, restaurant and leisure facilities for a less expensive value. Renting an residence is mostly extra reasonably priced than shopping for a rental or single-family house.
Condominium Condos attraction to these in search of a lower-maintenance dwelling, house with a way of safety, and alternatives to be social with neighbors, amongst different components.
Townhouse Townhouses are a very good possibility for first-time homebuyers or different budget-minded house patrons who need extra space than usually afforded in a rental.
Modular house Modular houses are attractive to empty-nesters trying to downsize, {couples} in search of yard models like tiny houses or households trying to improve their dated properties in good however costly neighborhoods.
Single-family house Single-family houses are greatest for households preferring an enormous yard and loads of room to unfold out. Others nonetheless desire a low-maintenance rental or townhome that features advantages like landscaping, snow removing and exterior upkeep.
Multi-family house Multi-family houses are greatest for many who are interested by stepping into actual property investing and are snug with the added accountability and time dedication that comes with being a landlord.
Bungalow house At between 1,000 and a couple of,000 sq. toes, bungalows are an excellent possibility for younger households in search of a starter house or retirees hoping to downsize in a house with out stairs, or single householders who need the single-family house life-style with out managing an enormous property.
Co-op Co-ops are most frequently present in main cities, and they are often good for these in search of safety or neighbors who largely adhere to the constructing’s guidelines and insurance policies.
Patio house Sometimes capped at one-and-a-half tales and half of a bigger affiliation, patio houses are greatest for householders who don’t wish to cope with stairs or upkeep.
Ranch house Ranch houses are perfect for anybody who prefers single-story dwelling. Singles, {couples} and households with kids can discover one thing to like a couple of ranch house.
Cut up-level home Cut up-levels can boast mid-century fashionable type. With a staggered, stair-based design, these houses create separations that may be helpful for householders who want some delineation (e.g., separate areas for working and dwelling).
Cottage One other smaller house type, cottages typically boast a captivating design. They work effectively for individuals who don’t want lots of area or are on a price range.