Decisions, decisions. The considerations are endless when house-hunting. What neighborhood best suits your lifestyle? What’s most important to you: square footage, exterior appearance, lot size, proximity to work? Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the style of a home. We’ll explore the history, characteristics and benefits of the Bungalow style house.
What is a Bungalow Style Home?
The Bungalow originated in the Bengal region of South Asia. The term Bungalow originated from the Hindi term Bengali, meaning “house of the Bengal style.” English colonialists in the 1870s borrowed elements of houses from the Bengal region like the porch, small rooms and the low roofline, and brought these design concepts back to England.
With a few modern touches, these homes quickly gained popularity around the globe. English settlers in the following decades brought the modern Bungalow style to the United States, where it spread throughout the nation.
Functionality played a large part in the expansion of the Bungalow style. Builders tried to utilize natural materials in the area to keep building costs low. Many of these homes are rather small in square footage compared to multi-level homes. Built-in shelves and lighting became popular space-savers and a staple of Bungalow design.
To compensate for the lack of interior space, many of these houses feature open or enclosed porches to add extra living space. Although they may vary from region to region, porches quickly became a key feature of these homes.
What Makes a House a Bungalow?
- Little or no decorative features on the exterior
- Simple footprint
- Use of natural building materials, like wood or stone
- Low-pitched roofs
- Overhanging eaves
- Thick wood or brick porch columns
- Thick brick chimneys
- Open floor plans
- Main living areas on the first floor
- Some have dormers on the roof
Types of Bungalow Architecture
Some people may not know that Bungalow style developed specific characteristics based on the region. When we think of Bungalow homes, many will imagine the California style Bungalow. However, subtle differences make regional Bungalow homes different from one another.
Chicago Bungalows feature a hipped roof rather than the side gable roof, and tend to narrower than the California style.
Milwaukee Bungalows often feature a rounded doorway that isn’t under a covered porch. They may also have bay windows accented with stained glass.
Cities all over Michigan have pockets of distinct Bungalow style homes, because a company called Aladdin sold kit homes featuring this style. Generally, Michigan Bungalow homes have stone or brick porches featuring thick columns holding up the roof over the porch. Many houses in this region also have street facing gables.
Four Reasons to Choose a Bungalow
Bungalow homes are a popular choice for many people, including retirees and first-time homebuyers. But why?
Better for the environment
Bungalows require less energy to heat and cool since these homes tend to be more compact in size.
These homes are ideal for seniors, people with mobility issues and even families with small children—no need to stair-proof from one floor to another.
With less square footage, heating and cooling costs tend to be lower than other types of homes. Although they have less square footage, Bungalow style homes tend to offer more living space per square foot, since stairways to a second floor can take up to 100 square feet! What’s more, Bungalows tend to stay in high demand for resell, making them a relatively safe investment choice.
Easy to renovate
Bungalows are typically built on larger lots than multi-level homes, providing more space to accommodate additions. Whether you want to build wider or taller, there’s ample opportunity.
It’s easy to see why Bungalows have become such a popular choice across the U.S. given their simple design, affordability and ability to renovate
Do you have a favorite architectural style that we haven’t talked about yet? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
If so, subscribe now for tips on home, money, and life delivered straight to your inbox.