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Bungalow Style

See also- California Bungalow, Usonian, Craftsman, American Four-Square, Prairie School
Modern Indian multi-storied bungalow near Bangalore. A typical side-gabled bungalow in Louisville's Deer Park Neighborhood Bungalows in Atlanta's Inman Park neighborhood.
Bungalows in the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood of Nashville One-story bungalow with painted trim, earth-tone shingles Ranch Bungalow in Palo Alto, California
California Bungalow A 1925 Chicago bungalow Tourist Bungalo at a resort in Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand. February, 2006.
1980s Irish Bungalow    

A bungalow (Gujarati: બંગલો baṅglo, Hindi: बंगला baṅglā) is a type of single-story house that originated in India. The word derives from the Gujarati word baṅglo, which in turn came from Hindustani baṅglā. It means "Bengali", used elliptically for a "house in the Bengal style".[1] However, some people[who?] also attribute the origin of this word to Bangalore. Such houses were traditionally small, only one story, thatched and had a wide veranda.[2] Bungalows today are a type of house that is usually single story or one and a half stories, and can be quite large.

In India and Pakistan, the term bungalow refers to any single-family unit (i.e., a house), as opposed to an apartment building, which is the norm for Indian and Pakistani middle-class city living. The Indian sub-continent usage is different from the North American and United Kingdom usage insofar as a bungalow can be a quite large, multi-storied building which houses a single extended family. In India and Pakistan, owning a bungalow is a highly significant status symbol.

In Singapore and Malaysia, the term bungalow was originally made popular by the British who popularized this building typology (though the British use of Bungalow strictly refers to single-story houses). It is now used to refer to a detached, single family residential dwelling usually of two to three story with its own compound.

In South Africa, the term bungalow never refers to a residential house but means a small holiday house, a small log house or a wooden beach house.


Bungalows are very convenient for the homeowner in that all living areas are on a single story and there are no stairs between living areas. A bungalow is more suited to those who are mobility impaired, e.g. the elderly or those in wheelchairs.

Neighborhoods of only bungalows offer more privacy than similar neighborhoods with two-story houses. With bungalows, strategically planted trees and shrubs are usually sufficient to block the view of neighbors. With two-story houses, the extra height requires much taller trees to accomplish the same, and it may not be practical to place such tall trees close to the house to obscure the view from the second floor of the next door neighbor. On the other hand, even closely spaced bungalows make for quite low density neighborhoods, contributing to urban sprawl.

Cost and space considerations

On a per unit area basis (e.g. per square foot or per square metre), bungalows are more expensive to construct than two story houses because a larger foundation and roof area is required for the same living area. The larger foundation will often translate into larger lot size requirements as well. This is why bungalows are typically fully detached from other houses and do not share a common foundation nor party wall: if the homeowner can afford the extra expense of a bungalow relative to a two-story house, they can typically afford to be fully detached as well.

The smaller size however may be desirable for elderly people (perhaps with grown children) as it requires less cleaning, etc.

Though the 'footprint' of a bungalow is often a simple rectangle, any foundation is possible. For bungalows with brick walls, the windows are often positioned high and are right to the roof. This avoids the need for special arches or lintels to support the brick wall above the windows. In two-story houses, there is no choice but to continue the brick wall above the window (and the second story windows may be positioned high and right to the roof.)

Types of bungalow

While the concept of a bungalow is simple, there are a number of variations upon the term, often describing where floor-space is extended above, or below the primary floor.

Ranch bungalow

A ranch bungalow is a bungalow organized so that bedrooms are on one side and "public" areas (kitchen, living/dining/family rooms) are on the other side. If there is an attached garage, the garage is on the public side of the house so that a direct entrance to the house is possible, when this is allowed by legislation. On narrower lots, public areas are at the front of the house and such an organization is typically not called a "ranch" bungalow. Such houses are often smaller and have only two bedrooms in the back.

Raised bungalow

A raised bungalow is one in which the basement is partially above ground. The benefit is that more light can enter the basement with above ground windows in the basement. A raised bungalow typically has a foyer at ground level that is half-way between the first floor and the basement. This further has the advantage of creating a foyer with a very high ceiling without the expense of raising the roof or creating a skylight. Raised bungalows often have the garage in the basement. Because the basement is not that deep, and the ground must slope downwards away from the house, the slope of the driveway is quite shallow. This avoids the disadvantage of steep driveways found in most other basement garages. Bungalows without basements can still be raised, but the advantages of raising the bungalow are much less.

Chalet Bungalow

A bungalow with loft comes with a second story loft. The loft may be extra space over the garage. It is often space to the side of a great room with a vaulted ceiling area. The house is still classified and marketed as a bungalow with loft because the main living areas of the house are on one floor. All the convenience of single floor living still applies and the loft is not expected to be accessed on a daily basis.

Some houses have extra bedrooms in the loft or attic area. Such houses are really "one and half" stories and not a bungalow, and are described in British English as a chalet bungalow or dormer bungalow. "Chalet Bungalow" is also used in British English for where the area enclosed within pitched roof contains rooms, even if this comprises a large part of the living area and is fully integrated into the fabric of the property.

True bungalows do not use the attic. Because the attic is not used, the roof pitch can be quite shallow, constrained only by snow load considerations.

American Bungalows

American Craftsman Bungalow

The American Craftsman bungalow typified the common styles of the American Arts and Crafts movement -- with common features usually including low-pitch roof lines on a gabled or hipped roof; deeply overhanging eaves; exposed rafters or decorative brackets under the eaves; and a front porch beneath an extension of the main roof.

California Bungalow

The California Bungalow was a widely popular 1 1/2 story variation on the bungalow in America from 1910 to 1925. It was also widely popular in Australia within the period 1910-1940.

Ultimate Bungalow

The term ultimate bungalow is most commonly used to describe the very large and detailed Craftsman style homes of such California architects as Greene and Greene, Bernard Maybeck, and Julia Morgan.

Chicago Bungalow

The majority of Chicago Bungalows were built between 1910 and 1940. They were typically constructed from brick (sometimes in decorative patterns) and had one and a half stories. At one point, nearly a third of the houses in the Chicago area were bungalows. One primary difference between the Chicago bungalow and other types is that the gables are parallel to the street, rather than perpendicular. Like many other local homes, Chicago bungalows are relatively narrow, [3] being an average of 20 feet (6.1 m) wide on a standard 25-foot (7.6 m) wide city lot.

Milwaukee Bungalow

A large fraction of the older houses in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are bungalows in a similar Arts and Crafts style to those of Chicago, but usually with the gable perpendicular to the street. Also, many Milwaukee bungalows have white stucco on the lower portion of the exterior.

Michigan Bungalow

There are numerous examples of Arts and Crafts Bungalows built from 1910 - 1925 in the metro-Detroit area, including Royal Oak. Keeping in line with the principles of the Arts & Crafts movement, the bungalows were constructed using local building materials.

Bungalow Colony

A special use of the term "bungalow" developed in the greater New York City area, between the 1930s and 1970s to denote a cluster of small rental summer homes, usually in the Catskill Mountains. First and second generation Jewish-American families were especially likely to rent such homes.

Australasian Bungalows

The bungalow style often referred to as "California Bungalow" was very popular in Australasia from about 1910 to 1930. The style seems to have first been imported into Sydney and then spread throughout the Australian states and New Zealand.

Canadian bungalow

Canada uses the American definition of bungalow to mean a single family dwelling, though it is sometimes also used in the South African sense, to apply to a vacationer's cottage.

Real estate

Bungalows were popular in the Toronto area from the 1950s to 1970 period. Early bungalows were single-level brick structures. The later structures often came with an open canopy garage attached to the side. Bungalows are found in suburban areas in and around the Greater Toronto Area.

The outer boroughs of Toronto are home to hundreds of thousands of bungalows, usually lining tree-dotted side-streets. Once the city ran out of room, the prices of such houses rapidly increased due to their proximity to downtown, effect of condensing neighborhoods, and being situated on massive lots. East York, Scarborough, York and North York lead in large-scale gentrification and story-addition of these bungalows, leading to neighborhoods excelling from Middle-Class (and even Lower-Middle-Class) areas to Upper-Middle-Class and Upper-Class neighborhoods. This is exemplified around North York Centre and Scarborough City Centre.

Old Toronto has very few bungalows and Etobicoke is mixed, since some areas are becoming the richest in the city, and some are becoming the poorest, leading to city blocks that can go from upper-middle-class to poverty.

Bungalows were also popular in Calgary and Edmonton from the late 1940s through the 1960s. Albertan bungalows are single-level wooden structures, typically less than 1,000 square feet (93 m2), and normally feature a detached garage facing onto a back alley, a single bathroom, two or three bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, and a small living room. In Calgary, most are located in the neighbourhoods immediately surrounding the inner city, such as Marda Loop, Radisson Heights, Crescent Heights, and Killarney. As property values have skyrocketed, developers have been purchasing the old bungalows and replacing them with luxury duplexes, each side of which may sell for upwards of $750,000 each.[6]


Bungalows are advertised in various locations as an alternative to motels or hotels for vacationers. [7] As in South Africa, the term can mean a small wooden frame house, or one of log construction.

Irish bungalow

The bungalow is the most common house built in the Irish countryside. In the 1990s though, there has been a decline in the number of bungalows for the more favorable 2-storey or dormer bungalows.

English Bungalows

Bungalows became popular in England between the Wars, and very large numbers were built, particularly in coastal resorts, giving rise to the phrase, "bungaloid growth". Many villages and seaside resorts have large estates of bungalows, usually occupied by retired people. The typical 1930s bungalow is square in plan, with 1960s ones more likely to be oblong. Nearly all are brick built.
1905-1930: Bungalow Styles

California Bungalows, Craftsman Bungalows, and Chicago Bugalows were variations of an affordable housing type that swept across America. Find facts below.

Bungalow houses come in many styles. The California Bungalow shown here has heavy square columns and a simple concrete foundation.

A Bungalow is an early 20th century home with these features:
One and a half stories
Most of the living spaces on the ground floor
Low-pitched roof and horizontal shape
Living room at the center
Connecting rooms without hallways
Efficient floor plan
Built-in cabinets, shelves, and seats

Bungalow houses may reflect many different architectural styles, and the word Bungalow is often used for any small 20th century home that uses space efficiently.


In their book American Bungalow Style, authors Robert Winter and Alexander Vertikoff identify dozens of variations on the Bungalow form:
Craftsman Bungalow
California Bungalow
Spanish Colonial Revival Bungalow
Dutch Colonial Revival Bungalow
Chicago Bungalow
Cape Cod Bungalow
Tudor Bungalow
Log Cabin Bungalow
Art Moderne Bungalow
Craftsman Bungalow
California Bungalow
Spanish Colonial Revival Bungalow
Dutch Colonial Revival Bungalow
Chicago Bungalow
Cape Cod Bungalow
Tudor Bungalow
Log Cabin Bungalow
Art Moderne Bungalow

The Bungalow is an all American housing type, but it has its roots in India. In the province of Bengal, single-family homes were called bangla or bangala. British colonists adapted these one-story thatch-roofed huts to use as summer homes. The space-efficient floor plan of bungalow houses may have also been inspired by army tents and rural English cottages. The idea was to cluster the kitchen, dining area, bedrooms, and bathroom around a central living area.

The first American house to be called a bungalow was designed in 1879 by William Gibbons Preston. Built at Monument Beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the two-story house had the informal air of resort architecture. However, this house was much larger and more elaborate than the homes we think of when we use the term Bungalow.

Two California architects, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, are often credited with inspiring America to build Bungalows. Their most famous project was the huge Craftsman style Gamble house (1909) in Pasadena, California. However, the Green brothers also published more modest Bungalow plans in many magazines and pattern books.