Bungalow House Style Enjoys Renewed Interest From Millennial Homebuyers

The bungalow house remains one of the hottest-selling homes on the market. Some may ask, what is a bungalow? Most know the home style as a small one-story house with a covered front porch.

Bungalow House

A bungalow house is complex like a small puzzle. The homes are rooted in the idea that simplicity and art can create an affordable home. 

According to American Bungalow Magazine, the homes offered the middle class opportunities to afford stylish and sturdy homes. Essentially, the bungalow was the crowning achievement of the American dream.

The bungalow home was emblematic of the US housing dream. Ironically, the name originated from the Hindustani language, according to Antique Home. In northwestern India, travelers used “bangla” huts. During British rule, the English developed the Tudor bungalow.  

Bungalows Home Features

Historic Craftsman-style bungalowView in gallery

Bungalow homes have common characteristics. Let’s explore them to learn more about the house style.

  • Craftsman bungalow is the classic bungalow most people think of.
  • California bungalow is similar, with a single-story, porch and sloping roof.
  • Chicago bungalows are single-family homes. While they have a low-pitched roof with overhanging eaves,  Chicago bungalows also feature a full basement and wide window bay. 
  • Tudor bungalows feature Tudor home details like half-timbering and pitched roofs.
  • Prairie school-style bungalows have dominant horizontal narrow windows.

Bungalow House Traits 

The bungalow continues its natural evolution. Let’s look closer at their defining characteristics.

Characteristics of a Bungalow House

This 1921 American bungalow home in Houston, Texas was renovated to feature some of the in-demand Craftsman bungalow-style details on the front facade. These include the columns and knee braces as well as the brick construction for the base. Casement windows are also common.

Designed by Marie Flanigan Interiors, the updated space is a renovation dream come true. 

Low Profile

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This is the distinction of a bungalow house. With a raised floor, front steps are necessary. The main idea was to get all the living space on the main floor, which makes the house plans easier to build, says American Bungalow.

When the modern bungalow house became popular, the American Craftsman movement was gaining steam. 

The distinction between a Craftsman bungalow and generic bungalow is their detail and workmanship, according to Antique Home. Bungalows possess vernacular architecture characteristics as their designs are influenced according to region. For example, there’s the Chicago bungalow, Tudor bungalow, and the California bungalow.

Bungalow Sears kit homes 1920 was a generic kit bungalow home. The kits were popular because they were affordable and easy to assemble, just their A-frame home cousin.

Bungalow Open Floor Plan

Bungalow conjures images of efficient and open floor plans. Interior characteristics of bungalows are small closets and built-in cabinets and shelving. 

Historic Craftsman-style bungalowView in gallery

The smaller size makes them ideal for couples, singles, and those who want to downsize. However, this is also what diminished their popularity when larger homes came into vogue.

Homeowners want more efficient homes with a smaller footprint – and less maintenance – it’s logical that demand is resurging. 

An updated California bungalow-style house in Coronado has a cozy, contemporary feel. Renovated by QualCraft and built in the 40s, the interior features period details with modern, smart home accoutrements hidden underneath. 

Backyard Bungalow Setting

Historic Craftsman-style bungalowView in gallery

The backyard has plenty of private space while the porch has a wide section ideal for outdoor seating.

Bungalow Kitchen

Historic Craftsman-style bungalowView in gallery

The bungalow kitchen space is quaint and compact. Part of the bungalow experience is how cooking and eating are experiences meant to be shared. 

Low-Pitched Roof

According to Antique Home, low-pitched roofs are characteristic of this architectural style. They can be gabled roofs or hipped roofs. Bungalows feature overhanging eaves with exposed rafters. The larger overhangs shield the house from sunlight. These overhangs function as porch roofs while allowing for an additional half story.

A low-pitched sloping roof is a hallmark trait of the bungalow. By design, the bungalow is the cousin to the A-frame house. It has a triangular knee brace joining the roof to the façade. According to Wentworth Design, the braces suggest the beams support the roof rafters.

Front Porch Design

The most well-known feature of a bungalow is its large porch. According to Architecture Magazine, the porch is the defining feature of this home. Bungalows, like A-frame homes, were ahead of their time.

Today, bungalows connect the indoors with the outdoors. This is where the front porch comes in. A bungalow’s overhanging eaves make the porch space feel organic. 

A big porch on a small house might seem out of place. But, the Bungalow Company said,

“When built onto a small house, a porch needs to serve as additional living space to justify its use of the limited square footage.” 

Flat Chimney

Bungalows and craftsman-style homes often have a fireplace as the focal point in the living area. Most bungalow homes have flat chimneys located at the side of the house. Elaborate chimneys would interfere with the bungalow roofline, which explains why the homes have flat chimneys.

Advantages Of Bungalows

Historic Craftsman-style bungalowView in gallery

Located on Tybee Island, Savannah, Georgia, this beach town bungalow is named “Surf Puppy.” The 1950s home has been renovated and decorated. As a rental property it has bungalow characteristics. The open-plan space living room is ideal for a vacation community because it leaves plenty of time for leisure pursuits. 


Historic Craftsman-style bungalowView in gallery

A street lined with bungalow homes offers homeowners a good deal of privacy. Thanks to their low profile, AntiqueHome.org says that well-placed plants and shrubs shield the narrow windows from view. The smaller footprint often leaves more space around the sides of the home and it does not share a wall with anyone like a townhouse. 

Great For Older Adults

Having all the main space on a single story defines what is a bungalow home and makes it great for older adults or those who have mobility issues. Many older people end up living in homes where they can no longer access the second floor, meaning that much of their homes are unused.

More advantages for bungalow style houses:

  • Child-Friendly – Families that have young children appreciate having all the communal space on one floor in an open plan. Stairs to a second story can be a hazard for youngsters, so choosing a bungalow layout is an ideal option.
  • Room For More – Single-floor bungalows occupy expansive lots. If you want to add an extension, you’ll have plenty of room to do. 
  • High Resale Value – Bungalows are in high demand. The home is a wise investment for those who plan on flipping the property in the long-term. In today’s market, this has proven to be true among millennials who prefer smaller homes. 

Bungalow Disadvantages

Bungalows have their drawbacks. Let’s take a look at a few of them to help you gain a well-rounded understanding of what the homes entail. 

Bungalow Add-Ons

Historic Craftsman-style bungalowView in gallery

What started out as a bungalow with only 850 square feet built in the 40s eventually became a modest home. With this example, from Bay Street Bungalows, adding to a bungalow is a good drawback to have.

The designers turned the abandoned Charlotte, North Carolina house into a prime piece of real estate. On the exterior, the color highlights the contrasting wall cladding.

Bungalow Scarcity

Historic Craftsman-style bungalowView in gallery

Bungalows are popular and easy to sell, making them scarce. In today’s housing market, a bungalow is a diamond in the rough.

If you have an opportunity to buy one, do not hesitate. Their house plans carry a premium price. In today’s hot housing market, home sales are surging. 

High Price

Bungalows were once considered an affordable housing option, but those days have dissolved like sand in an hourglass. The irony is how bungalows are smaller yet per square foot they’re more expensive than traditional homes.  

Too Much Togetherness

A single-story house from the 70s can be a challenging space for families. Bungalows weren’t made to house multiple people. Similar to the A-frame home, bungalows offer little indoor privacy. Noise, clutter, and a lack of spatial division offers a cramped environment. The bathrooms sit close to the living room and bedrooms. 

Dated Design

Just like any home sold by long-time residents, bungalow houses might need major upgrades. People who buy bungalows love them and tend to stay put.

In addition, they’re popular with older adults because of their single-level design. This means not all bungalows meet today’s expectations even with all the natural materials inside.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What makes a house a bungalow?

A bungalow-style house generally is a one or one-and-a-half-story structure. These homes have a low-pitched, sloped roof. Defining characteristics include dormer windows and a front porch or veranda with overhanging eaves. Many have brick construction or stone for the porch and flat chimneys instead of elaborate chimneys.

Bungalows are small in square footage compared to the average home. They are common in urban areas and not as popular in rural areas. The interiors typically include lots of natural materials like wood or stone. 

What is the difference between bungalow and craftsman home?

Most people use “craftsman” and “bungalow” interchangeably but there is a difference. The term “Craftsman” relates to the Arts and Crafts movement. Craftsman is also an interior style as well as an architectural style. Otherwise, the term bungalow describes the structure and layout in general

Why is it called a bungalow?

The word bungalow comes from India. It’s rooted in a Hindustani word meaning “a house in the Bengali style.” It became common in English during the era of British rule over India.

Are bungalows hard to sell?

True bungalows are very popular and will hold or increase their value. This is because older homeowners are looking to downsize and first-time homebuyers love them. On the other hand, the tide could turn if downsizing becomes less popular and bungalow floor plans lose popularity.

Bungalow House: Wrap Up

Bungalows are a hot commodity for many reasons. People love these craftsman-style homes for their compact size, iconic features, and open floor plans. There are many pros to choosing a bungalow house and great resale demand is just the start. 

Some may see the disadvantages in a smaller space with an older style and want more privacy. Nonetheless, bungalows are still among the most coveted houses and will endure thanks to their architectural history.