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How to Identify a Bungalow: Common Traits & Characteristics

Posted by Justin Havre on Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 at 10:34am.

What Sets Bungalows Apart From Other Architecture Styles?

When it comes to picking different house architecture styles, there is a plethora to choose from. Everybody has different criteria for their preferences, lifestyle, and budget.

Bungalow-style homes are booming in popularity in Canada. A bungalow typically consists of a single-storey small house with a sloping roof and broad porch. These homes are full of practical arrangements and distinctive Bungalow details and designs that can match the needs of many different people. Keep reading to become an expert on the common characteristics of bungalow-style architecture.

Types of Bungalows

While it may seem like bungalows are just one type of home, there are actually many sub-types of bungalows that have different styles based on where the style originated. Here are some of the most common and famous bungalow types:

  • American Craftsman Bungalows: These bungalows are characterized by their use of natural materials like stone and wood, as well as low-pitched roofs. American Craftsman bungalows often have large porches with tapered columns supporting the roof.
  • English Arts and Crafts Bungalows: These bungalows are similar to American Craftsman bungalows, but they often have more ornate details and more of a focus on nature. English Arts and Crafts bungalows often have large gardens and use natural materials like stone and wood throughout the design.
  • Chicago Bungalows: These bungalows are characterized by their use of brick, as well as their wide porches and low-pitched roofs. Chicago bungalows often have large windows and arched doorways.
  • Detroit Bungalows: These bungalows are characterized by their use of wood, as well as their high ceilings and large windows, including centred dormers. Detroit bungalows often have front porches and decorative eaves.
  • Neoclassical Bungalows: These bungalows are characterized by their use of classical elements like columns and pediments. Neoclassical bungalows often have symmetrical designs and porches with stairs leading up to the front door.

While there are many more types of bungalows, they all share some similar features that classify them as bungalows. Here are the most common identifying features of bungalows.

Bungalows Feature One-Storey Living

Perhaps the most distinctive part of a bungalow-style home is the single floor. While some bungalows might have storage or attic space under the sloping roof, the main living area consists of a single storey.

One-storey living makes it easy to embrace universal design at home. Households with young children often prefer bedrooms to be on the same level for nighttime visits and avoiding fall risks. A single storey also helps keep everything localized and allows homeowners and visitors alike to skip going up and down flights of stairs to find items, make a meal, or go to the bathroom.

Another benefit of one-storey living is the suitability they bring for those looking to age-in-place. The one-storey layouts of bungalows are cozy yet safe for any changes in mobility. When everything is located on the same floor, people can use wheelchairs and walkers without having to navigate stairs to access bathrooms, bedrooms, or kitchens.

One-storey living is preferable for many different groups of potential homeowners. The ease of living on a single floor is appealing for the ease of access to essential rooms and appliances and observing and monitoring life throughout the home without multiple floors complicating sightlines.

Bungalows Feature Wide-Open Spaces

Another factor that appeals to homeowners is the wide-open spaces associated with bungalow-style architecture. The interiors of bungalow-style homes often include open floor plans, which help for navigation and sightlines throughout the home. Bungalows also tend to have high ceilings, one of the great benefits of single-storey houses that don't need to make room for a second floor.

Another distinctive aspect of the bungalow is the wide covered porches found at the entrance. These porches provide a sense of coziness and comfort to the bungalow, and many times bungalow-style homes have porch swings, porch furniture, and outdoor decor. Sometimes the width of the porch matches or comes near to matching the width of the entire house, making the bungalow appear big while still maintaining relatively low square footage.

Bungalows Feature Distinctive Roofs

What Kind of Characteristics Do Bungalow Homes Share?Bungalow-style homes have distinctive sloping, low-pitched roofs. While there is variety among the popular home roofing options, as they can be gabled or hipped, have exposed or hidden rafters, and contain additional storage or not, they all typically have deep eaves and large overhangs.

The roof of a bungalow also tends to have the facade of exposed beams or exposed beams on the exterior. These details are often tied into the large featured porches of a bungalow-style home, but they can also extend beyond the porch. These roof rafters are meant to help expand the supposed size of the house.

Bungalows Feature Craftsman-Style Details

Bungalows are sometimes referred to as kit-homes, as they were initially sold as a kit that the homeowner could build. Over time, however, they became much more customized and carried many characteristics of traditional craftsman-style homes.

Craftsman-style design in bungalows often can include built-ins for storage, and many of the distinctive porches have pillars or columns that add more stylized details to the home. Roofs can have details on the edges similar to a craftsman-style home, and since the space of a bungalow is relatively small, the elements that are added to it stand out more than on a larger home.

The exterior of a bungalow is often decorated with craftsman-style materials like stone facades and local wood. They can also have naturally painted exteriors or brightly coloured porches and siding.

What's Your Favourite Feature of Bungalow-Style Homes?

Bungalows provide many different exciting features and essential benefits to a wide variety of potential homeowners. If you are looking for a small yet practical house that feels cozy, has open floor plans, provides single-storey living, and looks distinctive, look no further than a neighbourhood with bungalow-style homes.

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