Types of bungalow homes

There are numerous variations on the bungalow house style, many of which are named after the area in which they were first popularized.

Here are some of the most common types of bungalows in the United States:

Craftsman bungalows

Craftsman Bungalow
Realtor.com

The Craftsman bungalow is what most people think of when they picture a classic bungalow. Craftsman bungalows are sometimes referred to as Arts and Crafts bungalows, after the movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s led by designers like Gustav Stickley.

Craftsman bungalows usually feature a covered front porch, exposed rafters and wide overhanging eaves.

Many Craftsman bungalows are painted in earth tones like brown or green to help them blend in with their natural surroundings.

California bungalow

California bungalow
Realtor.com

The California bungalow is similar in shape and design to the Craftsman but uses different building materials for the home’s exterior.

California bungalows typically have exteriors made of wood (particularly redwood), stucco, shingle or horizontal siding.

Unlike Craftsman style homes, California bungalows do not use brick.

Chicago bungalow

Chicago bungalow
Realtor.com

Chicago bungalows make up almost a third of the city’s single-family houses and were primarily built during the early- to mid-20th century.

They typically have a brick exterior and feature an offset front entrance and gables that face the street.

Chicago bungalows are also narrower than some other types of bungalow, and the porch can either be open or partially enclosed.

Milwaukee bungalow

Milwaukee bungalow
Realtor.com

The Milwaukee bungalow is similar in construction to the Chicago Bungalow but typically features clipped gables that are perpendicular to the street.

Milwaukee bungalows also tend to have rounded doorways and white stucco on the lower portion of their exterior.

Ranch bungalow

Ranch bungalow
Spiroview Inc / Shutterstock

A ranch bungalow has the bedrooms grouped at one end of the home while the public areas, like the kitchen, den and dining room, are located at the other end.

The public side can sometimes also include an attached garage with a direct entrance to the interior of the house.

Tudor revival

Tudor bungalow
Elena Elisseeva / Shutterstock

Tudor revival bungalows incorporate elements of the Tudor architectural style, first used in Great Britain during the late 1400s and revived for small houses in the U.K. and U.S. during the 19th century.

Tudor revival bungalows typically feature wall-cladding, narrow windows and half-timbering around the exterior.

They’re also noteworthy for their steeply pitched roofs, which often include dormers, clipped gables and an elaborate chimney.

Prairie style

Prairie style bungalow
Thomas Barrat / Shutterstock

Prairie style bungalows fall under the Prairie School of design, developed by Chicago-based architects including Frank Lloyd Wright.

These homes typically feature large piers that support their porch roofs, flat or shallow roof lines, rows of casement windows and bands of stone, wood or brick across the surface of the home.

Characteristics of a bungalow

Despite the wide variety of bungalow styles, certain design elements are common to most if not all bungalows.

Exterior

Bungalow exterior
Spiroview Inc / Shutterstock

Although the facade of most bungalows is well-proportioned and balanced in appearance, it is typically asymmetrical.

Bungalows often feature low, exposed roofs and prominent support elements like beams, piers and columns.

Most bungalows have a front porch or veranda that is covered by an overhanging roof.

Since they only have one or one-and-a-half stories, bungalows often take up a larger first-floor footprint than some other styles of home.

Interior

Bungalow interior
Realtor.com

The front door of most bungalows opens up into the main living space, which usually features an open floor plan and does not contain a formal parlor or sitting room.

Built-in design elements like cabinetry and shelves are commonly used as decorative accents in bungalows, and many bungalow homes feature a large fireplace flanked by built-in cabinets or bookcases.

The public areas of the home are typically located near the front of the lot, while the bedrooms are located at the back.

About the Author

Shane Murphy

Shane Murphy

Reporter

Shane is a reporter for MoneyWise. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature from Western University and is a graduate of the Algonquin College Scriptwriting program.

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