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Bungalow House Plans

Bungalow house plans are some of the most common homes found in older neighborhoods of America.

These small houses took America by storm at the turn of the century. Costing as little as $900, bungalow house plans helped fulfill many Americans' wishes for their own home, equipped with all the latest conveniences. Central to the bungalow’s popularity was the idea that simplicity and artistry could harmonize in one affordable house.

But what are bungalow house plans anyway? Where does the term come from? And what is so great about this architectural style?

Most dictionaries state simply: a bungalow is a one or one-and- a-half story dwelling. 
While the bungalow is an all American housing style, it has its spiritual roots in India. Native houses in the province of Bengal were called bangla or bangala. British colonists adapted these one-story thatch-roofed huts to use as summer homes. For their comfortable bangla, the British arranged dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms around central living rooms. This efficient floor plan became the prototype for America's bungalows.

The chief distinction of a bungalow house plan is its low profile. The purpose of the bungalow is to place most of the living spaces on one floor. The advantages are obvious. The absence of a second story simplifies the building process. Utilities can be installed more easily than in a two-story house. Safety is at a premium because, in the event of fire, windows as well as doors offer easy escape. Best of all, the bungalow house plans allow staircases to be eliminated. A boon for the elderly and also for the busy homeowner, who can carry out household tasks without a lot of trips up the stairs.

Two types of bungalow house plans became popular in North America, Craftsman style bungalows and California bungalows.

Craftsman Bungalow House Plans:

The Craftsman Bungalow is typically a single-story house with one or more broadly pitched, overhanging gables. On most, a small gable caps the entry porch, echoed by a larger gable behind and to one side. The roof usually includes a dormer window.

The Craftsman Bungalow has exposed beams beneath overhanging eaves, projecting brackets, and tends toward Swiss or Japanese motifs. Brown shingles are typical, though sometimes wood siding is used instead.

Two large pillars, broad at the base, slightly tapered at the top, and somewhat foreshortened, support the front porch gable. Made of wood or stone, the columns rest on pedestals which rise up out of the foundation and serve as end posts for the porch railings as well.

The floor plan of the bungalow is another expression of the Craftsman ethic. The formal entry hall of earlier styles is discarded completely in favor of the front porch. The front door opens directly into the living room, which itself spills directly into the dining-room. The space is so free-flowing, that the dining room is used more for "living" than "dining" and the bedrooms are within earshot of the living areas.

The old-fashioned subdivided kitchen of Victorian times is here incorporated into a single room. The pantry, the work counters, the cooking surface, the sink, are reorganized into a "work triangle with built-in cabinets, shelves and seating." The idea is to have the kitchen large enough to allow some of the meals to be taken there.

California Bungalow House Plans:

As new materials, construction techniques and mass-produced blueprints simplified house building, so the floor plan of the California Bungalow simplified housekeeping. One room merged with the next. There were no hallways, no formal parlors. Bungalow house plans boasted the efficiency their drawings offered. The economic use of space and built-in convenience more than made up for the lack of room.

The feature unique to the California Bungalow is the pair of elephantine columns which support the small gable over the front porch.

The interior of the California Bungalow resembles that of the Craftsman Bungalow except it is generally plainer. The ornamental use of wood is limited to the moldings, baseboards, and hardwood floors. Sliding or French doors between living room and dining area may persist, but the leaded glass has been eliminated.

True bungalow house plans (say the purists) represent structural simplicity, efficient use of space, and understated style with most of the living area placed on the ground floor.

Seventy-five years after Bungalows took America by storm, the style remains a popular favorite. If you're interested in modern interpretations of the bungalow style home, these companies offer plans so you can build your own: 

  • Search for Bungalow House Plans at ePlans Quickly find house plans by choosing what fits your needs. Browse over 10,000 plans or get more specific with the Advanced House Plan Search. The online division of Home Planners, the country’s leading provider of house plans since 1945.
  • Browse the Bungalow Plans at HomePlans Select the home size features you want, then click 'GO' to see matching plans. A trusted leader in home plans since 1946. Full service company! Over 10,800 home plans to choose from, 100+ professional designers, plan customization, great service.
  • Bungalow Building Plans at Architectural Designs Over 3600 quality house plans online. In business selling quality house plans for over 30 years. Exclusive QuikQuote cost estimate available on all plans.
  • Dream Home Source has Bungalow style home plans Search through over 14,000 professionally designed stock house plans from over 85 of North America's premier architects and designers.


  • Search all house plans: Your dream dream home starts with the perfect plans. To save you time while you search house plans we've collected together only the best companies providing quality new house designs. You'll find virtually every house plan available in North America.


House Plans - Guide to choosing the perfect house plan for your new home

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