Remodeling a bungalow house

Bungalows or Craftsman-era homes are prevalent in California and other areas of the United States. Most of these homes were built in the 1920s through the 1940s. They are often compact, but feature built-in millwork and other architecturally significant details. When remodelling a bungalow house, you must make some updates so that the house accommodates your modern life-style, while still preserving its character and defining elements.

Research the original exterior and interior colours of your bungalow if it has been repainted throughout the years. Look for historical photos through your local library or historical society, or research similar homes that were built in your area. Attempt to recreate the original paint palette and remove any unsightly additions, such as closed-in porches.

Reconfigure the interior of your bungalow. Most bungalows are very small, and therefore contain small rooms. You might consider combining your kitchen and living room areas to maximise space. Consult with an engineer first to determine which walls are structural and which can be removed.

Upgrade your home's envelope and mechanical systems to be more energy efficient. Replace old windows with new, but historically accurate insulated windows. Caulk around doors and other openings to prevent leaks. Add extra insulation to your bungalow's roof. Replace your old water heater, furnace and air conditioner with a new, Energy Star-rated model to decrease your monthly heating and cooling costs.

Remodel the kitchen and baths. These rooms are often the most outdated rooms in a house, and it is likely your bungalow's kitchen and bathrooms have been remodelled in the 1960s or '70s and feature less-than-desirable fixtures and finishes. Go the modern route and add stainless steel appliances, granite counters and modern tile. Or remodel your bathroom to its original condition by selecting period plumbing fixtures.


Before beginning your remodelling project, check to see if your home is in a historic district. You might be required to conform to special codes if you alter the exterior. Always obtain building permits from your local building department before you start the project. Consider hiring an architect who specialises in the renovations of historic bungalows.

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About the Author

Dorian Gray has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009. She has written extensively on the topics of architecture and design for national magazines such as "Architectural Record" and regional publications such as "At Home in Arkansas." Gray also writes about the topics of beauty, health, nutrition and travel. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas.