Ideas for remodeling a bungalow

Updated February 21, 2017

By adding new exterior materials and landscaping, you can change the exterior look of a bungalow dramatically. In most cases, however, you will want to maintain much of the charm of this type of home. Review many options before making choices, but ensure the changes will blend well with other neighbourhood houses. Also design upgrades that improve the home's interior, especially the kitchen and living room areas.

Give the House Curb Appeal

Plan good exterior colours and materials. Change the roof colour to a pale green, for example, and add pale grey siding and light brown stone veneer to the foundation. Coloured pencils can be used to draw new shutters and a new front door area in complementary colours. Plan to buy new porch lights, and install bricks over a concrete sidewalk to add curb appeal.

Upgrade Insulation and Energy Issues

Conduct an energy assessment. Homes built before 1940 often have no insulation in exterior walls. Figure out how to add blown-in insulation or remove drywall or plaster to insulate walls. Check out attic space to see if roll-type fibreglass insulation can be laid in the rafter areas. You can replace windows with energy-efficient windows to save on utility bills.

Remodel the Kitchen and Baths

Give attention to the kitchen and bath areas. Upgrade wiring and plumbing as you begin upgrades in these rooms. Remove subflooring to examine the floor joists if you suspect any water damage. Make a list of improvements that may include running new water lines and adding new drain lines. The sink and dishwasher space can be remodelled in the kitchen as the starting point. You can add new cabinets, appliances and flooring as needed. Plan to gut the bathrooms to the studs to add new plumbing, sinks, showers and bathtubs.

Preserve Vintage Features

Keep many charming features during upgrades. For example, use an old kitchen or bath cabinet that is an antique, along with new cabinets. The old cabinets can be moved to a laundry room versus tossing them out. You can install new enamel on an antique cast-iron bathtub. Leave old wooden columns installed between a living room and dining room. Good-quality flooring or plaster can be moved from the original construction.

Blend New and Old Colors and Materials

Choose contemporary wall colour and furniture colours that look appropriate. Utilise pale green, cream or light brown in wall colours and tile colours in the kitchen and baths. You can purchase sofas, tables and lamps that fit well with the home's original era, but buy new furniture in contemporary materials. Buy cream-coloured leather sofas, and use dark oak end tables, for example. Lamps and overhead lights that look appropriate with the home's vintage woodwork and window frames can be installed.

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About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.