Design Inspiration For A Self-Build Bungalow

Design Inspiration For A Self-Build Bungalow

If you have found the perfect plot for a self-build project don’t rush into a conventional house design. Bungalows, as opposed to regular two floor buildings, have a lot to offer, too. If you have a good sized plot, a single storey building can spread out a little more without you having to compromise on living space.

In many locations bungalows simply suit the environment better. Bungalows are also often preferred by some home buyers so they can often punch a little above their weight in terms of their resale value. A well designed bungalow should work aesthetically and as a practical living space. Check out some classic one floor designs before embarking on your own project.

The Same Old Storey?

A mono-floor solution to a new housing project puts many people off simply because the land use is not being maximised. Unless you are designing a home for a member of the household with mobility impairment, who find stairs difficult, for instance, a bungalow is often ruled out even before a concept drawing is made. However, a bungalow does not need to only occupy one floor. By cleverly using the roof space a bungalow can comfortably house bedrooms and bathrooms on an upper floor. You will, however, need to consider the position of eaves to get the best out of the available area. Even three storey bungalows are possible, although you are probably dealing with a house that has a bungalow-like feel by the time you get to that stage of a design.

Low Profile.

Keeping the roofline low and out of sight can be an advantage if you want a dwelling that does not draw attention to itself. This could be because you want your home to not stand out from the natural environment around it, for instance. In such cases a bungalow with a flat roof, or one that is only slightly pitched is probably the best way to go.


Single storey buildings look great if they are not arranged in a conventional rectangular fashion. Instead go for an L-shape to the floor plan, or even a U-shaped one. This way, the building will wrap around itself and you can create as sort of central courtyard zone. This is ideal if you are seeking a bit of privacy from the outside, particularly worth considering if you are positioning bedrooms on the ground floor.

The Cottage Look.

A chief reason for the ongoing popularity of bungalows is because they often have a great deal of character. When designing your own, pay attention to some character enhancing elements, that will give your bungalow a cottage like feel. An open porch overlooking a cottage garden is a classic approach to take. Where brickwork is on display, for instance when used for a chimney, repeat the use of similar bricks elsewhere, perhaps with a garden wall.

On The Level.

If you already have a two storey home and want to extend it, then a separate bungalow, connected by a corridor can be a good choice. If you are creating a semi independent living space for a grown up child or for a grandparent, then a bungalow extension should be considered. Keep the color palette for the exterior restrained and opt for a low profile roof, without much of a pitch to it.

Roof Space.

Make the most out of a steeply pitched roof, where you have included one in your design. A downstairs area, with a pitched roof above, can feel like it has more height to it than a conventional two storey home. Make a virtue of the roof space for a downstairs room, like a kitchen, by exposing the roof from beneath to create a double height space. For upstairs rooms that must share the roof line, use dormer style windows to maximise the light and to allow you to stand comfortably. Dormer windows make recesses that are great for turning into seats – the ideal place to settle down with a good book.