Remodeling into bungalow style?

blue prints, floor plans for bungalows

Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:39 am
Location: Chicago area
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:57 am
My wife and I intend to downsize within the next 5 years. Our dream home would be a craftsman bungalow, but there are precious few (if any) available in the areas we are considering. There are, however, many ranches and cape cods.
Are you aware of any resources documenting successful remodels of such homes into bungalow style? I'm wondering if this is a plausible alternative to tearing down and building new.

(I tried to do a search, but couldn't find anything relevant. Apologies if)

FTR - We became aquainted with AB while redecorating the 1st floor of our current home a couple of years back, which included donating a significant portion of our children's inheritance to the Stickley company and others.
I was born and raised in a yellow octagon-front on the NW side of Chicago (Belmont-Central) - my dad moved into that home when it was built in 1927, and lived there until he had to move into assisted living in 1997.

Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:39 am
Location: Chicago area
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:37 pm
Hmm. Not a single response. Is that because no one has ever heard of such a thing before, or is the very concept sacriligous to the true bungalow brigade?

I'm really going to have to look into this further, because it might be the only way we get into a bungalow/cottage in the areas we like. The economics are such that we would probably be able to buy an existing home on a nice lot, and then put a considerable amount into extensive renovations - adding porch, changing roofline, siding, windows, etc. There are few empty lots for sale, and those that exist go for a premium and/or are small or poorly situated. And the cost of tearing down and then building from scratch would be far higher than extensively renovating an existing structure. And if there are any existing bungalows/cottages, well - they are quite rare and rarely come on the market.

I guess I will need to visit/call some architects over the next couple of years... Just woulda liked to see some similar projects other folk untertook.
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Posts: 766
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 10:05 am
Location: Wisconsin
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:15 am
This topic has been addressed in the past, and you should be able to find some comments in the archives.

I think the major problem that you will find is that to be successful, the remodeling will involve more than adding a few craftsman type details. One problem comes with the footprint of the house. Most houses built in the 50-80's time period were oriented with the longest dimension parallel to the street while most bungalows were designed for much narrower lots and have the longest dimension running from the front of the lot to the back. Also they usually were closer to the front lot line than a typical ranch. Another issue is what to do with the garage. Whether the garage door faces towards the street or towards the side, it will compromise the "bungalow feel".

Interior details can be handled if you are willing to spend the money, but to really work you will need to raise the ceilings to 9' or so, probably replace all the windows and doors, all in all a pretty major renovation, which is probably why not many are done. It usually is easier and cheaper to build a new house. I thought about doing this a few years ago to a 70's ranch house I was living in, but decided to build a new prairie style house instead. However, given the scarcity of lots that may not be an option for you.

Another consideration, is even if you carry out a successful renovation, will the house fit into the neighborhood, or will it clash as something foreign and contrived.

Good luck, whatever you do.

Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:39 am
Location: Chicago area
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:06 am
Thanks for the response, Greg. I thought I had looked through the archives, but apparently my search was not sufficiently thorough. I'll give it another shot.
The front-to-rear bungalow configuration is a significant point - especially WRT ranches, but I thought it might be more adaptible with cape cods - especially with detached garages.
I can imagine it is likely that we will be better off going for a cottagey or farmhouse apearance on the exterior - or maybe a prairie style ranch redo, and seeing if we can provide an arts and crafts feel on the interior.
The area does have some brick Chicago-style bungalows, very similar to my childhood home, but they tend to be on the smallest in-town lots, and generally lack the substantial front porches we so desire.
We are fortunate that our existing home has appreciated quite substantially, and is in a somewhat desireable area. So we should be able to bank a decent buck from selling it, then take our time deciding where we want to go from there. We might be able to get as much as $600K for our home, and buy a rehabbable property for $350K or so, leaving us a decent budget for substantial rehab.
I figure it doesn't hurt to think ahead. We'll be scouting prospective areas and making plans over the next couple of years, and hopefully move in or soon after fall 2009.
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Posts: 766
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 10:05 am
Location: Wisconsin
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:01 am
I think that you are right that a cape cod or similar house would be an easier transformation than a ranch, and having a detached garage would definitely make things easier.

A ranch to Prairie redo might also be feasible depending on the layout of the ranch and the size of the lot. You might be able to add a wing to the rear and rearrange some of the interior space without having to tear down the exterior walls.
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Posts: 714
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:52 pm
Location: Athens, AL
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:07 am
I just watched a "Curb Appeal" show where the young couple had a Cape-Code (brick) style house with two front-facing dormers. They fell in love with the A&C style when their reception or rehersal or something was at an A&C style place. So...the designer painted the brick and trim, put on a porch with some of the craftsman style details, lights, house numbers, etc. The overall effect was better than before in my opinion. However, I felt that the overall project was less than successful.

I am not trying to sound negative; just about anything can be transformed (see "Updating Classic America Bungalows" by M. Caren Connolly and Louis Wasserman .. they have an example. However, it is a difficult process and you need an architect to be involved right from the search, I think. Or a good designer.

Good luck!
MA, Historic Preservation, BS in Architecture
Less is More!

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:42 am
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:51 am
We too are interested in remodeling a 1980's ranch into a "coastal craftsman" type bungalow. This work will be mainly an exterior redesign. Beautiful waterfront lot, very ugly house!
We want to add architectural interest by adding a gable or two with exposed rafter tails, etc. - and wrap around deep porch.
I'm interest in knowing if there have been folks with successes in this challenge.

Thanks,
Denny

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:22 pm
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:40 pm
i just joined to respond to this post ...my wife and i built a cape / farmhouse in 1984 and have lived in it every since ...we incorporated a lot of craftsman details into it during construction and are now considering a major addition and are considering going as far as possible this time with as many arts and crafts features as possible ...i know many of the a and c "purists" in here would turn up their nose at such an effort but hey ...i woke up in america this morning so i really don't care what those ppl think :)

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:34 am
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:41 am
BAY2SAV wrote:We too are interested in remodeling a 1980's ranch into a "coastal craftsman" type bungalow. This work will be mainly an exterior redesign. Beautiful waterfront lot, very ugly house!
We want to add architectural interest by adding a gable or two with exposed rafter tails, etc. - and wrap around deep porch.
I'm interest in knowing if there have been folks with successes in this challenge.

Thanks,
Denny


Hi Denny,

We hired an architect who helped out immensely. Between the general contractor and the architect we were able to do something similar. Hope it helps.

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:06 am
Location: Cambridge
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:15 am
I own a bungalow. The lights and the interiors are ethnic. I like the look but still i remodelled to upgrade to the latest requirements of the house. It now looks very elegant a perfect mix of the the ethnic and modern look. I am very much satisfied with the new look of the bungalow.
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For more info. visit: Renovation company in Connecticut | Connecticut renovation company

Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:34 am
Location: San José, California
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:49 am
My sister remodeled a ranch into something approaching a Craftsman.

Some of it will be easy, low-hanging fruit as it were, but if you dream of remaking a house's entire structure, I think you'll be dealing with the law of diminishing returns. :)

Above all, stick with what you like, and what appeals to your taste.

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:55 pm
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:59 pm
There are many home inspection companies are here which will help your sister to remodel her house. I hope she get best services within her budget!!

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