From Maryland to California, the Bungalow-style home is a family favorite. The style originated in India, when it was still a colony of Great Britain. In fact, the word “bungalow” is derived from the Hindi word “bangala.”
After the style spread to Britain, two English architects brought the design to Los Angeles, California, in the early 1900s. Magazines showcased the new homes, and from that moment on Bungalows became the dominant style across the U.S. In fact, at the height of the architectural style’s popularity, several companies sold Bungalow kits through mail-order. Pre-cut lumber, nails, doors, plumbing and step-by-step instructions were shipped and installed by either homeowners or local craftsmen.
The American Bungalow house design includes characteristics such as a low-pitched, gabled roof, modest verandas supported by tapered columns and intricate details. The wide eaves shield the interior from the hot sun while the high windows and one to one and half story design affords privacy. While there are a number of Bungalow styles, the overarching exterior theme evokes a warm, cozy feeling.
Remodelers are always looking for fresh ideas for replacing the original siding in Bungalows in a way that preserves their historic charm while providing homeowners greater durability.
Bobby Bastin, co-owner and president of Tennessee-based Renovative Building Group, recently re-sided a nearly century-old bungalow in Nashville. With both the homeowner and the local historical society eager to protect the bungalow’s vintage flair, Bastin knew that smooth-textured engineered wood siding was the ideal choice.
“I love the versatility and texture of LP® SmartSide® Smooth Trim & Siding,” said Bastin. “We used it over the entire exterior to preserve the historic look.”
Additionally, many builders are modernizing the traditional bungalow exterior. One of them is custom homebuilder Chris Cook, president of Chris Cook Homes in the Madison, Wisconsin, area. Cook was introduced to LP SmartSide Trim & Siding more than a decade ago. He was so impressed with the product line that he even toured an LP SmartSide manufacturing plant. From that point on, he has made LP SmartSide siding a standard feature among his builds—from bungalows to craftsman and colonial homes—to ensure beauty and durability.
“We’ve done some really interesting home exteriors that you couldn’t create with fiber cement and certainly couldn’t create with vinyl,” said Cook. “They’re true showstoppers. The LP SmartSide line has made that possible.”
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The story behind your home offers a fascinating glimpse into the people who lived in it as well as how your home fits into the larger story of your city. If you want to remodel your historic home’s exterior, experts advise visiting your local historic preservation commission. If your home lies within the historic overlay district, these commissions often have authority to set rules not only on the visual aesthetic, but the materials as well.
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