How Much Does It Cost to Build a Bungalow-style Home?

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(1,500 sq.ft. Craftsman bungalow with partial second story)

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How Much Does It Cost to Build a Bungalow-style Home?

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Reviewed by Nieves Caballero. Written by

If you like a smaller home that is easier to heat, cool, and maintain, a bungalow might be the style you are looking for. These smaller homes are filled with character, easy to live in, and less costly to build. There are many different bungalow styles and sizes, leading to a range of total costs. The national average range is between $125,500 and $345,000, with most people paying around $187,500 for a 1,500 sq.ft. Craftsman-style bungalow with a partial second story. At the lowest end of the cost range, it is possible to build a 900 sq.ft. Ranch bungalow with modular technology for $90,000. At the high end, you can build an Ultimate bungalow of 3,000 sq.ft. with custom details for $660,000.

Bungalow Building Prices

Bungalow-Style Home Costs
National average cost$187,500
Average range$125,500-$345,000
Minimum cost$90,000
Maximum cost$660,000

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Build Bungalow Cost by Project Range

900 sq.ft. Ranch bungalow build with modular technology
Average Cost
1,500 sq.ft. Craftsman bungalow with partial second story
3,000 sq.ft. Ultimate bungalow with custom details

What Is a Bungalow?

The first bungalows originated in India, and the word comes from “Bengala” or belonging to Bengal. The bungalow is typically a one-story home with a wide front porch and sloping roof. It is common for some bungalows to have a second partial story set into the slope. Because this is not a full second story, these are frequently known as 1½-story homes.

Bungalows are easy to heat and cool, and while they can be very large, they are typically smaller than average homes, with easy-to-use layouts. They come in many styles and have varying details, although most are made with close attention to detail and high-quality materials, which sets them apart from other homes.

What Is the Average Size of a Bungalow?

Like all home styles, bungalows have grown over the years. Formerly, they were usually around 1,000 sq.ft. or under, with 800 to 900 sq.ft. being common.

Today, the average size of a bungalow is between 1,500 and 1,600 sq.ft. It is possible to find smaller bungalows and much larger ones, with some ultimate bungalows topping 3,000 sq.ft. in size.

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Cost of Building a Bungalow by Number of Stories

The most common bungalow layout is a one-story home. The second most common layout is the 1½ story, although some refer to this as a 2-story bungalow. Some prairie-style bungalows also have a small, pop-up attic space, which gives the impression of a third story. There is not a tremendous amount of difference in costs with bungalows because most fall into the 1 to 1½-story category, with little variation in costs. Some larger bungalows, with unique 2-story features, can have higher build costs.

Bungalow Building Costs Chart

Number of StoriesAverage Cost to Build per Sq.Ft.
2$120 - $125

1 ½ Story Bungalow

The 1½-story bungalow is the next most common style and layout. This is sometimes referred to as a 2-story bungalow, but the second story does not cover the same square footage as the first story. Instead, it may be ¼ to ½ of the square footage. The space may be used as an attic area or a living space, depending on the size and style. This layout costs roughly $120 a square foot on average.

2-Story Bungalow

The 2-story bungalow is frequently a misnomer because bungalows rarely have a full second story. They often have a partial second story referred to as the second story, rather than the technical 1½ stories.

Some 2-story bungalows, like the Airport bungalow, have a unique second story composed of windows, while Prairie-style second stories sometimes have an additional pop-up area that makes the home seem taller. These specialty upper stories increase the cost to build, so while most 2-story bungalows have a cost to build of around $120 a square foot, a specialty layout can increase costs to $125 a square foot.

1-Story Bungalow

The single-story bungalow is the most common style and layout. This is a good option for families with young kids, elderly, and mobility issues. These bungalows are easy to heat, cool, and maintain. They have an average cost to build of $125 a square foot. While it may seem contrary, single-story homes often cost more per square foot than 2-story homes, only because they tend to be wider and have larger roofs and foundations.

3-Story Bungalow

Bungalows only rarely have 2 full stories and do not have three stories that other house styles do. Instead, they may have a small attic space, especially in those with a flatter roof, like the Prairie. This cannot be considered a third story, and the crawl space does not increase overall costs.

Bungalow Prices by Type

Bungalows come in many different styles because they can be influenced by cultures around the world. Many architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, have put their personal stamp on the bungalow, which has resulted in many different variations.

The overall cost to build a bungalow has a similar average per square foot for the various types. Some may have higher costs because they use different materials, while others may have a different size range, impacting total costs. Below is the average cost to build each bungalow style, based on typical size.

Bungalow Prices Chart

Bungalow Prices Chart

Bungalow StyleAverage SizeAverage Cost to Build
Craftsman1,200 sq.ft.$150,000
Mission1,500 sq.ft.$180,000
Airplane1,500 sq.ft.$180,000
Ranch1,500 sq.ft.$187,500
Four Square1,500 sq.ft.$187,500
Cape Cod1,850 sq.ft.$222,000
Chalet1,800 sq.ft.$225,000
California1,800 sq.ft.$225,000
Overwater1,500 sq.ft.$225,000
Raised1,800 sq.ft.$234,000
Prairie1,800 sq.ft.$270,000
Spanish Revival1,800 sq.ft.$270,000
Ultimate3,000 sq.ft.$660,000

American Craftsman Bungalow

The American Craftsman bungalow is one of the most iconic styles. It was created in the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1920s and spawned many variations. It was typically one story, but newer versions have 1½. They have deep gabled roofs, wide front porches, and may feature things like built-in shelving. The average traditional Craftsman is 1,200 sq.ft., although many can be larger, costing $150,000 for this size.

Mission Bungalow

The Mission is another variation of the Craftsman and is one of the most well-known. The Mission is known for its clean lines and mid-century detailing. The columns on the porch are often thicker and tapered, and the home is usually shingled. The Mission has an average size of 1,500 sq.ft. with an average cost to build of $180,000.

Airplane Bungalow

The Airplane bungalow has a unique layout that sets it apart from the others. It has a pop-up style second story, rather than the 1-½ story style that tucks the second story back into the roof’s slope. In this style, the flatter roof gives way to a second story that takes up roughly half the size of the first floor, but which is made entirely of windows, for a 360-degree view. The average 1,500 sq.ft. Airplane bungalow costs an average of $180,000 to build.

Ranch Bungalow

A Ranch bungalow is a laid-out one-story bungalow so that the bedrooms are on one side and the kitchen and living areas are on the other. Occasionally, they are laid out front and back, with the bedrooms behind. These are around 1,500 sq.ft. on average, with a cost to build of around $187,500.

Four Square Bungalow

The American Four Square is a variation or subset of the Craftsman bungalow. It is laid out with two rooms in front, two behind. They may have a full or partial second story, but this is dependent more on the region and is more common in some areas than in others. The Four Square shares most of the characteristics of the Craftsman, including a gabled roof and front porch, and averages 1,500 sq.ft. in size with a cost of $187,500.

Cape Cod

The Cape Cod, Cape Codder, or Cape, is a recognizable home style in the Northeast. It is also a subtype of bungalow. The Cape Cod has close to two full stories as found on a bungalow, but the upper story has a sharply slanted roof, with dormer windows to add extra space. Most Capes are small, but they can be found in much larger sizes in some areas. The average size of a Cape Cod is 1,850 sq.ft. and costs around $222,000.

Chalet Bungalow

The Chalet bungalow has a unique second story. Rather than being a traditional second story or 1½ story, what this style has is a loft, usually tucked in at the back of the house or above the garage. This gives you extra square footage, at a lower cost than full second stories. This style of bungalow is around 1,800 sq.ft. on average, with a cost to build of $225,000.

California Bungalow

The California bungalow is one of the most popular styles of this house type. It was part of the Arts and Crafts movement that spawned so many other variations and originated in California. This is the bungalow that started the 1½ story variation that can now be seen on nearly any bungalow type. The average size of this bungalow style is 1,800 sq.ft. and costs approximately $225,000 to build.

Overwater Bungalow

The Overwater or Outerbanks bungalow is most popular in the South as a vacation property. It is built on stilts over the water, which is where it gets its name. The stilts are log piles, which are driven deep into the ground for support. Due to the difficult nature of building this type of bungalow, it has a higher cost than most others. While the average size is around 1,500 sq.ft, it has an average cost of $225,000.

Raised Bungalow

The Raised bungalow is unique from others due to its basement. Most bungalows do not have basements but are built on slabs, which keeps their cost down. While they can have basements, the Raised bungalow does it differently. The basement is fairly shallow, and partially above ground, with the front of the bungalow above ground and the back section behindlow ground, although not usually as deep as the average full basement. This allows more light into the basement, but it also raises its cost to build slightly. The average size is around 1,800 sq.ft., and it costs around $234,000.

Prairie Bungalow

The Prairie was the bungalow style invented by Frank Lloyd Wright. This is a more modern architecture style than most bungalows, with low, clean lines, and a flat roof that is often tiered so that the second story takes up less space than the first. Sometimes there is a small crown on the second story, which gives the building the illusion of having three stories from the exterior, while in reality, it is still 1½ or 2 stories inside. Prairies have a lot of unique details, including built-in shelving and keyhole doorways. They have an average size of around 1,800 sq.ft. and an average cost to build of around $270,000.

Spanish Revival Bungalow

The Spanish Revival or Spanish Colonial Revival bungalow takes influence from Spain and the Mediterranean. Many of the features of a true Spanish Colonial have been removed in the revival, such as the Baroque doorways, but the home still holds the charm and personality of the influencing styles. Typically, there are red roof tiles, round-topped windows, lots of light inside, tile on the staircases, and a Spanish-style fireplace. This style has an average size of 1,800 sq.ft. and typically cost $270,000.

Ultimate Bungalow

The Ultimate bungalow is a term used to describe an extremely large and detailed Craftsman-style bungalow. While most bungalows tend to be under 2,000 sq.ft., once they cross into the territory of 3,000, they become known as an Ultimate bungalow. These are rarer than other styles, and they often include very intricate details found in the Arts and Crafts movement throughout the home, including intricately carved doors, elaborately built-in cabinetry, and natural, local materials. They have an average size of 3,000 sq.ft. and an average cost of $660,000 to build.

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Prefab Bungalow Prices

Prefab and modular building techniques can be applied to bungalows and other styles of homes. Modular building constructs the home offsite in a controlled environment, often in less time and for less money. Computer-aided technology means that the homes are often more precisely built, and because the environment is controlled, there are fewer delays for the weather. The average cost to build a bungalow using this method is around $100 a square foot.

Newly built bungalow with tiled roof

Bungalow Construction Cost Breakdown

Like many home building types, there can be a wide range of costs, materials, and labor fees to contend with. Costs also vary depending on your region and the bungalow style and size. However, it is possible to gain a general sense of where your money goes during the build. This breakdown helps you determine which professionals work on your home and how much to pay them.

Prep Work

Before building your new bungalow, you need some prep work included in your costs, such as getting a permit ($1,000 - $2,000), purchasing the plans ($1,000), and land clearing and excavations ($1,500 - $3,000). You also need to hire any professionals involved, including:


Most bungalows have a slab foundation, although they can be built with a full basement if you desire. A basic slab foundation costs around $9,310 on average.


Bungalows use a wood frame, which costs around $9 a square foot. Framing usually makes up 18% of your total project cost, so for a 1,500 sq.ft. bungalow, expect framing to come in at around $33,750.


Bungalows can be clad in many exterior sidings, with shingles being the most common. However, stucco, lap siding, and even brick can all be used. In addition to the siding, you also have house wrap, insulation, windows, doors, and paint within the project. Expect your exterior costs to come in at around $15,000 - $20,000 on average.


Most bungalows have a gable roof, which costs $11,000 to frame on average. In addition, you need to shingle the roof, which has an average cost of $7,500 for most homes. Your costs could be higher for styles like Cape Cods that have dormers, and they can be much lower for Prairie or Airport styles with flat roofs.

Utility Installation

Your bungalow needs plumbing, electrical wiring, heating, cooling, ductwork, and other fixtures. Expect these costs to be roughly $30,000 of your project’s total costs.

Interior Finishing

Bungalows can be finished inside in a variety of ways. They usually have very simple layouts, with small kitchens and 1-2 bathrooms. You still need a lot of finish work, including drywall, flooring, lighting, closets, painting, moldings, interior doors, kitchen countertops, cabinets, sinks, and faucets.

Living in a Bungalow Advantages and Disadvantages

Bungalows are generally smaller and very cozy to live in. They are easy and inexpensive to heat and cool, and they have a lot of charm. They are usually designed and laid out to be easy to live in and are good for people with young children and who have mobility problems because most are one story.

Unless you are going with an Ultimate bungalow, which is rare, you do not have much space in a bungalow. They are designed to be cozy, so if you want a big, open layout, this is not the house. They are difficult to add on to because of their unique layout and 1½-story height. Attempting to build on often eliminates much of their charm.

Facade of a red brick bungalow

Bungalow Conversion Cost

If you have a bungalow with a loft or an unfinished upper floor, you can have a bungalow conversion done, which takes that space and turns it into a full, usable bedroom or bedrooms. The cost of this process depends on the loft size and whether it is finished or not. The average cost of a conversion is between $110 and $150 a square foot, depending on these factors.

Bungalow vs Cottage

Both bungalows and cottages have a lot in common. Both are smaller homes that are typically one story. But the American bungalow has many sub-styles that branch mainly off the Arts and Crafts movement, including a distinctive front porch and Craftsman-style details on the doors and windows. Cottages often lack this porch and have different window styles. Cottages also often lack the built-in shelves and cabinets of the bungalow.

Bungalow vs Craftsman

Most bungalows in the United States come from the Arts and Crafts movement and are known as Craftsmans. There are a few sub-styles ,such as the Prairie, Four Square, and California, but these all fall under the Craftsman umbrella.

There are other types of bungalows found worldwide and some modern bungalows, which are not Craftsman-related.

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Enhancements and Improvement Costs

Interior Designer

It is common to hire an interior designer when building a new home. They help plan the layout and find furnishings that fit the style. The cost of hiring an interior designer is between $75 and $450 an hour.

Garage Construction

Bungalows can have both attached and detached garages. These have an average cost to build of $35,000 and $52,830, respectively.

Swimming Pool Construction

While many bungalows only have small yards, consider adding a swimming pool for enjoyment if you have space. The average cost to build a pool is around $50,000.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • In some areas, bungalows are incredibly prevalent. This includes in Chicago, where they make up ⅓ of single-family homes. It is possible to take bungalow tours and participate in bungalow preservation initiatives.
  • In the Catskills of New York, it is possible to see an old bungalow colony constructed as a series of summer homes and is now home to a group of Hasidic Jews.
  • There are many states with bungalows, including California, Michigan, Illinois, and many parts of New England.
  • You need a permit for this project. Speak to your town or city hall for more information.


  • How much does it cost to build a bungalow house?

Bungalows are very inexpensive to build and cost between $120 and $125 a square foot on average.

  • Are bungalows more expensive than houses?

No, bungalows are much less expensive to build than other styles of houses.

  • Do bungalows have basements?

They can have basements, but it is not common.

  • Are there any overwater bungalows in the U.S.?

These are usually vacation properties, and they can be found in areas like the Outer Banks.

Cost to build a bungalow-style home varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
Front Exterior of Bungalow House
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Cost to build a bungalow-style home varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources