Siting, layout and form

Bungalows have a low-slung appearance with horizontal weatherboards and a low-pitch roof.

Other typical features include bay or bow windows facing the street, one or more porches, timber weatherboard cladding, and a layout with rooms opening off a central corridor.


After the First World War, a growth in public transport allowed for the development of suburbs further from the city or town centres. More space meant larger sections, influencing building proportions. Bungalows were often offset on the section to give a larger space on one side of the house, particularly if the entrance was at the side.

Gardens were generally less formal than the villa garden, and internal bathrooms meant it was no longer necessary to provide an outhouse.

Although cars were already on the scene, car ownership in New Zealand did not begin to become widespread until the 1930s, and sections were often not wide enough to provide vehicle access to the rear of the section.

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Though bungalows were less formal than villas, there were also features in common. Most bungalows had a central corridor with rooms opening off either side, and most had the living room at the front and service areas at the rear.
The bathroom usually opened off the hall, with a separate laundry and toilet opening off the back porch. Read more.

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Building form

Typical bungalow features include a gabled roof sloping about 15–25°, bay or bow windows, one or more porches, and timber weatherboard cladding. Bungalows are, by definition, single-storey buildings. Read more.

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Other 1920s building styles

English cottage

English cottages, also known as suburban houses, were built between 1910 and 1935, and were an offshoot of the English arts and crafts movement. Read more.

Railways cottage

Railways cottages are unique to New Zealand, and are among the country’s first production line houses. Read more.