Know Your Way Around Construction Equipment

3-Step Revival For The Exterior Of A Western-Style Bungalow

If you've recently become the proud owner of a cozy bungalow, there's a high probability that your new home can use a facelift. Bungalows were a popular style for new homes built in the early 1900s through about the 1950s in downtown residential areas. Your house could have nearly a century's worth of aging to restore and revive. Putting on new siding is the biggest step. Then fine-tune the project with handsome cosmetic adjustments for optimal curb appeal.

Start With the Siding

The most visible part of your home is the expanse of flat surface covered by siding. While California-style bungalows typically have stucco and bungalows in the east are likely to have a brick front, the Western style is all wood. Typical bungalow siding types include:

  • Clapboard: Wide planks installed horizontally.
  • Shakes or Shingles: Thin slabs of wood nailed up in rows.
  • Board and Batten: Boards installed vertically with narrower wood strips installed over the seams.

Although there's a possibility you could repair the siding, wood ages due to years of exposure to outdoor weather conditions, insect damage and the natural deterioration of the organic building material. Your best bet is to replace the siding completely.

Choose a style similar to the original. This could be a mandatory requirement if you live in a designated historic district. Check with the building and permits office at City Hall before you go any further with the process.

TIP: Another option is to have aluminum or vinyl siding installed as the replacement. These materials are long lasting and low maintenance. With the modern materials and installation options available, it's possible to replicate or enhance the look of your house without compromising its design integrity.

Work with a reputable siding contractor to determine the best solution for your property's specific needs. The contractor will help you establish the necessary budget and work with you on the most efficient timing for the renovation work.

Enhance the Visual Appeal With Color

Bungalows tend to have modest, low-key color schemes. The original designs often followed the lead of Craftsman-style homes for which natural earth tones and neutral colors were prominent. And unlike earlier Victorian homes, which often had three or four different colors on them, you really only need a basic color and a complementary second color for accents.

Several popular color combinations to consider include:

  • Dove gray siding with darker, bluish-gray accents on the woodwork. This combination has understated elegance and works well when you have rich colors in the landscaping.
  • Soft brown siding with a rich, olive- or sage-green accent for the window frames and other woodwork. The color combination does well on a larger property where the house colors won't overwhelm the visual balance of the space.
  • Light peach- or salmon-color siding with bright, white trim for the windows, doors and eaves. This lighter combo sits well on a bungalow on a small lot, giving the structure a light, airy feel.

TIP: If you have vinyl or aluminum siding installed, many of the the available siding colors blend well with a strong, dark paint color for the trim and accents.

Beautify the Property With Landscaping

You won't need a fancy, formal garden to make your bungalow sparkle with charm. A more casual style is appropriate and easy to achieve with these simple elements:

  • Foundation plantings: Low-growing evergreen shrubs give the gardens year-round appeal. Intersperse spring-blooming bulbs for bright pops of color as the growing season starts.
  • Small lawn: The bright green turf area doesn't have to be large, but it does give functional balance to the overall visual design of the property. And it's a fun place for kids and pets to romp and play.
  • Shade trees: Because Western-style bungalows are typically one-story structures, several fast-growing shade trees will bring vertical dimension to the property. Place the trees at the side of the house and the edges of the property so they don't disrupt the line of sight to and from the home's front windows.

With these three steps, your bungalow will look and feel as fresh and cozy as it did many years ago when it was brand new. Check out websites like to get started.