The word “Bungalow” derives from the Hindu word “Bangala” meaning “belonging to Bengal”. Bungalow houses were first constructed in Bengal, India in the mid-nineteenth century. At the time, India was under British rule and the Ambassadors who travelled there sought to design an informal, easily-constructed rest house during their visits.

Since then, the Bungalow design has spread to the four corners of the world with each country putting its own twist to the design.

Bungalows are usually rectangular in shape with a low pitched roof and single storey.

example of a Bungalow style house


The word “Dormer” is derived from the Mid-French “Dormeor” meaning “Sleeping room”, as Dormer windows often provided light and space to attic-level bedrooms.

One of the earliest uses of Dormers was in the form of Lucarnes, slender Dormers which provided ventilation to the spires of Gothic Churches and Cathedrals. An early example is the Luncarnes of the spire of Crist Church Cathedral, Oxford.

Dormer windows have been used in domestic architecture in Britain since the 16th century. Dormer windows were popularised by French Architect Francois Mansart, who used Dormers extensively in the Mansford roofs he designed in 17th century Paris.

example of a Dormer style house

Different Styles of Dormer Windows

A Dormer window is a roofed structure, often containing a window, that projects vertically beyond the plane of a pitched roof. A Dormer window is a form of roof window.

Dormers are commonly used to increase the usable space in an attic and to create window openings in a roof plane. The term “Dormer” is commonly used to refer to a “Dormer window” although a Dormer does not necessarily contain a window. A dormer is often one of the primary elements of an “Attic Conversion. As a prominent element of many buildings, different types of Dormer have evolved to complement different styles of Architecture.

Types of Dormers


In general, a 1.5 storey house means that the upper level does not have full height ceilings on the perimeter (outside) walls. If any part of the upper-level ceilings is sloped, it is technically a 1.5 storey. The outer walls of the 1.5 storey homes are usually 1.5m (5 ft.) high.

The floor area of the first-floor will match that of the ground-floor giving maximum value for money while keeping the overall height of the building down.

Sloped ceilings from both external walls to a flat section under 2.4m (8ft.) is a form of 1.5 storey homes which some people find appealing.

1.5 storey homes are usually narrow in form and good, examples of shapes are given in the Cork Rural Housing – Design Guide

example of a 1.5 storey house


A Two-storey house is, as it says on the tin, a home with two levels both under 2.4m (8ft.) ceilings over its entire floor area on, ground and first levels.

Two-storey houses could either be a deep or narrow plan with again, good examples of shapes been given in the Cork Rural Housing – Design Guide

Two -storey houses tend to be tall and out of proportion with the human for when standing beside them.

example of a 2 storey house


Vernacular Architecture is described as a built environment that is based upon local needs; defined by the availability of particular materials indigenous to its particular region, and reflects local traditions and cultural practices.

Traditionally, the study of Vernacular Architecture did not examine formally schooled Architects, but instead that of the design skills and tradition of local builders, who were rarely given any attribution for the work. More recently, Vernacular Architecture has been examined by designers and the building industry in an effort to be more energy conscious with contemporary design and construction part of a broader interest in sustainable design.

Vernacular Architecture is influenced by a great range of different aspects of human behaviour and environment, leading to differing building forms for almost every different context; even neighbouring villages may have subtly different approaches to the construction and use of their dwellings, even if they at first appear the same.

Despite these variations, every building is subject to the same laws of physics and hence will demonstrate significant similarities in structural forms