• 1 bungalow

The bungalow made its appearance around the time of the First World War and was the dominant house style throughout the 1920s. Typical features include:

  • construction almost entirely of timber
  • faceted bay windows
  • casement windows – often with leadlight glass
  • a deep porch – often more like an outdoor room
  • later bungalows incorporated a bathroom adjacent to the bedrooms
  • piled subfloor
  • plastered brick fireplace and chimney
  • gabled roof, typically a 15–25o slope
  • wide eaves
  • extended, decorative barge boards
  • corrugated iron roof cladding
  • bevel-back weatherboard claddings (there are also brick and stucco bungalows)
  • gable ends with contrasting claddings and bell-cast
  • no insulation when built
  • stud height was typically 2.7–3.0 metres
  • high heat losses
  • no mechanical ventilation provided in bathrooms or kitchens
  • match lining with scrim (sacking) and paper; fibrous plaster ceiling linings began to be used
  • timber floorboards.


Regular maintenance required on bungalows includes:

  • cleaning and checking the external cladding and repainting when necessary. See the guide for external wall maintenance 
  • cleaning and checking the roof cladding, and recoating if necessary. See the guide for roof maintenance
  • ensuring gutters and downpipes are kept clear of leaves and other debris. If necessary, prune back any tree branches that grow over the house
  • checking that the subfloor space is dry and well-ventilated. See the guide for subfloor maintenance.

More extensive maintenance/repairs on bungalows may include:

  • Adding roofspace insulation where there is none or the existing insulation is insufficient.
  • Replacing missing or damaged subfloor insulation. Use insulation designed specifically for subfloors. This includes polystyrene friction-fitted between the joists and segments such as polyester, glass wool or sheep’s wool fixed with tabs or held in place by strapping
  • Checking the original brick chimney for strength – the original lime mortar loses strength and the chimney may collapse in an earthquake. The structural condition may need to be assessed by a chartered professional engineer. Removing an unsound brick chimney above the roofline does not require a building consent for any building up to 3 storeys high as long as the removal does not affect the primary structure, any specified system or any fire separation (which includes firewalls protecting other property). Making good the gaps left in a roof after chimney removal can also be done without a consent.
  • Replacing missing or corroded fixings and connections between piles and bearers, and adding bracing between piles and bearers/joists for better earthquake resilience. See the subfloor maintenance guide for details. 
  • Checking for borer. Treat infested timber with a residual insecticide by brushing on or spraying surfaces. Using a small spray nozzle to inject the liquid into the holes is effective, but wear eye protection. Where the infestation is extensive or you are considering fumigation, consult a firm that is a member of the Pest Management Association of New Zealand.
  • Checking for rot. If you find it, first identify and deal with the source of the moisture that has caused it. If it isn’t done, the problem could return. Remove all visible rot and at least one metre of timber beyond it. It may be easier to replace the entire piece of affected timber rather than trying to replace and strengthen a portion. Treat cut timber with a proprietary paint-on preservative.