Gransnet forums


Explain the difference to me please

(57 Posts)
SueH49 Fri 27-Sep-19 07:36:37

Hello everyone,

Firstly let me say I live in Australia and hence my question.

I hear much about various types of housing in the UK. Detached and Semi detached I understand but please explain the difference between a Cottage and a Bungalow.

Here we do not use those descriptions as you do. If someone lives in a Bungalow here it would be a small self contained building in the yard of another house. Probably only one or at best 2 bedrooms.

Pantglas2 Fri 27-Sep-19 07:53:14

A cottage is usually detached and will always have stairs whereas a bungalow will never have stairs. It’s a Hindi word meaning one floor dwelling (I think)

travelsafar Fri 27-Sep-19 07:53:19

Why not google? There would be pictures no doubt so you would have a visual point of reference as well as an explanation. smile

tanith Fri 27-Sep-19 07:56:26

Cottages are normally smaller older two story buildings in a village sometimes thatched in a rural setting but there are more modern buildings in towns that are also called cottages.

Bungalows are single story houses that can have any amount of rooms it can be detached or semi detached.

Confusing isn’t it? I think the meaning of the words has become very blurred in recent times.

LullyDully Fri 27-Sep-19 07:58:11

Yes a bungalow is one storey. A cottage is a variety of things in my experience. A stereotypical one is small, old , with a thatch and roses round the door. But some cottages seem to be quite big.

MamaCaz Fri 27-Sep-19 08:00:00

Plenty of semi-detached or even terraced 'cottages' in my area. Originally built as farm workers cottages, I am told (many of these local ones, I mean).

Bungalow is equally difficult, because there are also 'dormer' bungalows that have an upstairs!

I'm not surprised you are confused by this, SueH49, and I don't think we natives are going to give you a clear, united response grin

kircubbin2000 Fri 27-Sep-19 08:28:15

To me a cottage is a small one story,possibly used by workers in the country. A bungalow is also one story although a chalet bungalow can have an upstairs.

Loislovesstewie Fri 27-Sep-19 08:39:48

I was born in a cottage . The 'cottage' bit denotes a small building of traditional build, often with a thatch roof. I was born in a farm cottage which was intended for the use of the farm labourer who worked on the nearby farm. The one I was born in is now worth a fortune having been sold of some while ago ; it was in a huge plot of land hence the price paid!
A bungalow is a one storey dwelling , it can be detached, semi-detached or even terraced but it has no upstairs or basement.
A maisonette is a two storey dwelling with another property either above or below. Maisonettes are often found above rows of shops, or may be built in rows with other maisonettes above . They are often mistaken for flats but inside there will be two storeys .That one always causes problems for some people who have never heard the term

Elegran Fri 27-Sep-19 08:43:04

If I were you I'd look at a property website online. They will have lots of pictures of what they are selling as cottages or bungalows.
Bungalows in India were quite large single storey houses with wide covered veranda all round. In the UK in the thirties many suburban bungalows were built, but they were mostly smaller, with 2 or 3 bedrooms. Some have rooms in the roof space with former windows. Some are beautifully proportioned, some are cramped and poky.
Traditional cottages were rural and built for farm workers, of stone or brick, and usually had two rooms up, two down, and a lean-to on the back with the kitchen/wash-house. Subsequent buyers have generally added refinements like running water, central heating, an extension with a bathroom and better kitchen and so on. Recently many new-build small houses are being described as cottages, and for a long time more some well-to-do people in the countryside have called their 5 or 6 bedroom homes things like Rose Cottage. Maybe they are used to great big mansions.

FarNorth Fri 27-Sep-19 08:44:03

Cottages definitely don't have to have 2 floors.
I always thought they were similar, but a bungalow is a newer, bigger version.
On property programmes now, we see quite large buildings referred to as cottages.

What confuses me is when a 'flat' is over 2 or 3 floors confused
I thought the whole idea was flat = all on one level.

BlueBelle Fri 27-Sep-19 08:44:56

mamacaz that is not traditional though all things can be changed, but a bungalow never has an upstairs I presume the added word chalet or dormer makes it into a different building
A cottage again has probably changed over the years but traditionally is a one or two storey small house and used to always have a thatched roof and garden it’s much more of a rural dwelling than urban although it’s perhaps the in thing to call a small house a cottage now

Elegran Fri 27-Sep-19 08:46:04

For former windows, read dormer. Blasted predictive text - it doesn't pay any attention to what you type, just assumes you have it wrong and posts what it wants.

FarNorth Fri 27-Sep-19 08:47:38

Loislovesstewie thank you, I never knew what a maisonette was before.

Elegran Fri 27-Sep-19 08:51:57

Not many thatched cottages in Scotland or the far North of England. More likely slates or (on the east coast) pantiles brought in as ballast in ships returning from trading with the Low Countries and Scandinavia.

PS predictive text wanted that to be panties.

annsixty Fri 27-Sep-19 09:04:18

How the bungalow got its name.
A man won some money on the fotball pools.
He commissioned a buider to build him a splendid new house.
It wasnt long before the ideas he had used up all the money when only the ground floor was completed.
When the builder asked what he was to do, the man thought for several minutes and then said " oh just bung a low roof on it" ta da.

J52 Fri 27-Sep-19 09:06:53

Cottages were rural and built for farm labourers, using traditional local materials, such as stone, flint and mud or wood. Roofs were usually thatch,(straw) unless in an area where slate was available.
With the coming of the railway to some rural areas thatch roofs were often replaced with slate.
Original cottages, some 200/300 years ago would possibly have been a single floor dwelling with a ladder to get into the attic area for sleeping. Often the valuable animals shared the building, in a sectioned off Byre area.
The farm workers sometimes had a large garden area to grow their own vegetables.

Witzend Fri 27-Sep-19 09:09:32

The typical bungalow is just one storey, often with a large garden. Masses were built in the 1920s, many in seaside areas.
My grandparents had one with a huge garden - there were eventually at least 6 houses built on that plot.

Small terraced houses built a hundred or more years ago are often called cottages - maybe it sounds more appealing than 'a very small house'. ! I've seen some really tiny ones in SW London, built in the early 1900s. The average 2 bed flat has rather more space.

I forget who mentioned maisonettes, but I saw a lot of these when a daughter was looking to buy in SW London. There are masses of them, purpose built in (often) the very early 1900s, typically each with 2 bedrooms, a sitting room, separate kitchen and bathroom (more than once we saw the remains of the original geyser apparatus!), their own front door at street level, and each occupying either the whole of the ground or first floor. And most had their own separate small half of the garden.

It struck me that they were quite advanced at the time for what were evidently going to be rental properties for the far from wealthy - proper indoor bathrooms with hot water laid on, and no outdoor privies!

Amagran Fri 27-Sep-19 09:16:07

Well, my cottage is old, quite big because it has had bits added on at various times and is on three floors if you count the cellar and a cave converted into a room! It does not have a thatched roof or roses growing round the door.

It used to have Wisteria growing round and above the porch until the window cleaner fell off his ladder and clung on to it while he and the Wisteria descended slowly and painlessly to the ground! He did us favour as it was undermining the foundations of the house.

ninathenana Fri 27-Sep-19 09:17:45

I get slightly peeved with what property programmes call cottages. As someone said these days it seems even a quiet large detached three bed house is deemed a cottage these days if it is rural.
The archetypal thatched, roses round the front door cottage is how I like to think of it but I know it's not just that.

annodomini Fri 27-Sep-19 09:25:31

Mine is an end of terrace two storey, two bed cottage. This was a mining community and these terraces were built by the mine owners for the miners and their families. Before the gardens were sectioned off, the land behind the cottages was communal and the occupants probably kept a pig or two and grew their own vegetables. As mine is an end terrace, it's on a double plot. 'Cottage' is often a term for a 'tied' house built by the landowner for the use of farm, estate of mine workers.

annodomini Fri 27-Sep-19 09:26:55

or mine workers

Sussexborn Fri 27-Sep-19 09:30:52

As a teenager I worked as a nanny for a family who had what they referred to as ‘the country cottage’. Beautiful ancient home with 6/7 bedrooms and massive garden. They also had a seaside bungalow which had 4/5 bedrooms. The words mean different things to different people.

Sussexborn Fri 27-Sep-19 09:40:10

I bet you wish you hadn’t asked now SueH? Very confusing with regional differences. More so than I realised.

LondonGranny Fri 27-Sep-19 09:53:39

Cottages are essentially rural although sometimes they get swallowed up in urban sprawl eg near Heathrow which was rural until the airport. Bungalows are usually suburban on near the coast.
My late MiL lived in a cottage built in the 1700s . Outside loo shared with next door and a tin bath lugged from outside and set in front of the fireplace and filled with water from a kettle hanging over the fire. When the landlord died in the early 1960s her parents bought up both (my Mil was a young widow with two children) and knocked through when the tenant next door died making two minuscule kitchens into one small kitchen. An inside loo and bathroom was put in one of the bedrooms in 1975. It had very low ceilings and thick stone walls. It was always two storey, evidenced by some carved graffiti upstairs. (Joby Quaintance 1708).

Marmight Fri 27-Sep-19 12:00:57

Cottage to me signifies a small country dwelling. I live in a cottage which was once part of a farm building. Part of it is 15th century. It has 2.5 bedrooms so is quite small. The Duke & Duchess of Sussex live in a large property with 8+ bedrooms and heaven know how many ancillary rooms, which is euphemistically named Frogmore Cottage. 😂. I suppose to them it is small compared with other Royal residences!
(The word bungalow comes from the Hindu word bangala meaning house in the Bengali style.)