Bungalow on a Budget
How every design decision impacts cost.
Synopsis: Jeff and Sarah wanted a home designed and built expressly for them. They liked the Craftsman bungalow style, embracing simplicity, craftsmanship, and natural materials. They had a budget of about $300,000—a challenge in the Minneapolis building market—for a house with a total finished area of 1580 sq. ft. Here’s how we did it.
Patience is a virtue. It took about a year between the time that Jeff and Sarah first reached out to me about designing their new house and the time that the design work actually began. They had their eyes on a particular property that was tied up in probate, and they were smart to wait for it.
Jeff and Sarah were intent on having a home designed and built expressly for them, and they knew that location was an important part of the equation. In this case, Keewaydin, a southeastern Minneapolis neighborhood, offered just what the couple was looking for: easy access to downtown, a modest and human scale, and a sense of community. Jeff and Sarah wanted their new home to fit the rhythm of the street, which consisted primarily of 1½ -story homes built in the late 1930s and ’40s. They liked the Craftsman bungalow style, which was made popular in California in the early 20th century by brothers Charles and Henry Greene.
Craftsman bungalows embrace simplicity, craftsmanship, and natural materials. Traditionally, these homes were 1½ stories, with the bedrooms built into the roof where dormers provided windows and additional space. Porches were an important design element that brought living space outside. Craftsman bungalows evoke coziness and a feeling of home. This style would fit the existing streetscape just fine.
Jeff and Sarah were working with a budget of about $300,000—a challenge in the Minneapolis building market. To accomplish their goals, a true team effort…