I raised this topic in order to compare a Bungalow to a duplex in terms of cost, aesthetics and efficiency, in order to determine which is better and under what conditions.
A bungalow is a type of single-story house that originated in India. It originated from the word Bengali and Such houses were traditionally small, only one story and thatched, and had a wide veranda.
In Nigeria a bungalow is referred to a one-storey house without regards for style of size.
A duplex originally defined as a two unit apartment, a house that is capable of accommodating two different families on the same plot. But within the Nigerian context it is erroneously defined as a two storey family house, which should rightfully be called a detached house.
So lets start our comparism of the two;
In terms of cost which is the most important factor in the considerations, it is obvious that a bungalow is cheaper to build than a duplex all other factors like area, specifications and finishes being equal. The problem is by what ratio is duplex more expensive than a bungalow. Here is my analysis;
The most telling cost factor of a duplex is the cost of the decking and beams + pillars to support the decking. The extra cost of concretework for an average 4 bedroom duplex ( 1 bedroom down and 3 bedrooms upstairs) would cost around N2million depending on the concrete mix
Also the Foundation would be a major cost factor in water logged areas where raft foundation would have to be used, which can add up to an extra N1.5 million to the cost of foundation.
But the Bungalow will occupy at least 40% more ground space that would be occupied by the duplex, so in effect the cost of foundation would be approximately 40% more for the bungalow. so also would be the roofing.
Now in areas where the land is very expensive, this extra 40% would be a major factor. Imagine a site where land is N60m per plot, the cost of land per square meter would be 92,000/m2. In such a place a bungalow would not make sense. Furthermore even in relatively cheaper site, the value of having extra space for landscaping, parking and recreation is priceless.
In terms of aesthetics, i agree that a bungalow can have quite an appealing beauty, especially with an architect that can make use of the horizontal emphasis presented by the bungalow. But duplexes can also offer a compact look. Often a lot of architects combine the two effects to get the best of both worlds, by having a sprawling ground floor and a small compact upper floor.
In terms of efficiency of distribution of spaces, i believe you cannot beat a duplex. A duplex allows you to distribute and segregate spaces more efficiently. You can separate the private spaces from the public spaces and even the circulation spaces better. Then there is the added advantage of having balconies on the top floor overlooking the surroundings.
So i will only advice bungalow over duplex in situations where we have ample land, and the land is very cheap.
Let me hear what others think.