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Bungalow vs Duplex: Which Is Better?

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.

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30 answers

If you dream of your house or duplex find out more about Traditional building materials in Nigeria

READ ALSO: https://ask.naij.com/other/traditional-building-materials-in-nigeria-i23526.html

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It is hard to compare these two kinds of houses, as original idea of a duplex is about two families sharing one house. Duplex might be a one or two storey house with two different entrances. Each part of the house has separate kitchen and bathroom. Two families can live under one roof without having to share common facilities. That is the main concept here. It used to be that the duplex would be share by one owner family and their servants (in a smaller part of the house).

Bungalow is a house for one family. So, it might be more expensive to build and maintain it than the duplex. It all really depends on what kind of property you own and where it is located.

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Some people prefer something in-between a Bungalow and a duplex

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OP, i think you got you definition of a bungalow and duplex totally wrong ab initio. A bungalow has no storey at all i.e it is not raised. While a duplex is, usually, a one-storey building. [quote][/quote]

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Do u build houses or have any idea on this my question .

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Bungalow is cheaper. I prefer, bungalows.

But, u seem to have answered your question.

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i'd say any is ok with me but like the poster said, the area & some other prevailing conditions will greatly influence my final choice.

like the post as it's a huge deviation from naija issues, tribal & religious typicuffs!!!

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what you think is what u become,

as for me, i will go for Duplex.

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well it depends on choice and cash. one may have money but prefers bungalow. i have seen people that have money to build duplex but went for bungalow just because of personal preference.

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Duplex may be stylish, but I prefer being on the ground floor. And since I grew up in a bungalow setting that explains my preference to Bungalows.

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I think the most important thing here is House not name. Bungalow or Duplex, house na house.

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duplex is much beautiful

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depends on how u want it

some duplex are berra off bungalow and vice versa

depends on what u want and ur taste sha, size of family included!

SHALOM

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We have this penchant for 'big is right' this side of the planet.

When you mention bungalow, I think what readily comes to mind is 'face-me-I face-you.'

The cost of decking a duplex is enough to really dress up a bungalow.

@paragonpro

I like your analysis.

However, if you are considering the kind of risk you have mentioned then you also need a security door or burglar proofing for the stairs leading upstairs in a duplex. Aesthetically, that may be a no-no.

Other controls like trained dogs/security personnel, motion detection cameras, etc would be necessary.

In a gated community with motion detection cameras and cctv , a bungalow may still be okay.

My two cents!

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@ topic,

nna, ma guy it depends on what the interior is made up of and looks like. some BQ's beat mansions hands down.

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A duplex is more secure than a bungalow because all the windows are within reach from the outside, especially the bedrooms. So an assassin would only need to break the glass (maybe quietly with a diamond cutter), tear the mosquito net and aim a gun at the person sleeping to kill his target. In a duplex, it will be a little bit harder.

Also the roof and ceiling of a bungalow are weak points for gaining entry into the building. That is why i advise people building bungalows to make sure they lay the blocks beyond the ceiling level for the external walls thereby reducing the space between the roof and the ceiling.

Furthermore, the ground floor can be effectively sealed from the top floor by the use of security doors thereby denying intruders (during sleeping hours) access to the bedrooms.

You are right, a bungalow is more suitable for elderly people. That is why i always emphasize that a duplex must have at least one bedroom down stairs for the elderly and guests. Even for young couples, they might have their elderly parents or uncles visiting from time to time.

Also if the elderly people are rich enough, they can still enjoy the benefits of a duplex by installing a moving chair to the stairs. They are quite common in the US and Europe.

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There are still neighborhoods in naija where all the thief needs to do is point his gun through the window.

Besides it is easier to see what goes on within and without the perimeter of ur property when you live in a duplex.

There have been cases where robbers come in through the roof of a bungalow.

Finally you can make target practice of prospective robbers and pluck them at ur convenience from a duplex.

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A bungalow does not even come close to a duplex in terms of advantages if money is not at issue.

If the owner is physically challenged on account of ill-health or old age, then maybe a bungalow may be prefered.

Otherwise a duplex is easier to secure and defend (this takes precedence over all else if you live in Nigeria), its more prestigious (by far). Secondly, there can be no better tribute (in your old age) to the life you 've lived than a decent duplex-the bigger it is the better. And in terms of aesthetics, I prefer "vertical emphasis".

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How is a duplex more secure?

The poster has only expressed his view and wants to find out what others think. I think we need more of such intelligent discourse on this section rather than just adverts. In my estimation, only about 1% of the threads in this section are of such intellectual discourse. Please note, I have nothing against the adverts.

In your opinion, which one is Meat Pie and which one is Agidi?  I think we should make out posts clear.

@poster,

For an elderly couple,  a bungalow may be ideal as the stress of climbing stairs may be too much.

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@poster your idea is a good one and thoughtful as well, its all about rationalizing between the cost of land and affordability.

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In this case, I will rather settle for a duplex:::::because of the cost of land - N60M

For me to buy a land of N60Million, I better build a befitting duplex

But if you don't have much and want to cut according to your cloth as per the cost of land is affordable, I will go for a bungalow

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I like bungalow but for security reasons, duplex is better any time

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@ poster

U seem to have answered ur questions.

Why asking then?

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Very good analysis.

I agree with you.

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Its like comparing Meat Pie with Agidi.

Senseless!

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