Dorran houses are similar to Structural Insulated Panel Systems (SIPS) buildings, but without the "I." Timber floor panels were joist lashed to the ring beam, and precast panels were bolted together with steel bolts. At ground level, some Dorran bungalows appear to feature a concrete ring beam. However other examples show the ring beam as being made of wood.
Dorrans were most common in northern Alberta, particularly around Fort McMurray. Some builders may have used Dorran construction techniques when constructing homes in central Alberta, although these homes would not be considered bungalows because center-aisle entry was not allowed by law at the time they were built.
The term "bungalow" originally applied only to single-story dwellings with simple designs and few exterior finishes, but over time the definition has become more flexible. Today, many two-and three-bedroom bungalows feature large living rooms with fireplaces, dining rooms, family rooms, and kitchens with dishwashers. Many also have private yards or patios. Some larger models can even be called mansion bungalows!
The term "bungalow" remains popular among homeowners who want a small house that's easy to maintain, so don't be surprised if you see this type of home offered for sale under that label.
Though the origins of these forms vary, classic dwellings have some characteristics. Large, open porches with overhanging beams and rafters; dormers; and a tall, pointed roof with one or more gables are among these traits. Traditional construction materials such as brick, wood, plaster, stucco, and stone are used. The interior of the house is typically divided into rooms for eating, sleeping, and working by using walls and doors that close.
Why do some houses look traditional while others don't? Part of it has to do with location - if you live in an area where traditional homes are common, then you're likely to see them everywhere you go. But even within regions there can be differences between old and new homes, so knowing the history of your neighborhood can help you understand what to expect from different types of buildings.
Traditional houses were often built by families who had money and time to spend on their home. As such, they tend to be larger and more elaborate than typical single-family homes today. They may also have been designed by someone with training as an architect (such as an engineer or a lawyer), which could explain why they use certain building techniques (such as using hand-hewn timber for flooring) that are no longer common today.
As for how long they last? That depends on how much work you want to put into maintaining them and how much money you can afford to spend.
They usually have steep roofs, big front porches supported by some kind of column construction, dormer windows with shutters, and a brick or wood frame. If the homeowner prefers an Acadian cottage design, the house can be elevated somewhat off the ground, as was formerly the tradition. These houses were not built over many years; instead, they are constructed in phases, using whatever materials are available at the time.
An Acadian house has two types of windows: one set in the floor and another set in the wall. The floor windows are open air while the wall windows are closed with shutters. In addition, each room has an opening in the roof through which smoke escapes but sunlight enters.
Acadian houses have three floors: the ground floor, which is where the door is located; the first floor, which includes the living room, kitchen, and other main rooms; and the second floor, which consists of small bedrooms.
These are only some of the many things people can tell you about Acadian homes. As you can see, they are unique structures that grow out of the landscape rather than being placed on it. This fact alone makes exploring the region's history very interesting.
Acadia was originally settled by French colonists who made their living mainly from fishing and farming.