A chalet bungalow is a type of bungalow house that has a small living space on a second floor or loft. By definition, a bungalow is generally considered a one-story structure that is detached from other structures. The chalet bungalow is still essentially a bungalow, however, because it matches the other criteria that comprise a bungalow-style house. The chalet bungalow design, like other types of bungalow houses, originates in India where the structure was a commonly built house for the working class. Bungalows are usually one story with a veranda — an open-air covered front porch. Historically, bungalows were thatch-roof structures that were cheaply built and very simple. Today, bungalows use quality building materials but still mimic traditional layouts.
The sloping roof and gables featured on all bungalows are also common on the chalet bungalow. Bungalows can be designed to contain the same amount of living space as other houses, which means the footprint of the bungalow is generally larger than other types of houses. This also means the yard on which a bungalow is built must be larger. The advantages of a bungalow include increased privacy, as properly placed trees and shrubs can obstruct views from the outside. They are also advantageous because all living space is on one floor, which means there are no stairs to climb. The veranda outside the house increases the effective living space during warm weather.
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A chalet bungalow, however, has a second story loft that can be converted into living space. The loft is generally small because it is directly beneath the roof, and in normal bungalows, such space is often small and used mostly for storage. The chalet bungalow utilizes this space for a bedroom or other living space, making the chalet bungalow fundamentally different from a typical bungalow. It is still considered a bungalow by most people because all the main living areas are located on the first floor, though technically it does not meet the criteria of a true bungalow.
Such a design is useful for small families that have young children. The living space upstairs can be used as a bedroom for the children, while the main living area and main bedroom remain downstairs. A bungalow was historically a small dwelling for the poor and working class of India, so the modern versions are often small as well. The loft area then becomes very important to families who need storage space, guest space, or bedroom space.