Can Bungalows Have Two Floors? (Beginners Guide)

By - Hs Saini

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Bungalows are structured single-family homes that can take up a large or small space, depending on the available plot.

For example, the building may have a semi-upper floor which will most likely be small.

However, you can add an entire floor to your existing bungalow, but this process would alter the building’s name and structural classification.

Bungalows cannot have two full floors but can contain a semi-upper floor called “one and a half floors.” One and a half floors usually contain a loft built into the roof and are usually always small.

Can a Bungalow Be Two Stories?

Bungalows Have Two Floors

A bungalow cannot be two floors, and an additional second floor transforms the building from a bungalow.

Bungalow-style houses are commonly known as one-story residences, although some buildings may contain a half-story usually built into the roof.

You can easily convert a two-story bungalow because they’re single-story, and you don’t need much for a floor plan.

Adding a second floor is a brilliant way to increase space; however, planning approval is required to add an entire second floor.

Once the approval is given, you are permitted to increase the number of floors in your building.

Therefore, it would be best to consider the bungalow floor plan whenever you decide to have a second floor. 

The ground floor is always built into the upper floor. Therefore, the ground floor design may either add to or diminish the beauty of the building.

What Do You Call a Bungalow with Two Floors?

A bungalow with a second floor is called a two-story building or a duplex. It usually consists of a single dining room and kitchen. There is a staircase inside the house that connects the two floors. 

Although duplexes are commonly referred to as two-story buildings, not all two-story buildings are duplexes.

For example, the connecting staircase is built inside the house in a duplex, while some two-story buildings may have the staircase built outside. In this context, each floor is independent of the other.

In addition, a bungalow with an upper half floor is called a chalet bungalow. It usually consists of small living space on the second floor.

The upstairs loft is usually small because it is under the roof but can be converted into a living room or bedroom.

The mezzanine is commonly used as a storage room in an average bungalow due to its small size. 

The purpose of the loft or upper floor is the main difference between a chalet bungalow and a standard bungalow.

Although it is still called a bungalow because the main living areas are located on the ground floor, the additional living space on the top floor sets it apart from a typical bungalow.

The chalet bungalow also has a sloping roof and gables like the single-story bungalow.

How Do You Make a Bungalow into a Two-Story?

To build a duplex bungalow, removing the roof and adding a floor to the existing one is necessary.

You can also decide to convert the loft to a second floor, even if it is smaller and can only hold a few things.

You would need the help of an architect, plumber, electrician, carpenter, and many other construction workers.

There are ways to add a story to an existing building.

#1. Building 

This is the process of removing the roof, building a higher level, and replacing the roof on-site. It would help if you evacuated the building for a while until completing the project.

You can remove the roof as a whole and reuse it after completing the building, or you can replace the entire roof with a new one.

#2. Modular Building

In modular design, the second floor is built off-site, then transported to the construction site where it is fully built. It’s faster and easier with little waste from the project.

It may not be necessary to leave the building for a long time. The roof can also be reused or replaced, depending on your preference.

However, converting a two-story bungalow requires some processes. Before adding a floor or converting the loft, you must check the building and consider many factors.

You first need to check if it is possible to convert your building; important factors include.

#3. Local Building Codes

The first thing to do in any construction project is to consult with the local construction office to find out the permitted development rights for the building.

For example, some city codes do not allow altering the structure of a bungalow, while in some cases, adding a second floor would require obtaining multiple building permits. 

The construction department will provide accurate information and guide you through the correct application process.

#4. The Existing Foundations

It is necessary to properly check the strength of the foundation to know if it would be able to support a second floor.

The building plans would give information on the type and depth of the foundation.

This information will help the architect know if the foundation is solid enough to support an additional floor.

However, if you don’t have access to the blueprints, you can hire a structural engineer to see if the foundation can withstand the additional floor.

The engineer may need to take some measurements, dig and take soil samples and use them to analyze the strength of the foundations.

#5. The Structural Support of the Bungalow

It is essential to know if the walls can support the second floor. You would need load-bearing walls whose strength can withstand the extra floor.

You may not be able to extend your bungalow if the walls are weak.

#6. Wiring

If you consider adding an entirely new floor plan, you may need to consider wiring in the bungalow roof and attic. You should contact an electrician to help you check the wiring.

It may be difficult to rewire the entire building and plug it into the second floor if most of the wiring is in the roof or attic. 

It is advisable to convert the loft into a living space instead of building a whole story.

#7. Plumbing System

The drainage system may need to be considered when adding a new floor unless you decide to reconnect the entire plumbing system.

To connect the plumbing, it is best to build the new bathroom precisely on top of the old one.

What Is the Difference Between a Bungalow and a Two-story House?

The first noticeable difference between a bungalow and a two-story house is the number of floors each contains.

A bungalow is a one-story building, while a two-story house is a two-floored building, as the name suggests.

A bungalow can have a semi-upper floor or a mezzanine that can be converted into a living space, while a two-story building has a whole upper floor.

Also, a bungalow requires more space while the two floors don’t take up much space. Since the bungalow is a one-story building, building all the necessary rooms would take up a lot of lands.

If the plot isn’t comprehensive, you may have limited space. While in the two-story house, you can have the required rooms on both floors. 

In addition, a two-story house offers more privacy than a bungalow. You can always stay on the top level if you want some time away from the people downstairs.

Furthermore, the advantage of the two floors is that they are cooler because there is less exposure to the elements of the external walls and the roof.

The upper floor has greater access to fresh air. The upper floor offers a better view of the environment.

It is also easier for someone with special needs to navigate a bungalow, but you can install a stairlift in the two-story house.

How Much Does It Cost to Put a Second Floor in a Bungalow?

The first 800 square feet cost is $250 per square foot, then drops to $125 per square foot after the first 800 square feet. Adding a new floor is more expensive than building a new home.

The size of the building and the type of project are essential determinants of the construction cost.

 It may differ, but it is always estimated by the square foot the building occupies.

The cost of the inspection and permits also adds to the expenses, plus you may need to repair some damage that may have affected the bungalow floor plan.

You may also need to add the cost of installing a new roof. If your roof was old before the project, it might get damaged while removing it.


In conclusion, the bungalow is lovely, but if you are thinking of having more spaces on a low budget, you can always decide to add a second floor to your bungalow.

But, of course, you would need the help of construction professionals to carry out the project.

So always consult your local construction office to understand the building laws and obtain the proper documents before starting any construction project.

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