New York

Follow us

Bespoke Norfolk Group

What Is a Chalet Bungalow? Find Out in This Informative Guide

If you’re on the search for your forever home, or interested in different types of housing available in the UK, you may have come across chalet bungalows. But what is a chalet bungalow?

That’s exactly what we will be answering in this blog. A chalet bungalow is sometimes also referred to as a dormer bungalow. So don’t be confused if we use both names within this blog, as they are both the same thing. 

In this informative guide on chalet bungalows, we’re also going to be answering some common questions on these types of properties. Such questions as why are chalet bungalows thought to be cold? And can you extend a dormer bungalow?

We’ll also be making our arguments for and against this type of bungalow home, helping you to decide if this is the right type of property for you. 


What Is a Chalet Bungalow?

It’s actually rather simple. A chalet bungalow, also known as a dormer bungalow or a one-and-a-half-storey home, is a type of bungalow. But instead of just having one storey, it features extra living space in the roof. 

A chalet bungalow created by Bespoke Norfolk Group in Kings Lynn

This property type is different from a bungalow because it has that extra space up top. Even with this extra space, chalet bungalows are similar to normal bungalows in the sense that most of the living spaces within the home will be situated on the ground floor. 

standard features of a dormer bungalow are dormer windows, sloped ceilings, and limited floor space. 


Is a Chalet Bungalow a House?

Is a chalet bungalow a house or a bungalow? As opposed to being categorised as a house or bungalow, a chalet bungalow is a mix of both. 

Opinions are split on whether a dormer bungalow is a bungalow or not. Essentially, it’s a bungalow with an extra storey. Or more of a half-storey. 

Closeup image of a dormer bungalow's roof

If you really wanted to, you could turn a chalet bungalow into a house. By removing the roof to extend upwards and adding a full-sized second storey to a chalet bungalow, you are essentially creating a two-storey house. 

In fact, someone could build a custom home using an old chalet bungalow as the basis. 


What Does a Chalet Bungalow Look Like?

Across Norfolk, there are dormer bungalows that come in all shapes and sizes. Upon looking at a few examples, you may be swayed to say that these are just bungalows or that they look more like normal homes. But they are different. 

From the outside, a chalet bungalow will look like your standard bungalow with perhaps a little more height. On the roof, you will notice a dormer roof structure.

A chalet bungalow

A dormer is a type of roofed structure that contains a window (a dormer window). You’ll notice that a dormer extends vertically beyond the plane of a pitched roof. 

Just like how some bungalows can actually appear quite large and spacious, the same can be said for chalet bungalows. Even though they typically offer less floor space than a standard home, the size can be ample for older couples with accessibility needs, or small families. 


Chalet Bungalow Conversion

Our Norfolk-based construction company have plenty of experience with chalet bungalows. And we can be the first ones to tell you that there are plenty of ways you can convert and improve a chalet bungalow to work for you. 

A dormer bungalow is essentially a bungalow that has had a loft conversion, so why stop there? The biggest challenge that most chalet bungalows come up against is space – there isn’t enough of it.

However, through clever renovations, you can make your chalet bungalow as functional as possible. 


Can You Extend a Chalet Bungalow?

Sometimes, the extra space in the eaves of a dormer bungalow just isn’t enough. Although the extra space is welcomed, occupants still may not have enough room to use the space how they want, such as by adding an extra bedroom.

A chalet bungalow extension

One route you could take is adding an extension to your chalet bungalow. If you have the space, adding a rear extension could drastically increase the floor space in your home. By going a step further and making it a two-storey extension, you can almost double that original loft space. 



Open Up Your Dormer Bungalow Interior to the Garden

Dormer bungalows share a lot of characteristics with regular bungalows. One of those is the large garden most chalet bungalows come with. 

So one way you can convert your chalet bungalow to increase space is by connecting the interior with the garden. This is usually achieved with the implementation of joining features such as bi-fold doors and floor-to-ceiling windows. 

The interior of a home opened up to the back garden

This works well with another common feature of dormer bungalows, which is an open-plan layout. This creates a free-flowing environment which travels from the front door all of the way to the back garden. 


Are Chalet Bungalows Cold?

Despite dormer bungalows being very charming places to live, there is one issue that plagues this type of property. 

The common complaint is that dormer bungalows are too cold during winter and too hot during summer. It’s these extreme temperatures that put people off living in these types of homes. 


Why Is This the Case?

Bungalows and dormer bungalows aren’t being built as much as they used to. This means that most dormer bungalows are rather old, meaning they were built under different building regulations than we have today. 

A row of dormer windows on a dormer bungalow home

It’s because of this that the insulation and draught-proofing of chalet bungalows are quite poor. Which has a knock-on effect of creating overly cold rooms in winter and overly hot rooms in summer. 

As of writing this blog, the weather is turning colder and colder in Norfolk, which means homes that do not have proper insulation will feel the cold a lot more in their homes as opposed to those with proper insulation. 

It’s important to know that this is something that can be fixed. There are plenty of tips online to help people keep their homes warm. Or you could turn to a professional in draught-proofing for help. 


The Allure of Dormer Bungalows 

In recent years, bungalows have been increasing in popularity. As we mentioned above, these types of properties are ideal for older occupants who find it tricky to navigate stairs. And if you’re a small family or just a young couple with no kids, a bungalow could be the ideal size for you. 

Bungalows often come with a handful of features that are incredibly desirable to the right type of person. Such as:

  • There’s less space to manage 
  • No stairs to navigate 
  • Possibly having large front windows
  • A decent-sized back garden 

But there is that nagging downside that comes with bungalows – which is the lack of space for most families. This is what makes chalet bungalows so appealing. They can offer most of the benefits a bungalow provides, as well as a little more space. 


Advantages of Chalet Bungalows 

  • Added space – Though the extra space a chalet bungalow can provide is often not very substantial, it is still extra space. In this area of your home, you could build the perfect home office, create a cosy reading nook, or an awesome gaming room. 

  • Natural Light – The dormer windows of a dormer bungalow are attractive to look at, but that’s not all they’re good for. Thanks to the architecture of these windows, they make it easier for your home to receive more natural light, which is a really good thing. 

A dormer window on a chalet bungalow

  • More value – Another advantage that can’t be overlooked is the value. A well-designed and constructed chalet bungalow is incredibly desirable to local homebuyers in Norfolk. So if you ever hope to sell your dormer bungalow, we don’t expect you’ll have a hard time of it. 

  • Full of character – When our construction company in Norfolk has worked on these types of homes in the past, we’ve always noticed their character and charm. A functional first-floor living space that doesn’t feel cramped paired with a cosy upstairs area is bound to provide plenty of charisma. 


Chalet Bungalow vs House: Is it Right For You?

Like most things, a chalet bungalow isn’t right for everyone. 

And it’s not just about space. Of course, the available space a house has is usually a massive factor for people searching for their new home. But it’s not the only deciding factor. 


Disadvantages of Chalet Bungalows 

  • Sloping roof – The upstairs space of a dormer bungalow is limited by these sloping walls. It’s why many refer to these properties as one-and-a-half-storey homes. With a lack of headroom, it can be challenging for occupants to turn this space into something practical. 

A cluttered interior of a home's sloped roof

  • Condensation and dampness – Uninsulated vertical walls are a problem for dormer rooms. With no insulation, there’s little stopping dampness and condensation from reaching your walls. 


Chalet Bungalow Construction in Norfolk

Check out this custom chalet bungalow Bespoke Norfolk Group built in Tilney All Saints, Norfolk. 

The exterior of a dormer bungalow created by Bespoke Norfolk Group in Kings Lynn The kitchen of a dormer bungalow created by Bespoke Norfolk Group in Kings Lynn

This rather spacious version of a chalet bungalow was built from the ground up by our construction experts in Kings Lynn. Through clever architectural design, we were able to maximise the space of this home by creating a large second-storey loft. You’ll notice that there is no need to duck your head when navigating this upper storey, making it a unique dormer bungalow in Norfolk. 

Stairs of a chalet bungalow leading up to the second storey created by Bespoke Norfolk Group in Kings Lynn The second storey of a chalet bungalow created by Bespoke Norfolk Group in Kings Lynn

If you’re local to our Norfolk construction company and are interested in working with us, get in touch with our team today. 


Final Thoughts 

Chalet bungalows are a unique type of property and their popularity doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Although it’s important that you assess your needs and goals before purchasing or building such a property. 

However, on the flip side, we have discussed how through various home improvements, such as renovation, you can turn your dormer bungalow into the perfect home for yourself.