What Exactly is a Bungaloft?

Written by Mike Herperger


In today’s age of newly invented words such as “double double” and “guesstimate“ I was not too surprised to first hear of the “Bungaloft”.   Like other new words it took me a while to understand what a Bungaloft was and to start using the word myself. To put it simply a Bungaloft is a bungalow with a loft providing additional living space. While I have seen the term used to describe house plans where the loft is over the main floor that house type is more traditionally called a Storey and a Half or 1 ½ Storey. The Bungaloft design that has become most popular throughout both Canada and the United States is where the loft is placed over the garage.

The loft could include:

  • additional entertaining space/a bonus room
  • the master bedroom suite
  • the kids’  bedrooms

While these rooms can be incorporated into the loft of a 1 ½ storey house plan the Bungaloft offers a unique feature. By placing the loft over the garage its floor is only a half storey above the main floor. This means less steps to access the rooms while still getting the separation and privacy that a flight of stairs gives. You can also combine this feature with a bi-level entry creating a high ceiling in the entrance.


The Bungaloft definitely makes for a unique house plan but,  before you decide if it’s right for you,  here are a few of its Pros and Cons.

Cons of a Bungaloft

  • While you’re not increasing the foundation or roof area there are additional costs with beams supporting the loft floor and insulating the floor. This must be carefully designed to minimize additional costs.
  • You lose the “all on one level” appeal of the bungalow.
  • If not designed properly the loft’s roof can transition awkwardly to the main floor roof behind it.

Pros of a Bungaloft

  • Creates privacy for the rooms in the loft without requiring a full flight of stairs to access them.
  • The living space above the garage does not increase your foundation or roof area, saving money!
  • Placing living space over the garage de-emphasizes the garage providing more interest to the exterior design.
  • The height of a Bungaloft is slightly less than a two storey as the loft is only a half storey above the main floor.

Whether you’ve heard of the Bungaloft before or this is your first encounter with it you must admit….the new word aptly describes it!

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