One Story Homes vs Two Story Homes: Benefits and Weaknesses

June 22, 2020

One Story Homes vs Two Story Homes: Benefits and Weaknesses

There are so many different home layouts and floorplans that we can consider when we’re looking to build you your dream home. But one of the first questions to ask is whether or not you want a one story home or a two story home.

Much of this is going to be personal preference. Some people love having two stories. Others want to stay on the same level and avoid stairs. Assuming there are no physical limitations, the choice is largely going to be purely preferential. But there are advantages and weaknesses to each option that should be taken into consideration as you build your custom home.

Advantages of Single Story Home

Single story homes are growing in popularity, even with custom housing. There was a time when two story homes were everywhere, but one stories have made a strong comeback because of advantages that include:

  • Feels Bigger Inside – Single story homes of a similar square foot will almost always feel bigger when you’re inside of the home. With no stairs or separation between living spaces, your home will feel large and spacious in a way that many people find to have value.
  • Safer Inside – Families with children won’t need to worry about stairs since everything is on a single level. And seniors won’t need to worry about aging out of stairs or physical limitations since everything is on a flat surface.
  • More Space – Not only does it feel bigger but, in terms of practicality, a one story home IS bigger. There is no space wasted on stairs, for example, which gives you more space to give to your family room or bedrooms.
  • Design – Single story homes are not limited by the upstairs design. If you want high ceilings in your family room, or a skylight, or any of a number of other features, that is more possible with a single story home.
  • Energy Efficiency – Most people believe that two story homes are more energy efficient because there is less surface area. Though it is possible to develop a home with excellent energy efficiency, single story homes can also be designed for energy efficiency in a way that may beat a two story home. Heat rises, which means if you’re trying to warm up a bottom floor you may have to use more energy in order to make up for the lost heat.

There are other advantages as well, including less noise echoing throughout the home and the ability to quickly and easily get to a place of need (for example, getting a glass of milk from the kitchen without a long trek downstairs).

Advantages of Two Story Homes

However, homes with a second story have many advantages as well. These include:

  • Land – Single story homes may be larger inside, but outside they take up far more of your land space. With a two story home, you’ll either need less land to build a home (decreasing the cost), or you’ll have a much larger yard. If your goal is to either save money on land or have a large landscape, two story homes are always better.
  • Privacy – Traditionally, bedrooms in a two story home are upstairs, and for many people this adds a layer of privacy that can make life a bit more comfortable. Some people may also find that they feel more secure when they are higher than the door.
  • Less Costly (Usually) – Two story homes can often be less expensive to build custom than one story homes. One story homes need a larger foundation, larger roof, and far more support materials than a well made 2 story house.
  • Larger Outside – From the outside, two story homes look larger. Many people find that they prefer to feel like they bought a nice, large home, even if the interior of the home is the same square footage.

Two story homes also offer better views, and as mentioned earlier, some two story homes are more energy efficient when designed correctly, although this varies by design.

One Story or Two Story?

With many layouts to choose from and significant variations in the designs, there are advantages to both one story and two story houses. It’s best to look through our floorplans, talk to us about your needs and goals, and then together we can discuss which custom home meets your vision, so that you can move into your dream home.

Do you have any questions? Give us a Call