There are many different features and designs buyers look for in a home. One of the most common debates is one-story versus two-story. While there’s no definite answer of which type is better, both have their own set of pros and cons. Depending on your personal preference, living situation, and priority list, you may find that one works better for your situation than the other.
To make the most educated decision, let’s explore the characteristics of a one-story home and a two-story home.
Following the end of World War II, the single-level design emerged as the major trend across the nation, with the one-story ranch representing the fulfillment of the American Dream. In 1973, it reached the peak of popularity when it made up 67% of new home construction. Today, those numbers have declined, but one-story homes remain highly desirable to many homebuyers.
To start, one-story homes don’t have stairs. This is arguably the biggest benefit of this design for a number of reasons. They can be a potential safety hazard, especially for young children, the elderly, and those who have difficulty navigating stairs. For many, it’s simply the inconvenience of having to climb up and down each time you want a drink of water or you need to retrieve something from the other level. According to the experts, a staircase can take up as much as 100 square feet that could have been otherwise used as functional living space.
With a one-story design, all of the rooms are on the same level, providing better access to all parts of the home and the potential to create a more open-concept layout. It can also be easier to maintain - no more climbing ladders to wash high windows or paint unreachable corners. Alternatively, you can opt for the highly-desired vaulted ceilings or skylights that would otherwise be difficult to achieve with a second story.
Another factor to consider is the advantageous position on the ground level. While we hope this is never the case, if there ever was a house fire or other emergency, it would be much easier to evacuate out of a single-story home. On a lighter note, you can also avoid the nuisance of creaky floorboards overhead or the unavoidable noise of energetic children running upstairs.
Stylistically, ranch and bungalow homes are generally single-story. So if that is the aesthetic you are going for, one-story homes may be the route to go. Also, single-level homes offer more consistent temperature regulation. Notably in the summer, they tend to be cooler than two-story homes since hot air naturally rises up, trapping the heat in the second level.
Dual and multi-level homes rose in popularity as television and social media portrayed them as the epitome of grandeur and affluence. Sprawling mansions with a sweeping staircase and private elevator became synonymous with the luxury lifestyle. While the two-level homes we see in our local market aren’t typically of that size or extravagance, having the double-story design definitely has its perks.
One of the most significant reasons two-story homes are in such high demand is that they usually provide much more square footage. With single-level homes, you can only build as large as the lot will allow, but with two-level homes, you can essentially double the area by building vertically. This allows for plenty of room to build out your dream backyard without having to sacrifice precious living space.
More square footage equals more possibilities. In two-story homes, you will likely find more rooms, bigger bedrooms, lofts, extra storage space, and bonus rooms that can be converted into a home office, recreational room, or private retreat. It also offers more flexibility to build out ensuite bathrooms or walk-in closets.
Depending on how you look at it, the same attributes can be positive or negative. For example, stairs are perceived as a downside for some, while others consider it to be a benefit. Having stairs allows for a separation of space. When hosting parties or holiday gatherings, you can entertain guests downstairs and maintain privacy of your living quarters. At night, when the kids have gone to bed, you can continue the late-night talks without having to worry about waking them up.
Additionally, only a two-story home will feature the highly-coveted balcony. What better place to enjoy the sunset or mountain views as you wind down at the end of the day? In terms of architectural design, Colonial or Victorian styles are prominently seen in two-story homes.
Looking for the perfect home?
Whether you prefer a one-story or a two-story, we’re here to help. Schedule a call with us below and let’s go find your dream home!