Should you build a single-story or two-story house?

Decision time, so should you build a one-story or two-story home? If you are stuck between these two options here are a couple of pros and cons about each to make your choice easier. There are some practical advantages and limitations to both so let’s look at them, starting with the advantages.

Advantages of Single Story Home

  • Safer than two-story homes. Staircase contains the risk of falls for small children, mobility-challenged people, and the elderly. Along with this, evacuation is easier and safer than a two-story home in the event of a fire, earthquake, or other dangerous situation.
  • More design options as one-floor living allow more variation in skylights, ceiling heights, and overall home design.
  • You won’t be compromising square footage and money on staircases.
  • One-story houses are easier to get around, so if you plan to stay in your home until retirement, there may be no need to move. They are also easily wheelchair accessible.
  • From a practical point of view, one-story homes allow for space-saving design. You’ll need fewer bathrooms in a one-story home since they are all on the same floor. Also, the mudroom and laundry room can be easily combined, which can save you money and space.

Advantages of Two Story Homes

  • Cost less per square foot to build because the most expensive elements of home-building — excavation, foundation, and roof installation — are being built on a smaller footprint.
  • You’ll save fuel because, per square foot, fewer outdoor walls and roof areas are exposed to the weather.
  • You’ll save money because plumbing and wiring have less distance to travel.
  • Better views (of course).
  • Larger outdoor space since you are taking up less land space for the house, therefore you’ll have more of it for outdoor living areas.
  • Allows for versatile designs for either now or in the future.

Disadvantages of Two Story Homes

  • The stairway’s footprint can eat up 100 square feet of living space and add to the cost.
  • Stairs present a potential danger for young children, the elderly, or anyone with mobility issues. And if you ever need to install a stairlift, expect to spend thousands of dollars.
  • There’s a lack of variety in ceiling height. Ceiling heights are typically lower than single-floor homes of equal square footage, this could limit opportunities for skylights.
  • Construction considerations. A two-story house takes longer to build because of the second floor, the added staircase, and sometimes a deeper foundation.

Disadvantages of Single Story Home

  • Expect to pay more since per square foot, a one-story house is more costly to build than a two-story one. There is a larger footprint, meaning more foundation building and more roofing materials. Because the plumbing and heating/AC systems need to extend the length of the house, you’ll need bigger and costlier systems.
  • One-floor living means that you are eye-level with the rest of the world passing by, therefore less privacy. This depends on where you live though, if you live in the woods or a very private and distant neighborhood that may not be true.
  • On average, two-story homes command higher prices because the demand among families is higher. This means that the resale value of a single-story home may be lower. But that may change as baby boomers face retirement and want to “age in place.” This higher demand for single-story homes could mean valuation may surpass those of two stories.

With these pros and cons, are you ready to choose between a one-story or two-story custom home? If you still can’t decide we’re here to help. Contact us or call BuildTX today.

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