Should I Build a One- or Two-Story Home?

Planning to build your dream home? Before you begin designing your new home, you must first determine whether a one- or two-story floor plan is more suited to your lifestyle. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks.

One-Story House Pros and Cons 

Once a symbol of the American dream, one-story, ranch-style homes have held fast in the neighborhood landscape. Read on to discover this timeless, energy-efficient floor plan’s many advantages. 

Pro: Maintenance

Cleaning and maintenance in a one-story home is more localized and therefore tasks such as the following are more manageable (and less costly) in the long term:

  • Exterior painting 
  • Window washing
  • Roof repairs
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Vacuuming
  • Laundry

Pro: Safety

Families with older members or children will value the absence of stairs in a one-story home as a distinct advantage. Slips and falls can happen to anyone, but a single-level living space inherently prevents such risks, allowing homeowners of all generations to age safely in their own homes. Bonus: one-story homes are also easier to evacuate in case of emergency.

Pro: Sound

A one-story home is a quieter home, free from noise that naturally occurs with the presence of a second story. 

Cons

As one can see, single-story homes certainly have strong positives going for them, but they are not without disadvantages, such as:

  • Privacy – By the nature of their situation at ground level, one-story homes can project a sense of exposure to the outside world.
  • Security – With all entry points at ground level, extra consideration should be given to closing windows and locking doors as an added security precaution.
  • Upfront costs – Though owning a one-story home typically saves money long term in the form of lower heating and cooling costs, the upfront costs of building a structure with a larger footprint must be taken into account.

Two-Story House Pros and Cons

With more design options, greater square footage for one’s dollar upfront, and potential for higher resale value, two-story homes have grown in popularity over the last fifty years. Here are some reasons why:

Security

Pro: A two-story home’s second level has a built-in layer of security. After all, ill-intended burglars aren’t apt to set up a ladder and make off with a flat-screen from the second story.

Pro: Privacy

Pro: A two-story home’s privacy advantage is twofold. A second level brings a sense of seclusion from the outside world. Additionally, two-floor layouts offer flexibility to separate private from public spaces within the home, and even distance a master suite from other bedrooms. 

Cons

But no floor plan is perfect. Two-story homes also contend with certain disadvantages, such as:

  • Sound – Whether it’s footfalls from above or muffled acoustics from an upstairs television, the potential for greater noise in a two-story home exists, although the issue is not as pronounced in a newly built home versus an older home.
  • Maintenance – Upkeep of a two-story home requires slightly elevated effort and costs. 
  • Safety – With a second level comes stairs, which pose potential risks, particularly for youngsters and the elderly, who may be prone to slips or falls.

Personal Taste Is Paramount

With distinct pros and cons for each floor plan, it boils down to personal taste when choosing a one- or two-story layout for your new home. Which floor plan is most suitable for your family?


Ready to build the house of your dreams? With over four-decades’ experience, building a new home with seasoned builder Bill Roberts Custom Homes is a wise choice. Specializing in both one- and two-story homes, the knowledgeable Bill Roberts team employs a time-tested process to ensure your dream home design becomes a reality. Don’t delay; contact us today and get started on your journey to custom home ownership. 

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