Single Home vs. Two Story Home

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By Jacob Maslow

There are many things to consider when it comes to purchasing a single-storey home or a two-storey home. Both styles of homes come with advantages and disadvantages. The most apparent difference between these two styles of homes would be the fact that one has stairs, and one does not. Another common difference is the size and square footage. Beyond these noticeable visual differences, there are quite a few economic differences between these two styles of houses.

Advantages of a Single Story Home

Single story homes are ideal for individuals that do not like going up and down stairs repeatedly. Everything is on the same level for convenience. The laundry, kitchen, living space, and bedrooms are all on the same level. Some families enjoy having everyone and everything on the same level. Ranch style houses are also ideal for senior citizens because the fall risk is significantly reduced.

Economically speaking, a light from a bedroom could partially provide light to a kitchen or family room that is nearby. Homeowners are only heating and cooling one level of the home. It is easier to determine if a light is left on since every room is within the viewing range.

Disadvantages of a Single Story Home

If the ranch is not sprawling and utilizing an open floor plan, it is easy for people to feel trapped and on top of each other. Ranch homes can quickly appear smaller and hidden by an overgrown landscape, giving the illusion of less space.

Boxy style ranch homes that do not utilize an open floor plan can reverse the economic effect. If each room is cut off from the other without a visual flow, it can be easy to forget about turning off a light. This style can also prevent proper air circulation, and HVAC systems may have to work harder to distribute warmed or cooled air evenly. Dominion Energy can help customers with their energy needs and determine where services are being optimized to their best standards.

Advantages of a Two-Story Home

Two-storey homes often appear grander and can reflect greater curb appeal than ranch houses typically do. The floor plan allows the family to entertain one level of the house and sleep on the other. This is ideal for those who need a bit of space. Two-storey homes are a favorite choice for young people who intend to start a family within the next decade. They offer time to entertain in the common areas and keep sleeping quarters separated for privacy. Two-storey houses also allow better views from the windows and typically have square footage than single-storey homes.

When two-storey homes are built, they take up the same square footage on their lot but are providing double the living space because a second level is added. This gives growing families plenty of room and some privacy as well.

Disadvantages of a Two-Story Home

Two-storey homes are not easily accessible to anyone suffering from injuries that may limit their ability to climb stairs. If the HVAC system is not updated, it can also be a bit more costly to heat or cool a two-story home adequately. While the heat rises in most situations, drafty windows or poorly insulated homes can cause the home to have warmer or colder areas than others. Proper insulation and circulation by utilizing fans will be necessary to optimize airflow in two-storey houses. The shade is limited from nearby trees for the second story of the house if the trees are not mature enough to block out some of the sun’s rays from the second level.

How to Choose Which One Is Best for You

Once the homeowner can have the home assessed for drafts, they will work an energy plan into their utility budget. This will help them save money regardless of the type of home they buy. It is up to the buyer which house is ideal for their and unique living situation. Seniors and those with physical limitations typically enjoy ranch style homes more than two-storey homes. Growing families typically enjoy the space and privacy options that two-storey homes provide. Assess how much square footage is adequate for your situation and then consider where you may be in five to ten years. This will help you determine if you should consider a larger home or stick with one story.


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