If you get the chance to build your dream home, you should do it right. Take the time to sit down with your general contractors Los Angeles CA and design the perfect house for you and your family. One of the first questions you’ll face when doing so will be how many stories you want in your home. The decision between single-story vs two-story homes is not an easy one. Both alternatives come with different advantages and disadvantages. So it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of all your options before coming to a final decision.
Single-story vs two-story homes: the advantages of single-story homes
Single-story homes have all of their rooms on the same, ground level. Because of this, they typically stretch over a larger area to fit all the rooms properly or they may have outbuildings and additions such as an outdoor kitchen. They are a popular choice for good reason – they come with many advantages over two-story homes.
More living space per square foot
Single-story homes make good use of every inch of space. There is no need for staircases, banisters, storage rooms under staircases, and even hallways. So you can use all the space you’ve got to make bigger or more rooms. You’ll also be saving money as building safe and beautiful staircases can cost a pretty penny.
Safer for children, the elderly, and the disabled
One of the biggest advantages of working with custom home builders Los Angeles is that you can design and create a house that’s perfectly suited to your needs. And sometimes, you have very specific needs. If you or someone in your family are physically disabled, if you’re planning on living in the same home until retirement, or if your elderly parents will be living with you, mobility may be an issue you need to keep in mind. Single-story homes are easier to navigate for people who may not be physically capable of regularly taking stairs. They are also safer for young children who aren’t always careful when running up and down between floors.
Easier to expand and build upon
If you decide on a single-story home and then change your mind, you can easily build another floor on top of the existing one. Alternatively, you can hire ADU builders Los Angeles to expand on the home laterally or convert an existing outbuilding. While it is certainly possible to remodel and expand a two-story home, it isn’t always as easy. So if you’re unsure, it may be best to choose a single-story design and build upon it later if needed.
Quieter, more peaceful living
When you only have one floor, you don’t have to worry about noise coming from upstairs. And since single-story homes are typically more expansive, you can even position bedrooms further away from living areas to ensure peace and quiet throughout the day. This is also helpful with smells – if your kitchen is further away from your bedroom, you’ll avoid food smells.
Single-story vs two-story homes: the advantages of two-story homes
Two-story homes split the rooms between the ground floor and the floor built on top of it. Typically, the ground floor is designated for living spaces – the kitchen, the dining room, a small bathroom, and the den. The upper floor, on the other hand, usually contains bedrooms and the master bath. This design also comes with certain advantages.
Less expensive per square foot
It may seem counterintuitive, but two-story homes are actually more affordable to build. This is largely because the biggest expenses when building a new home are excavation, foundation, and roofing. In a two-story home, you have fewer rooms per floor and therefore need less space – two-story homes are built vertically, not horizontally. So you need a small foundation and a smaller roof area. This will significantly lower building costs.
More efficient and cost-effective
Two-story homes are not just cheaper to build; they’re cheaper to maintain. The surface area of the roof and walls exposed to the elements is overall smaller for two-story houses. So you’ll be losing less heat and energy that way. And with less of your home exposed to the elements the odds of damages from sun, rain or snow are lower. Furthermore, the infrastructure for utilities (such as piping for water or gas and wiring for electricity) won’t be spread out over a wide area and will instead extend up onto the second floor. This requires less material and less work to install and maintain. So the overall maintenance costs of a two-story home will be lower in the long run.
More outdoor space and better views of it
Two-story homes take up less space on a property. So if you have a small property, it’s best to build high rather than wide. But even if you have a large property, this can be a good idea. Then you can hire landscaping contractors Los Angeles and turn the outdoors of your home into something magical. An additional benefit of two-story homes is that higher vantage points on the upper floors will give you better views of your surroundings.
A big disadvantage of single-story homes is that just about anyone walking by can look in through your windows. This isn’t a problem with two-story homes. On the upper floors at least, you’ll have much more privacy than you would in a single story home. Since most Americans value privacy, this can be the deciding factor for building a taller home.
Factors to consider when deciding between single-story vs two-story homes
Whether you opt for a single-story or multi-story home will depend on:
- the size of the property: a single-story home requires a larger property while smaller properties are more suited to two-story homes
- plans for the future: if you plan on raising a family or growing old in the home you’re building, single-story may be the better option
- your budget and finances: overall, two-story homes are less expensive so if you’re on a budget, that’s the best option for you
- priorities: you need to decide what matters more to you – living space or price, safety or privacy
There is no right answer to the ‘single-story vs two-story homes’ dilemma
There is no way to objectively say what the correct answer is to the single-story vs two-story homes question. Instead, you must take into consideration the specifics of your personal situation. Think about where you are at right now, both in your life and in terms of finances. Ask yourself what your plans for the future are. Then, try to picture yourself in your dream home. What does it look like? Finally, make the best decision for your unique circumstances.