It’s a common conundrum for homebuyers: Buy a single-story home, or a home with multiple levels. The traditional American home layout often includes shared spaces on the ground floor and more private areas (bedrooms, offices) on upper floors. While each style offers its own benefits, there are reasons why a single-story house plan might be just the right choice.
Perfect for Aged and Young Family Members Alike
Many older individuals rely on a walker or wheelchair for mobility. For these people, ascending and descending stairs is a struggle, and an insurmountable obstacle. Single story homes are perfect for those aging because they allow freedom of movement at any age. Indeed, the elderly aren’t the only ones for whom stairs can be a challenge. Young children also do better with a single-story design.
Maintenance is generally easier with a single-story home. Even if you don’t mind climbing stairs at your age, you’ll likely find it difficult to maintain the exterior of upper stories. With a single story home, you’ll be able to access all areas of your home.
Increased Energy Efficiency
It’s easier to heat a single story house. Most modern single story houses feature a central shared living area, surrounded by more private rooms such as bedrooms and offices. Heated and cooled air naturally flows through such a design. In contrast, multiple story houses require more complex and costly HVAC systems.
Plenty of Open Floor
Single story homes tend to include a generous communal area, sometimes called the “Family Triangle” of living room, dining room, and kitchen. While older homes boxed each of these rooms off with walls, modern single story home plans are often designed to merge these three areas into one large, open space. Vaulted ceilings and expansive windows are often prioritized here, so as to create a comfortable and beautiful area where the whole family will naturally want to congregate.
Easy to Expand Living Space
It’s fairly easy to add a deck, sunroom, or patio to a single story home plan. In contrast, a two-story home will require structural analysis and careful planning for expansion. The ease of expanding outdoor living areas translates to a strong indoor and outdoor connection in many single story homes.
Single story homes are less costly to build and to maintain than their multiple-story counterparts.
Finally, a single story home doesn’t have to feel cramped. Indeed, without the structural demands of upper stories, designers often have more freedom to choose taller ceilings and pencil in more skylights and windows. The contemporary single story home can feel airy and spacious, if you choose the right design.