One Level or Multiple?

Whether a one-story home or a two-story home is better for you depends on you and your family. The merits of a ranch house versus multi-level homes are something we get asked about often. The truth is, one is not inherently better than the other…so much depends on your preferences, your family, and your location.

The first and most important thing to consider is your lifestyle. Do you have young children? If so, you might want the master bedroom to be on the same floor as theirs, or at least have easy access to their sleeping areas. Many people like to have a master suite on the first level, with other bedrooms upstairs. Similarly, if you have teenagers, you might want a space where they can have privacy (like a recreation room). Many people prioritize having a finished basement that adds another layer of living space for the family.

Once you consider how you will live in the house, think about how you will do so in the future. Will you be aging in place? If so, your home will need limited stairs. Often, people who plan to age in their homes will opt for a one-story so that they do not need to think about moving or creating a new master bedroom in the future. On the other hand, many of our clients have had success converting a den or other area into a bedroom/bath combination – so it’s certainly possible to transition areas of a home to better suit aging family members. If you do plan to build or buy a ranch, give careful thought to the layout. Typically people prefer a master bedroom at one end of the house for privacy reasons.

Lastly, it’s important to note that a one level home can be potentially more expensive to build on a cost per square foot basis. The less foundation required, the less your costs will be. This is why it makes sense to “build up” rather than “out”. One more item to check on is your town’s lot coverage rules. Most areas have certain regulations about setbacks and lot coverage, so you will want to understand those.

There isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to how many levels to build. It all depends on what works for you – and an experienced architect or builder will help you reflect on your own lifestyle to determine what will ultimately make you happy.

We’re here to help you make that decision so contact us now!

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