Finding the Right Story for your Family’s Story
According to the ARMLS, about 25% of single family homes sold in Maricopa County during the last year were 2 or more stories. Similarly, 32% of homes currently on the market are 2 or more stories.
When shopping for a home, there are a lot of decisions to make. One-story versus two-story home: Which is better? Consider this list of the pros and cons of one-story versus two-story homes before your next home purchase.
One-story homes Pros and Cons:
- One-story homes are easier to maintain because everything’s on the same level. Everything from power-washing to window washing to painting stays easy and on the ground, no scaffolding necessary.
- Single-story homes are simpler to design. Thinking about building your dream house? One-story homes are simplest to design and thus less expensive to design. They’re also easier than two-story houses to structurally engineer and can be built with prefab components.
- They’re safer to navigate. A one-story home means fewer risks of falls and accidents. It also means that once you get old, you can safely age in place.
- They’re easier to evacuate. In case of a fire, you’ll be able to open any ground-floor window and crawl out to safety. Always have a plan in case of emergency.
Now for the potential drawbacks of single-story homes:
- Building and adding on can be costly. If you’re building a home from the ground up, a larger footprint requires more land. A one-story house also requires more materials such as for the foundation, roofing, and windows. And since plumbing and HVAC runs will need to be longer, thus requiring more power, you’ll need bigger, pricier systems.
- There’s less privacy.
Two-story homes Pros and Cons:
Here are the other perks you get with a two-level house.
- Extra privacy: A second floor makes for an easier separation of public and private spaces.
- Lower risk of burglary: You have a significantly lower risk of a break-in if you accidentally leave a window open on the second floor [rather than one on the first],
- More design options: In two-story homes, it’s fun to play with the massing and scale of spaces, says Prinz, much more so than with just one level.
- Potential views: If you live in a picturesque area, this advantage speaks for itself. Who doesn’t love a good view from a window, balcony or second-floor porch?
And here are the downsides.
- Greater risk of accidents: Let’s talk about those stairs for a moment. They present a potential danger for young children and can be cumbersome for well, anyone. It also will limit people with mobility issues. Making a second floor accessible can cost upward of $20,000 for a lift.
- Costlier heating and cooling: Heat rises; cold air drops. As a result, your upstairs will run hot, your downstairs cold, and you’ll have to adjust your heating and AC accordingly. In fact, some experts say that a two-story home may have double the heating and cooling costs of a single-story home of the same square footage.
- Potential for higher noise level: If not designed well, a multilevel home can have you covering your ears. If your bedroom opens directly onto a great room balcony or the floor isn’t properly designed for acoustics, you’ll hear people walking and talking above you.
Now it’s time for you to decide your story!