Some people just love a single-storey home and wouldn’t live any other way. Others are happy in a two-storey home and think nothing of the stairs. It really does come down to personal preference. But there are a few other things to consider when choosing between high-set or low-set, including location, and your family stage and future plans. Both sides have their pros and cons, so here are a few points to help you decide between building a single storey or double storey home.
Safe for young and old: Families with small kids often prefer single storey homes to avoid the potential danger of staircases. Many also say it’s easier to keep an eye on what the kids are up to in a one-storey home. Stairs are also a consideration for the elderly: Even if you’re nowhere near retirement age yet, if you expect to be living your golden years in the home, single storey could be the way to go.
Energy savings: Heating and cooling a single storey home is cheaper than a double storey. With two-storey homes you often need more zones, and the temperature can also vary widely between levels.
Quiet: There’s a certain peace in a single storey home that’s not always there in a two-storey. It’s really challenging to dull the noise of people moving around upstairs in a double-storey home.
Land size and affordability: Building upwards instead of sprawling outwards saves on yard space. It’s an increasingly popular option as land prices increase and blocks are smaller, particularly nearer to cities: you can buy a smaller – and cheaper – block, and still have a spacious home, without completely sacrificing a yard.
Building costs are about 10-15% higher for a double storey home, but it can still work out cheaper in the long run when you spend less on the block.
Outlook: Capitalise on a great view by building upwards. This could also have an impact on the design of the house: while it’s common to locate living areas downstairs and bedrooms upstairs, you can make the most of a view by having the living areas upstairs.
Separation/privacy: Families with older kids might like to put a master suite upstairs and create a teenage retreat downstairs. This layout could also come in handy if an elderly relative needs to move in someday.
And finally, appearance: This one is really down to personal opinion. Some say a two-storey home has a grand appearance, while others prefer the sprawling look of a single-storey. Ultimately it’s up to you: why not browse some of our house plans and visit some display homes to help you weigh up your decision.