5 min readWhen it comes to selecting a home design, you need to choose a floor plan that perfectly suits you and your family’s needs both now and in the future. From taste preferences and lifestyle requirements to block size and budget, there are many aspects that need to be taken into account.
One of the longstanding debates in real estate and construction is single storey homes versus double storey homes. Both property styles have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, which must be weighed up when choosing which type to purchase or build.
Here are some of the pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to go for a single or double storey layout for your next home.
Stage of life
It’s important to choose a home that will grow with you and your needs. Ask yourself if you plan on having children in the near future and what needs they’ll have. Alternatively, is this the house you want to downsize into and grow old in? How will you ensure it is suitable for this next phase of your life?
From a practical perspective, single storeys are ideal for homebuyers who might struggle with having a set of stairs. For example, retirees and people with physical injuries or disabilities often prefer single storey homes because they don’t have to worry about going up and down stairs to get from one area to another.
Single level homes are also popular for families with young children as it’s easier to keep an eye on young children and again, stairs will not pose any safety risks to any curious toddlers or crawling infants. Whereas families with teens may opt for a double storey design because they offer a better separation of living areas, where you can set up a teenage or parents’ retreat upstairs depending on your preferences.
Size of the block
The size of your block will have a big impact on what style of home you decide to build. As block sizes continue to get smaller and smaller in new subdivisions around Australia, one way home builders have tried to accommodate for this trend is to offer buyers house and land packages on narrower lots of land. So, with the average home site just over 400 sqm, many buyers are now opting for a double storey design to maximise living space on a small or narrow lot.
Whereas single storey homes generally have a larger footprint and take up a higher portion of the block sacrificing outdoor space. By building upwards you don’t have to compromise on space and can choose a floor plan that suits your needs perfectly. Stacking your spaces instead of spreading means you can maintain good-sized living areas and bedrooms, plus it gives you extra room for any additional rooms you may require in your dream home.
A double storey design also leaves you plenty of room for a spacious garden, alfresco area and maybe even a swimming pool. If you have kids or pets a backyard may be a determining factor when choosing a home plan, or if you enjoy entertaining an alfresco area may be a top priority. So, you don’t necessarily need a big block to have a big backyard, as two-level homes can give you not only more floor space, but more yard space than a single-level home would on the same block.
Layout of the home
When it comes to choosing between a single or double storey home, you need to consider the right layout to suit your needs. You want to optimise the liveability of your property so it becomes a place you enjoy coming home to and spending time in. A single storey home gives you the freedom to design the layout as you like, without having to worry about what’s going upstairs, noise from above and how it will all come together.
However, a double storey home takes advantage of the extra options a split-level layout affords. While floor plans of single storey homes are comparably limited, there’s a whole range of different configurations that become available when deciding to build up. You may choose to capitalise on magnificent views with a reverse living layout, where the kitchen and living areas are upstairs and bedrooms and bathrooms are positioned downstairs.
On the flipside, some homeowners prefer a traditional layout of living spaces downstairs and bedrooms upstairs. No matter which layout you choose, having the living spaces and bedrooms over two floors makes it easy to create distinct areas of separation between zones, which gives you multiple options for both relaxing and socialising. Whereas with single storey homes, living spaces and bedrooms tend to be clustered together, not allowing for as much privacy for the different people living in the home and when guests come to stay.
Aspect of the property
If your land has a great outlook, then there’s a fantastic opportunity to build a double storey home to showcase any views and add value to your property. Building up will also help you make the most of capturing natural light and give you more space for extra bedrooms and bathrooms adding value to your property if you choose to sell.
Double storey designs can also provide a more grand and impressive appearance, giving you better kerb appeal. However, you also need to consider the surrounding homes. Do you want to live in a single storey overshadowed by towering double storey homes or vice versa?
We hope these arguments for and against single and double storey layouts has helped you determine which type of home may best suit you and your family.
For more tips on building a new home take a look at our guide to building a home that oozes luxury without breaking the bank, ways to cut costs when building a new home and 10 things to check before hiring a builder.