Which Is Better to Buy: A One-Story Home or a Two-Story Home?

one story house plans


The best home to buy, whether a one-story or multi-story, largely depends on your personal taste as an owner. Apart from whether you like stairs or not, there are other factors that determine the best style home to buy. There are practical limitations and advantages of each that the homeowner should consider before deciding which to buy.

Single story home


  • Quieter and more comfortable living. You don’t hear footsteps and noise from upstairs.
  • Stairs are a risk for small children, seniors and the mobility challenged. In case of an emergency, evacuation in a single level home is easier and faster.
  • Larger living space. Generally, less compromises on square footage.
  • Space-saving designs. Single level homes have flexible designs and rooms can be combined.
  • Many design options. Single floor living allows flexibility in designing, like variations in skylights and ceiling heights.


  • You pay more. Single floor homes are costly to build compared to two-story homes. The house has a larger footprint, meaning more roofing materials and more foundation to build.
  • Less privacy. You are on eye level with everyone else in the house which feels more exposed and less private.
  • Lower resale value. Multi-level homes tend to list for higher prices as they are in more demand from families compared to the single level homes.

Multi-Level Homes


  • Less costly to build. The most expensive home building elements are the excavation, foundation and roof installation when built on a larger footprint. With the multi-level home, the footprint is smaller so it is less costly.
  • Better views. Multilevel story homes have a better view since you are at tree height.
  • Large outdoor space. Multi-level homes take up less land space for the house resulting in a larger outdoor living area.
  • Upstairs bedrooms are considered to be more private especially if you live in a neighborhood. If you have children, the second-floor bedrooms are awesome for teenagers.


  • Added costs. The stairway eats up significant living space and adds on to the building cost.
  • No variety in ceiling height. Ceiling heights in multilevel homes are lower than the single-story homes and there is no varied height from room to room. This limits skylight opportunities.
  • Stair accidents. Younger children, seniors, and mobility challenged people are at a higher risk of injury. Installing a stairlift is costly and digs a hole in your pocket.
  • Construction time. It takes longer to build a multilevel home as the added staircase and deeper foundation requires more time.

The choice between multilevel and single level home is dependent on personal tastes and preferences. However, as a homeowner, it’s good to consider the above pros and cons before making the decision. The price of the home will most likely come into play and contribute to your decision. If you are older, you may not want to deal with the stairs anymore.


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