What are the pros and cons of single and double storey homes?

Posted by Alphaline Homes on Dec 5, 2019 2:38:43 PM
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Designing a custom home requires quite a bit of comparison work. There’s a lot of options to think about, such as whether you prefer blinds or curtains in the bedrooms and the style of light fixtures you want throughout the house.

One of the bigger things you’ll need to decide on is whether you want a single storey home or a double storey home. 
While both have their pros and cons, there’s no “right or wrong” answer. It all comes down to your own personal preferences, your lifestyle, the size of your family as well as your budget.

If you’re a bit stuck and unsure which one to go with, this blog post will help you weigh up your options.


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The pros of a single storey home

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• Single storey is ideal if there are going to be older people or people with mobility issues living in your home. It’s a good idea to consider your future plans when you’re designing your custom home. I.e. – is there a chance that older relatives may move in with you at some point who would be more comfortable in a single storey home?

• They tend to be more appealing to first home buyers as well as investors due to their lower build cost and and faster build time.

• Families with young children also tend to prefer single storey – it makes it easier to keep an eye on youngsters. Also, needing to have baby gates on stairs can be a nuisance.

• Single storey houses are generally smaller than double storey ones, so there’s less cleaning and less maintenance to worry about.

• They cost less overall to keep cool in summer and warm and winter.

• If you have a significant size block of land, such as acreage, it makes economical and practical sense to build a single storey. There’s not much point in paying extra to build up when you can just build out.

• It’s much easier to move into a single storey home – no lugging heavy furniture up the stairs.

• It’s possible to create a “ranch” style home with a single storey (although this style may not be to your preference)

The cons of a single storey home

• The foundations of a single storey home take up a larger footprint on a block of land than a double storey. This means you end up with less yard (granted this is not a concern if you have a large block)

• Single floor living means that you are eye-level with the rest of the world passing by, so there’s a bit less privacy.

• Resale value may be lower. Double storey homes, on average, command higher prices.

• There’s a chance you might outgrow your home as the years go by.

The pros of a double storey home

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• Blocks of land are getting smaller and smaller these days, especially in new estates. A double storey house allows you to “fit” more house on the land you own.

• You have more flexibility with your layout and overall design. For example, it’s easier to create large open plan spaces which flow nicely from room to room. There’s often the option to have a carport instead of a garage, allowing you to use the garage space for a big family area instead.

• Double storey gives you the option for separated/dual living. Having kitchens and bathrooms on both levels allows for greater privacy when you have visitors. Two fully self contained levels also present a good rental opportunity.

• Upstairs bedrooms and living areas are more private, especially if you build in a new estate where there is usually little space between houses.

• If your land has stellar views, you can better capitalise on them with a double storey home with the addition of spacious balconies and large windows. This also allows you to take advantage of cross breezes.

• Your downstairs areas will be cooler in the hot Australian summer without the need for air conditioning. This is because cool air falls while hot air rises.

• Hamptons and ultra modern looking homes tend to be double storey (although these styles may not be to your preference)

The cons of a double storey home

• The build costs of double storey homes are higher. You can roughly expect to pay 10% - 30% more than for a single storey home of the same size. This includes the costs of the staircase, handrails, safety scaffolding and additional labour while working at heights.

• Double storey homes can be difficult for older people and those with mobility issues to navigate.

• It’s not at all unusual for double storey homes to have issues with noise. Sounds from the upstairs bedrooms may travel downstairs. If you have small, active children, your home could be very noisy. Although this can be mitigated with carpeted and insulated floors.

• With all the space which a double storey home provides comes more areas to clean, both internally and externally. Hard-to-reach areas such as gutters and windows are more difficult to maintain.

• No one likes moving furniture, and it’s made all the worse of a chore when there’s a staircase involved.


Download Now: 11 Hidden Costs When Building a House eBook


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Talk to the team of expert custom home builders at Alphaline Homes. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Topics: Custom Home Design