If you’re considering building your dream home in Coastal Carolina, one of the first questions to ask yourself is if you want a single-story home or a two-story home. As with most decisions, there are pros and cons to both options. Depending on your budget, lifestyle, family, and lot size, you can weigh the advantages and disadvantages when selecting your floorplan.

Single-Story Living

If you have young children, physically disabled or aging family members, a single-story home is likely the safer option. With one level, you won’t have to worry about anyone struggling to reach upper levels on stairs or a loved one taking a tumble. Without stairs, you may also enjoy more usable square feet. A staircase can take up as much as 100 square feet!

Single-story homes are easier to maintain and often more energy efficient. You don’t have to worry about the heat rising to your second floor, so keeping your thermostat regulated will be easier and more affordable. It also can be easier to do laundry and clean since you won’t have to lug baskets of clothes or vacuums up and down stairs.

However, one of the biggest cons to a one-story home is the larger physical footprint on your land. It will be more costly to build the foundation, cover the entire roof, and have plumbing, heating, and cooling systems running the whole length of the house. Depending on the size of your lot, a single-story home may leave you with smaller front or back yards than you’d hoped for.

All-ground floor windows also impact your sense of privacy. You may want to invest in window coverings that increase privacy in bedrooms and baths on the ground floor. You’ll also be sleeping on the same level as your kids, who may feel they have less space or privacy as they get older.

Two-Story Living

Two-story homes have a smaller footprint, so they take up less of your acreage and can be less expensive for excavation, foundation, and roof installation! But, they’re also a bit trickier to engineer.

In a two-story home, you can be sure to get your steps in every day. Making trips up and down the stairs is good for your health. You’ll also get better views of your property from second-story windows.

Having two stories can create more separation in your home, which can be a good thing. You could have all of your bedrooms on the second floor and just your living spaces on the first floor. Alternatively, your primary bedroom could be downstairs, and your kids can have their own territory upstairs with their bedrooms, playrooms, and separate bathroom. Having bedrooms on the second floor also adds a little more privacy from neighbors.

Possible negatives of two-story homes include noise being heard from multiple levels and extra HVAC units or capacity being needed to overcome the heat that rises between floors.

If you’re planning on living in your home through retirement, it’s wise to consider a single-level home. As you or your family ages, getting up and down the stairs may be challenging, and expensive to adapt for accessibility.

No matter what you choose for your family, knowing the pros and cons will help you make the decision that suits you best. Either way, we’re here to help.