One Story vs. Two Story Homes: Which is Right for You?

For today’s McNair Weekly, we thought we’d explore the differences, pros, and cons of one story and two story homes, helping you make an informed decision when purchasing or building your next house. We will examine various aspects of a home, such as size, heating and cooling systems, occupancy, resale value, safety concerns, and overall cost.

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Size and Space

One of the main differences between one story and two story homes is the amount of living space available. Two story homes typically have more square footage than single story homes, benefiting larger families or those who prefer more room to spread out. However, one story homes often have larger yards, which can appeal to outdoor enthusiasts or homeowners with pets.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average size of a new single-family home in the United States is 2,386 square feet. Two story homes account for 59% of new single-family homes, while one story homes make up 41%. This indicates a trend towards larger, two story homes in recent years.

Heating and Cooling Systems

When it comes to heating and cooling, one story homes generally require less energy compared to two story homes. This is because heat rises, making the upper level of a two story home warmer than the lower level. As a result, two story homes often require more energy to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house.

Energy consultant Mark Eatherton explains, “A two story home will require a more complex HVAC system, leading to higher installation and maintenance costs.” Additionally, homeowners with one story homes tend to have lower utility bills due to the reduced energy usage for heating and cooling.

Occupancy and Resale Value

Considering the occupancy aspect, one story homes are often more accessible for individuals with mobility issues or aging homeowners. This can be a significant factor when considering the resale value of a home. Real estate expert Barbara Corcoran says, “Single story homes are always in demand because they appeal to a broader range of buyers.”

On the other hand, two story homes can offer more privacy for families with multiple generations living under one roof. The separation between living and sleeping areas can make it easier for family members to maintain their own space and routines.

Safety Concerns

Safety is another important consideration when comparing one story and two story homes. Single story homes can be safer in terms of evacuation during emergencies, as there are fewer obstacles to navigate in the event of a fire or natural disaster. However, two story homes may provide an added level of security from potential intruders, as it is more difficult to access second story windows and doors.

Overall Cost

In general, two story homes are more expensive to build than one story homes due to the additional materials and labor required for the second floor. However, the cost per square foot can be lower for two story homes since the foundation and roof are shared between both levels. This can result in a larger home for a similar price to a single story home with the same square footage.

The choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences, budget, and lifestyle needs. What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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