Planning to build a new home? There are many decisions to make, but probably the first and most basic one is this: one story or two stories? There are good reasons to choose either style of house and good reasons not to choose it. Here’s a quick guide to the pros and cons of both housing plans.

One Story

Among the most popular reasons for building a ranch style home is the lack of stairs. With so-called “baby boomers” accounting for about 1/4 of the overall U.S. population, this means that a lot of homeowners are older and looking for homes with more accessibility and an easier layout. You may want to consider this point if you’re interested in improving your house’s resale value or if you have aging family members who visit or stay with you.

Single story homes also offer more flexibility in design and layout. Because of their stacked-on-top nature, houses with two levels have certain limitations — among these is ceiling height and variation. You simply can’t have vaulted or cathedral ceilings nor skylights on the main level of a multi-story house. You’re also likely to need less bathrooms in a ranch home because the baths are more easily available rather than running upstairs or downstairs continuously. 

The “cons” of ranch homes tends to lie in their size and cost. Because you have a more sprawling layout, there’s simply more home to build. This means a larger roof and foundation to pay for. It also requires more physical space on the lot or piece of land. 

Two Story

The two-story house has grown in popularity to become the style most likely to be thought of first. One of the main reasons for such popularity is that it takes up less space. With average new homes in the United States encompassing about 2,392 square feet, it’s important to think about how much of your yard will be taken up by the house. Taking up less ground space also translates to cheaper construction costs if your budget is limited. 

Families may find, though, that two story construction is noisier and more cumbersome. With kids and pets running around the home, the sounds can travel between floors pretty significantly. Squeaks in the upper floor, heavy foot traffic and noise going up and down the stairs can all add up to a headache. In addition, rooms placed too closely together — like bedrooms placed on top of the family room, for instance — can add to noise pollution. And the house may be less energy efficient with two levels to keep comfortable. 

By knowing the advantages and disadvantages of both single level and multi level houses, you can make the best choice for your own situation. Work with your contractor to determine which of these factors is most important to you and your home lot. The end result will be a home that you can love for years to come. Contact a contractor that offers ranch style custom homes for more information.