If you’ve decided to build a new home, rather than buy an existing property, then the choice of single-storey or double-storey is one of the first decisions you will have to make as part of the process.
Several factors will influence that decision including where you are at this stage of your life. Is this a home to raise a family in, either now or in the near future? Or one that you want to downsize into and grow old in?
From a practical perspective, single-storey properties usually appeal most to those approaching retirement age or those who have already retired. They don’t have to climb and descend stairs to get from one part of the home to another, so one floor gives them a feeling of safety and convenience.
Single-storey homes are also popular for families with young children, as it makes it easy to look out for youngsters and the stairs won’t pose safety risks to curious toddlers or infants who are just learning to crawl. On the other hand, families with teenage children might choose a double- storey design for a better separation of living areas, where a teenage or parents’ retreat can be set up on the upper level.
The size of your section will also play a part in the final decision. Home sites around New Zealand are shrinking, and the two-storey designs in our range maximise living space on a small or narrow lot. Building upwards means you don’t have to compromise on space; “stacking” your spaces instead of spreading them as you would in a single-storey dwelling means you can enjoy spacious living areas and bedrooms. However, all of our architectural designs, be they for single or double level homes, offer plenty of space anyway.
The traditional layout of a double-storey home features living spaces downstairs and bedrooms upstairs; two distinct levels for sleeping and socialising. Of course, in single-storey homes, these zones tend to be clustered together, minimising privacy (and quiet areas) for the different people living in the home and the guests who come to stay.
If the home site boasts a scenic outlook, then there’s another reason to build up. It will showcase any views and add value to the property; “million-dollar views” might not be such an exaggeration in today’s market? A double-storey design will also capture more natural light, although we must point out that our single-storey homes are also designed to catch the light and warmth from the sun.
If you’re building new, these are just a few of the things to mull over as you decide between a single-storey home or a double-storey residence. Where are you building? Why are you building? Who are you building for? The answers to these questions can be the foundation of the correct decision. And, as leaders in architect-designed single and double level homes, we’re always here to give you some advice as you weigh up the pros and cons.