5 Benefits of Single Story House Plans

It’s a common conundrum for homebuyers: Should you buy a single-story home, or a home with multiple levels? The traditional American home layout often includes shared spaces on the ground floor and more private areas (bedrooms, offices) on upper stories. While each style offers its own benefits, we’re here to provide the reasons why a single-story house plan might be just the ticket for your family. 

Unscaled rough sketch plan of Belton House, En...

Image Credit: Belton_Plan

1. Perfect for Aging in Place and Youngsters Alike.
Many older individuals rely on a walker or wheelchair for mobility. For these people, ascending and descending stairs is at best a struggle, and at worst an insurmountable obstacle. Single story home plans are perfect for aging in place because they allow freedom of movement at any age. Indeed, the elderly aren’t the only ones for whom stairs can be a challenge. Young children also do better with a single-story design.

Moreover, maintenance is generally easier with a single-story home plan. Even if you’re a spry octogenarian who doesn’t mind climbing stairs, you’ll likely find it difficult to maintain the exterior of upper stories. With a single story home plan, you’ll be able to access all areas of your home with a ladder—a definite advantage.

2. Single Story Home Plans Offer Increased Energy Efficiency.
It’s easier to heat a single story house plan. Most modern single story house plans feature a central shared living area, surrounded by more private rooms such as bedrooms and offices. Heated and cooled air naturally flows through such a design. In contrast, multiple story house plans require more complex (and more costly) HVAC systems.

3. Plenty of Open Floor Plans.
Single story house plans tend to include a generous communal area, sometimes called the “Family Triangle” of living room, dining room, and kitchen. While older homes boxed each of these rooms off with walls, modern single story home plans are often designed to merge these three areas into one large, open space. Vaulted ceilings and expansive windows are often prioritized here, so as to create a comfortable and beautiful area where the whole family will naturally want to congregate.

The architectural challenge of keeping everything on one floor prompts house designers to get creative with open floor plans in single story models.

4. Easy to Expand Living Space.
Assuming you have a large enough lot, it’s fairly easy to add a deck, sunroom, or patio to a single story home plan. In contrast, a two-story home will require structural analysis and careful planning for expansion. The ease of expanding outdoor living areas translates to a strong indoor/outdoor connection in many single story home plans.

5. Affordability.
Oftentimes, single story home plans are less costly to build and to maintain than their multiple-story counterparts.

Finally, we’ll conclude with an assurance that your single story home plan doesn’t have to feel cramped. Indeed, without the structural demands of upper stories, designers often have more freedom to choose taller ceilings and pencil in more skylights and windows. The contemporary single story home can feel airy and spacious, if you choose the right design.

Author Bio: Houseplans. Co is the online home of Alan Mascord Design Associates, where visitors can find more than 700 home plans in a variety of styles, from Craftsman to Contemporary. Visit Houseplans.co to learn more about their green building and design services.

Erin Emanuel