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2-story vs. 1-story home

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  • 2-story vs. 1-story home

    I've always lived in one-story houses and when my husband and I bought our first home 8 years ago, we found a great one-story 3 bedroom/2 bath (approx 2200) sq feet with a big backyard. It's a great house, but we've since added two kids (now ages 3 & 5) and I would love more space. I need an office for my work from home job and another half bath (at least..) would be great so that guests wouldn't have to use the kids bathroom. This is a complete hypothetical as I haven't even put our house on the market or given a thought to the pains of moving - but just in browsing the houses for sale, it seems like all the larger sized houses 2500+ sq ft) out there are 2 story.
    I'm not sure if I would like climbing the stairs everyday so I wondered what other people's opinions are of living in a two-story versus one-story.

    The kids are getting older, and we don't plan on more, so I guess I wouldn't have to go to their rooms as much as I have in the past. But, they do sleep walk from time to time, so I've been nervous about that happening in a two-story, and I guess we could always get a baby gate. One home I really like has the master downstairs, although I know there are also houses out there that have the master up. If my kids were younger than they are, I think I would want the master up, but now I think we'd be ok with it down.
    Who's lived in both and which do you prefer? Thanks!

  • #2
    Full disclosure . . . I have always lived in two story homes. The reason, however, is that it is hard to find a house the size I want in a one story. A one story obviously takes up more of the room on the lot, so I feel like if I could find one the house would eat up all of the yard. This would be different if you were moving into an older area or one with larger lot sizes I guess.

    I do not mind two stories. All my children are 5 and older, so I don't find myself running up and down the stairs that often. Usually to wake them up in the morning and toward the end of the day at bedtime, etc. I do have to go up to put laundry away and clean up but it's not constant. We only have a game room, media room and bedrooms upstairs (walk-in attic) so they are not rooms that I need to visit all the time.

    I have had the master upstairs and downstairs and I prefer it downstairs. Even as babies we had no issues with the kids being upstairs. They do not sleep walk, but it has not hindered them coming down to my bed in the middle of the night (unfortunately).


    • #3
      We've always had two story with our kids even as babies with the master down. They went to own room at about 8 weeks. Going up the stairs has never been an issue. As they got older and were mobile we had gates at door to room and top of stairs and never had any issues.

      Now that they are older (7 and 11) I am so glad they are upstairs at night. We have 3.5 baths and love it. DS and DD each have own bathroom upstairs. I think all the homes we looked at with 2 stories had at least 2.5 baths so that guests would not have to use the master bath.

      All the kids toys and games are in the bedrooms or gameroom upstairs which I really like.


      • #4
        The backyard is definitely a big deal to us. We lucked out on our current house in that's it's a corner lot and has a much bigger yard than most one stories. Right now, we have a big, covered patio, a Sam's club play structure surrounded by rocks, a veggie garden and still have a grassy area left to play on. I'd love to have a pool in our next home, but want to also have some backyard to play in. We only have one dog right now, but did have two until a few months ago, and will probably always have a dog, so again- backyard is important.


        • #5
          I have the best of all worlds....large lot, 2 story, all the bedrooms ground level! There are days when I don't ever make it up the stairs. Upstairs is 1/2 bath, game room, media room. Kids are up there all the time.


          • #6
            1 story

            Rockhopper-can I ask what neighborhood you are in? I would love that set up, how many bedrooms do yo have downstairs. We also have outgrown our house, have a huge lot but just need more house.


            • #7
              i've lived in 2 stories my whole life.
              Next house is a 1 story.
              No pressure, no diamonds. -Thomas Carlyle

              Worth it > Easy


              • #8
                Have you considered a 1 1/2 story? There are several large one story homes in my neighborhood (3000 sg ft) and 1 1/2 story homes. The 1 1/2 story home is good as the kids get older so they have a seperate space for their entertaining, games, etc... just send the kids upstairs... and you never have to look at their mess... just a thought.


                • #9
                  I do not like one story homes..

                  My first home had Master up with all the bedrooms.. It was a cool home..
                  moths are attracted to the showroom bright glow of LCD..


                  • #10
                    Ours is 2-story, so was previous one. Previous had all rooms upstairs. This one worked out great as the master is down along with 2 other bedrooms and then 2 more bedrooms upstairs. Great to have guest room down as my parents visit and stairs are harder for them now. Older child up, younger one down.


                    • #11
                      We moved from a 1 story to a 2 story last summer and it's been great! My kids are 4 and 7 and it's so nice for their bedrooms and play areas to be upstairs. I won't lie, there are times that I've gone up and down the stairs what feels like 100 times but that's not the typical day.

                      On the sleepwalking end, my son is a sleepwalker and I was too (grew up in many 2 story homes). You'd be surprised with sleepwalkers are capable of doing. I wouldn't worry about the stairs at all.

                      Good luck!


                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the advice. What's a 1-1/2 story? We looked at one a few years ago that had just a game room upstairs. It had a narrow stairway though and I knew our pool table wasn't getting up those stairs so we passed on it.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RockHopper View Post
                          I have the best of all worlds....large lot, 2 story, all the bedrooms ground level! There are days when I don't ever make it up the stairs. Upstairs is 1/2 bath, game room, media room. Kids are up there all the time.
                          We have a one and a half story - only thing upstairs is a game room. I will never willingly live in a 2 story house. We have 3100 square feet. I have only lived in a two story house once - for about three years. I hated going up and down the stairs. The game room in our house is my husband's domain so I rarely go up there - it's great!


                          • #14
                            Having lived in both, I prefer a 1-story hands down. They are more energy efficient and easier to clean. If we could still fit in our last home (a 1-story) I'd move back in a heartbeat! In a 1-story, if they kids overflow a toilet, you aren't looking at the possibility of 'rain' in your kitchen. When they run around playing in their room, you don't wonder if there's a herd of wild elephants up there. And, when you buy new furniture, you never have to stare at the stair case and figure out who goes backwards and who gets to hold the item above their head. A final point that may or may not apply depending on how long you like to live anywhere is do you really want to deal with a 2-story when you're old. We have hopes of one day paying our home off and no longer having a mortgage payment. If you don't like dealing with stairs now, are you going to want to deal with them in 20 or 30 years with arthritic knees?

                            We have a 2-story now, only because we can't comfortably fit all of us into a 1-story. That said, we have kept our last home, the 1-story I love, and will most likely retire there and I most miss the electric bills in this house one bit.
                            Now, Mom to 8- 6 boys and 2 girls!


                            • #15
                              I have lived in both and they each have their pro's and con's.

                              Our current home is a 2 story and have been here for 9yrs (since '03). At the time we moved in I was pg with dd#2 and dd#1 was 16mths old. Our master is down stairs. We knew this house was going to be our family home so we would be here for a long time. I thought about all the ages and trust me as they have now gotten older (10 & 8) I am glad their rooms are upstairs and mine is down. We know this isn't our forever home. We don't plan on retiring here in the Frisco area (probably not in Texas either maybe not even in the US).

                              When they were little we did just as you described. We put a gate at the top of the stairs (one that rolled up and mounted into the wall). It was out of the way when not in use. I also had baby monitors in their rooms to allow me to hear them if they needed me in the middle of the night.

                              The nice thing now is when their rooms/game room/bathroom are a mess and company shows up they don't see it. There are days now that I don't even venture upstairs. So climbing stairs constantly isn't an issue (except on laundry day).

                              Look at the long term because this age is short lived and passes very quickly esp if this is your long term home.
                              Last edited by jen_nah; 04-24-2012, 10:08 PM.