Single storey vs double storey

Choosing between building a single storey or double-storey house is one of the first major decisions for many homebuyers. While the cost seems to be the most obvious consideration, there are several other factors that can influence your decision on adding an extra storey. Make sure to evaluate the overall costs, life stage, block size, layout, and property aspect of your prospective home.

Should you build a single-storey or a double-storey home?

Costs (Upfront and Ongoing)

Generally speaking, double-storey homes are pricier than single storey homes due to the costs associated in building another floor like scaffolding and onsite safety compliance. The smart workaround is to buy a narrow block of land and build upwards - your savings on the lot price can offset the extra costs of a double-storey home.

The Verona - a smartly-designed home that maximises a narrow lot with a 10m frontage

The expenses to note transcend the upfront costs of building your home. Think about your costs moving forward. Time and again, it has proven more challenging to regulate the temperature with two storeys (hot air rises and cold air sinks). A double-storey house can mean more air conditioning units and efforts to create an energy-efficient home.

The expenses to note transcend the upfront costs of building your home. Think about your costs moving forward. Time and again, it has proven more challenging to regulate the temperature with two storeys (hot air rises and cold air sinks). A double-storey house can mean more air conditioning units and efforts to create an energy-efficient home. Lastly, watch out for the additional spaces and nooks you’d need to look after and maintain with a two storey home!

Life Stage

Your home should really cater to your stage of life and where you will be. It’s important to factor in your current needs and future aspirations. It might be helpful to run through the scenarios of having a one-storey house versus a double-storey house in your mind. In each of these scenarios, think about your family dynamics and ask these questions:

  • Do you plan on having kids in the near future? 
  • Do you have pets that need outdoor space?
  • Will you have in-laws living with you or guests staying over regularly?
  • Will having stairs present hazards for your little kids? 
  • Will you need another floor when your children become teenagers and want their privacy? 
  • If this is a home you plan to grow old in, will you find it difficult to traverse up and down a flight of stairs?
  • If this is an investment property, will a double-storey home in your area increase the resale value?

Block Size 

Single storey homes occupy a larger footprint which can sometimes compromise your living room, entertainment room, or outdoor space. This is because you’re distributing the rooms across ground floor space as opposed to stacking up. Having a second storey may create extra space for additional rooms and outdoor space on the same block - perfect if you have pets or a growing family!

Outdoor space on The Majestic

If outdoor space isn’t a concern, you can maximise your entire one storey space with larger rooms and indoor areas.

Layout

Like the size of your block, the layout of your home should serve your needs. Single storey homes give you more space and freedom when it comes to layout and design. Just remember to keep the bedrooms away from noisier communal areas where possible.

An example of how a double-storey home looks like on a 238.1 m2 lot

With a double-storey design, you can take advantage of physical separation between the first and second floors - all of the communal spaces downstairs and the individual rooms upstairs. This is a great way to protect each family member’s privacy. No one wants to be woken up by the TV or laundry sounds so early on a Saturday morning!

Property Aspect and Neighbourhood

Is your lot overlooking a nice view? Chances are you’re better off taking advantage of that view yourself and potentially increase your home’s resale value in the future. You can install a large window or balcony to create a sense of space and airiness on the second floor. 

Don’t forget to look around at what your future neighbours homes look like, too. If there are mostly two-storey houses, they could potentially overshadow your single-story home and obstruct the entrance of sunlight. 

Is your lot overlooking a nice view? Chances are you’re better off taking advantage of that view yourself and potentially increase your home’s resale value in the future. You can install a large window or balcony to create a sense of space and airiness on the second floor. 

Don’t forget to look around at what your future neighbours homes look like, too. If there are mostly two-storey houses, they could potentially overshadow your single-story home and obstruct the entrance of sunlight. 

These are great starting points before embarking on your home building journey. It’s incredibly important to account for your present needs and how this home might fit into your changing needs in the future. If you need more time to make up your mind, explore our range of Single Storey and Double Storey Home Designs or visit a display centre near you.