Posted by Kari Montoya on Mar 8, 2021 7:06:51 AM

When building a new custom home, you have to think about how you intend to use the space now and how that might evolve in the future. Whether you have a growing family, entertain frequently, or are you downsizing after adult children have left home will influence many of your decisions, including whether you build a home with one or two levels. No matter what option you choose, creative floor plans can help you maximize space and get all of the features you want and need in a home. 

When making this important decision for your new custom home, consider these factors:


One-level homes are a good fit if you’re building your forever home or downsizing from a larger home with the intent to age in place. one-story homes with creative floor plans enable more open floor space, which can be essential for future accessibility. Although two-story homes might offer more privacy for larger families, stairs can also be challenging for aging in place, small children, and pets.

If your future plans include retiring to a different area or downsizing to a smaller home, a two-story house might be the right fit for the time you intend to live in it. Two-story homes with the master bedroom on the main level are also a good fit for older couples that want to live primarily on the first floor and want to offer more private guest rooms on the second floor.


Two-story homes often afford more privacy when it comes to having guests visit because you can keep the sleeping areas clearly separated from the common areas. However, having all of the bedrooms clustered together upstairs can limit privacy for family members. Two-story homes also offer the option to have some bedrooms upstairs and some downstairs to create more privacy for family members or overnight guests. However, one of the potential drawbacks of two-story homes when it comes to privacy is the potential for upstairs noise. Fortunately, this can be mitigated with quality construction and carpet or rugs on the upper level.

3495 - The Chapman - Spanish #2

On the other hand, one-level homes can be more spread out than a two-story home with a smaller footprint. This flexibility of a ranch-style home allows you to have the master bedroom either close to or separate from the other bedrooms depending on your family dynamics and preferences. 



A lot of factors go into the cost of building a new home, including the total square footage and how many floors there are. One-story homes require a larger footprint than two-story homes with similar square footage, which means both the foundation and roof area will be larger, and therefore, more expensive. Two-story homes can also benefit from construction savings from the use of less plumbing and wiring materials because they don’t have to spread over a larger space.

On the other hand, one-story homes may require less HVAC equipment and associated materials such as ductwork. If you’re weighing your options, compare a few floor plans with similar square footage to understand how the costs differ.

Lot Size

Depending on the size of your lot, you may be limited to certain footprint dimensions that will determine whether you can build a large enough one-story home. If you can only build on a certain area, a one-story home will naturally have to have less square footage. Smaller urban lots lend themselves to two-story homes, while larger lots allow for more flexibility to have a variety of creative floor plans.

Future Plans

It’s easier to expand a one-story home than it is to add on to a two-story home—assuming the lot size allows future growth. If you’re planning to add an in-law suite or garage in the future, you’ll have more flexibility with a one-level floor plan. one-story homes are also easier to maintain, especially the gutters and exteriors because they are more accessible.


Of course, personal preference plays a role in any decision related to your new custom home, so bear this in mind when choosing a lot. The surrounding neighborhood can also influence design aesthetics For example, you might not want to have the only two-story house on a block of one-level homes, especially if you plan to sell the home in the future. On the other hand, a one-level home in an area that traditionally has two-story facades might fade into the background or look out of place. 

Decide More Easily with Adair

With all pros and cons of each home style, choosing the right plan can sometimes be a struggle. Fortunately, when you decide to build with Adair Homes, our Home Ownership Counselors are available to walk you through every decision. We’ll help you weigh the pros and cons of each option and determine which route makes the most sense for your situation. If you’re ready to begin your custom home journey, contact Adair Homes today.