The Pros And Cons Of Split Level Homes

Split level house

Are you in the market to buy a new home for your growing family?

If your answer is yes, there is a good chance you may have already checked out a few split-level houses that are both spacious and budget-friendly. However, since these homes often get a bad reputation for no tangible reasons, many prospective homebuyers avoid investing their hard-earned money in this type of property.

There is no denying that buying a house is one of the biggest milestones in the life of many. Hence, here is a handy guide on split-level homes that will hopefully help you make a well-informed decision about your next purchase.

What Is a Split Level House?

A split-level house can be described as a multiple-storey home with staggered floor levels connected by short sets of stairs. These homes are typically divided into three levels – a basement, the main floor, and the upper floor. Often, these structures are built on hilly terrains and sloped blocks. Therefore, these homes could be single-storey in the front and double-storey on the back, and vice versa, as they are specifically designed to fit the individual lot topography.

Furthermore, the basement in split level houses is either used as a den or basement, depending on the natural landscape of the block. Meanwhile, the main floor comprises a living room, dining area, and kitchen. The bedrooms and bathrooms are generally located on the upper floor.

What Are the Advantages of Split Level Homes?

These are the top benefits of buying split level homes:

Relatively Bigger Space

Efficient space utilisation is one of the biggest advantages of split-level homes. Owing to their multi-storey structure, these houses offer more space without taking up additional square yards. Compared to open-floor plans, the overlapping floors in split-level homes allow architects to design bigger rooms and living areas without wasting any land. 

More Affordable

Since split-level homes are typically constructed on smaller lots and may seem a little outdated, they tend to be less expensive than single-family homes in most housing markets. So, if you are looking for a property that offers the best value for money when it comes to space, privacy, and other amenities, a split-level home could be a great choice for you and your family.

Adequate Separation of Space

As mentioned above, split-level home designs provide more privacy than average family homes as stairs separate all the floors. These houses also provide their residents with a better separation of space, as the noises and chatter from the living room on the lower floor won’t disturb those resting or working on the upper floor. 

Outdoor Space

Since most split-level houses are built on elevated land to maximise the use of vertical space, they typically offer plenty of outdoor space for children to play and adults to relax. You can even start a kitchen garden or build a backyard swimming pool to utilise the available surrounding land effectively. In addition, those living in split-level homes also enjoy picturesque views of the neighbourhood.

Disadvantages of Split Level Homes

Let’s look at some of the most common drawbacks of owning and living in a split-level home.

Climbing the Stairs

Climbing the set of stairs between different floors in a split-level home can be challenging for the elderly, the children, and those with restricted mobility. Although the stairs are usually short, using them every day to move from one part of the home to another can cause hindrance for certain members of the household.

Remodelling Challenges

Unfortunately, remodelling a split-level house can prove to be rather difficult. With multiple floors stacked on top of each other, tearing down walls to open up the space can affect the structural integrity of your property. Similarly, you may not be able to add a new room or make any other significant changes in the layout.

Difficulty to Sell

Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages of split level homes is that they are not easy to sell.  The biggest reason behind their low resale value is their outdated look. In addition, with most value-adding renovations being completely out of the question, there isn’t much you can do to attract prospective buyers to your property.

Therefore, if you plan to put your house on the market after a couple of years, investing in a split level house may not be a good idea.

Our Final Thoughts

Looking at the pros and cons of a split-level home design, one can conclude that they can serve as an ideal starter house for small families with a limited budget.

These houses are usually located on hilly terrains and often feature a charming outdoor space. Moreover, they offer more space and privacy than most similarly-sized family homes. However, on the flip side, you may not be able to remodel the space to keep up with the changing construction trends, which can have a negative impact on its market value. 

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