The term “luxury” is described as a state of great comfort or elegance. While most people associate it with huge expenses, it’s more about how something simply makes you feel. The decision to build your own home comes with the opportunity of freedom – freedom to design the home of your dreams, freedom to pick everything from the size of the block to the colour of your walls and the freedom to implement your own style, creativity and comfortable elements that fit within your budget to create just that, a luxurious home.
So how do you decide whether a one-storey house is a better investment than a two-storey one? Well, like the foundations that make up a luxurious home lie in the eye of the beholder, so does this. Predominately, the choice is drawn from the location, the local real estate market, and budget and layout design. Whilst most of us love the idea of a two-storey “mansion”, there are benefits and drawbacks from both. We take a close look at both possibilities and the factors affecting your overall decision.
Double Storey Doesn’t Always Mean Double the Price
Unfortunately these days, money seems to control almost everything. If we don’t have enough in the savings fund, then we put off buying something we want or need. Most are hesitant about building (or buying) a two-storey home because we believe it must be more expensive, it’s larger right? Wrong. Although the construction costs of double-storey homes are normally 10-15% higher, they can still be built on smaller and more affordable blocks that fit within your desired budget. It’s the same with single-storey homes; you can easily splurge out more than you would with a double-storey by building a large home on a more expensive block.
A Suitable Layout for Your Lifestyle
As with any investment decision, it’s important you not only consider your immediate plans but also forward into the future. What you need and want now may differ in a few years’ time so building a home that’s flexible with these changes is ideal.
Consider the layout of your dream home and how this can cater for your current and future lifestyle. Have you got children or expecting? Have your kids already grown up and soon to move out? Families with teenagers may prefer a two-storey home, with the master suite and living room upstairs and a separate retreat for them downstairs.
If having children is not on the cards, perhaps you’re opting for a two-storey home to incorporate a spacious layout for entertaining purposes? For example, a musician may want a music room for downstairs, and keep the bedrooms and living room upstairs. If the block of land you’re building on has spectacular views that can only be enjoyed from another level, this may be enough to change the layout of your home to suit this.
A single-storey home may be a more convenient option for smaller families or couples. If you can incorporate all the space you need with adequate rooms, is there really any need to build up too? Knowing the layout that will fit with your budget and lifestyle can make your decision for a double or single-storey home more visible. It also helps to make a list of the essentials and then speak with your builder and architect to see what would fit better with floor plans. In some cases, spending more money on a spacious and well-designed single-storey home can be just as effective and appealing as a two-storey home.
Stairs, a Stairway to Heaven or Hell?
Stairs can be a nuisance, they can take up valuable layout space inside the home and they can be a lot of work (for both you and your furniture removalists). Again, thinking of both you and your family’s immediate and future needs is ideal at this point – as we get older tackling stairs becomes harder, and those prone to knee problems may find it increasingly difficult. Do you plan to retire in your dream home or is it something you may sell down the track?
Consider the furniture you have, some may be near impossible to move into a double-storey home and stairs can limit you to future purchases. People with young children are normally not a fan of stairs with the potential hazards they can cause. Although gates can be installed in this instance, it doesn’t always stop the curiosity and wandering feet of youngsters.
Convenience is also another factor. Whilst some may find it an absolute pain to trek up and down stairs to go to the kitchen for water during the night, others may simply see it as part of their daily exercise and not be overly concerned. Think about the material and style of the staircase as carpeted stairs may be safer for children or people prone to falls. Remember, moving staircases is a big job so if you are opting for a double-storey home, think carefully about where the stairs will be placed and how this is going to affect you and your family for years to come.
Block Size Does Matter
If you have already chosen or purchased your block of land, this could already make the decision for you. The size of your block affects the style of your significantly so if you’re unsure, check with your architect and builder. If your desired block is small and narrow, a double-storey home can maximise the living and bedroom spaces and can leave more room for a decent sized backyard, outdoor entertainment area or pool.
Backyard Oasis or Kennel-Sized Yard?
For most of us, having a big backyard is a priority – but creating that ultimate outdoor space doesn’t always mean you need a big block of land. Double-storey homes on smaller blocks can
give you both more floor and yard space. What’s more important to you, a huge house or a huge yard?
Remember, if you’re clever with your design skills (or you have a good architect), you can still build a backyard oasis with limited space.
Sound Still Travels
Don’t be fooled to think by opting for a double-storey home you can separate or hide from the noise levels, sound can still travel between floors. If you want to turn a room downstairs in a music and entertainment area, or if you have super load TV and surround sound system set up, think carefully about the layout of your home. You don’t want to have the main bedroom above the main living room in hope that because you’re on the second level you won’t be affected by the noise.
In comparison, two-storey homes offer more visual appeal because of its size but it’s all a matter of personal taste, architectural style and your individual needs. Neither one is better, nor is it cheaper – a single-storey home is often more prized and sells faster than a double-storey home. What will you pick?Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Riverstone Builders, Perth’s finest luxury home builders.