The Beauty of One-Story House Plans
Are you preparing to build your next forever home? If so, have you considered a one-story house plan?
These days, this kind of floor plan has become increasingly popular, for a variety of reasons.
Here are all the things to love about one-story house plans, and why you should consider one.
Great For All Stages of Life
It’s pure and simple: Stairs are a notorious safety hazard for young children, the elderly, and people with mobility challenges. While a stairlift can mitigate the risk, the cost of installing it can be prohibitive. By dispensing with a stairway completely, you drastically reduce the risk of falls. As you age, you can feel comfortable about “aging in place” without worrying that you might have to move if the stairway gets too difficult to manage.
With advancing age, it’s common to experience difficulty in getting around. The necessity of using a walker or wheelchair can make it almost impossible to navigate stairs. If you or a loved one is eventually in need of a wheelchair, you can rest assured that your one-story home is already wheelchair-accessible without any expensive remodeling. In addition, young grandchildren can get away from the city and come to visit you without any risk of falling downstairs. This gives everyone much more freedom and independence to get around, no matter their age.
Another safety perk: It’s much easier to evacuate a one-story home in case of a fire.
If your mobility is compromised, you’ll also appreciate the greater ease with which you can maintain a one-story home. With a taller house, it can be challenging to accomplish chores like window washing or painting. But with just one story, these tasks are much more accessible. All you need is a ladder to reach every part of your house.
With a two-story home, you are often locked into low ceilings and smaller windows. A single-story home allows flexible design options such as tall windows, skylights, and vaulted ceilings. These options can have the rewarding effect of creating a spacious feel in your home even if the square footage is relatively small.
Besides these options, you can easily add a deck or sun porch to your one-story home, offering more living space in which you can enjoy a connection to the outdoors. While this is possible in a two-story home, it can be more difficult and expensive due to the complex structural analysis needed to make this addition.
And even if you live in a one-story home, you still have the option of an upstairs “bonus room” which, though not part of your main living space, yet gives you extra room for storage or the pursuit of a hobby. You might consider a game or movie room for grandkids to enjoy when they visit or a crafting or workout room for your own enjoyment. It’s also quite easy to incorporate an extra bedroom or two for visiting family members.
A one-story home gives you more flexibility in planning for the future, while still having respect for things past. It’s much easier to add an in-law suite or a garage to a one-story home. That leaves you more open to making needed changes in the future.
Open Floor Plans
One of the best features of a one-story house plan is that it allows the living, dining area, and kitchen to flow together into one open space with bedrooms all around it. This open-concept design provides a comfortable space to gather and to enjoy socializing with family members and guests. Large windows and tall ceilings can enhance this effect, bringing the family together. In contrast, a two-floor plan generally closes off these different areas, with walls in between them.
Many have found that this open-concept design provides a spacious feel. Even though the space is small, they do not feel cramped but instead, find it inviting and cozy. Ample storage space, as well as vaulted ceilings and skylights, make the home feel large. In general, a single-story plan challenges architects to use every square foot to create a beautiful and functional space.
The absence of dividers and walls means that people can move around easily throughout the open living area. You can visit with guests while you prepare family recipes for dinner, or watch a TV show with your family while cleaning up the dishes. An open floor plan also means better light, as natural light from large windows flows easily from one room to another. Better sound and visibility means you can converse more easily with housemates and guests and better supervise pets and children while doing other things. After all, having each other is what it’s all about.
Increased Energy Efficiency
Quite simply, fewer rooms mean less space to heat. With fewer walls to block airflow, a home with a one-story, open-concept design is much less expensive to heat and cool. Central air flows easily through the shared living/dining area. In contrast, two-story homes often require complicated and costly HVAC systems to heat and cool individual rooms.
Also, remember the honesty of the old adage “heat rises?” That means your HVAC system has to work harder to heat the downstairs of a two-story home. With a one-story floor plan, you get to keep all your heat on the same level; it will hit the ceiling and then spread efficiently throughout your living space.
One-story homes are built with less material than two-story homes. Not only does this mean they’re more affordable to build: they’re also more affordable to heat or cool. Whether it’s wood, glass, or metal, the more of it there is, the harder your HVAC system has to work to regulate its temperature.
Of course, many other factors affect the energy efficiency of your home. Your home’s surroundings, as well as proper ventilation and insulation, all have a real impact on its overall energy efficiency. No matter what kind of floor plan you choose, taking the time to do things right is essential.
Affordability, flexibility, and togetherness are some of the many reasons to embrace life with a one-story house plan. We have been helping local people for many years to successfully downsize to a one-story house plan, and we would be happy to do the same for you.
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