Choosing Between a Two Story and A Rambler may seem like a simple question, but one of the first decisions that you will have to make when building a new home is whether you want a two-story or a rambler style. You may know right off the bat what you want, or you may have a difficult time deciding how to use your square footage.
Data from the National Association of Home Builders indicates that the preference for two-story living has steadily declined since 1990; in fact, only about one out of every three homes built is a two-story, and a little more than half (52% percent) of people prefer one-story homes, while just over 10% say they prefer split levels. Ramblers and two stories can both have basements, which is especially important to consider in Utah, where basements are the norm.
Why build a rambler?
Ranch-style homes and ramblers are synonymous with one another, and named because they tend to be flat and spread out. This was the popular choice for homes from the 1920s onward, until split-level homes became the floorplan of choice in the 1970s. Today, there are many reasons that people choose ramblers, including:
- People who are growing older and may have trouble navigating stairs, or those who are anticipating growing old in their home, will benefit from having everything on a single floor.
- Vaulted ceilings are easier to frame in a rambler, and can help open up a floor plan.
- It is easier to include large windows in a single story design, meaning an abundance of natural light is more accessible.
- Allows for extremely open floor plan designs, as fewer load-bearing room-separating walls are needed in a rambler.
- Ability to seamlessly integrate a flowing design from indoor to outdoor living spaces.
Ramblers have many advantages for homeowners, but for some, this is not always the best choice. A rambler tends to be larger and more spread out, which means less space for a yard and, potentially, more expenses in building the home. Floorplan options are also limited, and you won’t have as much privacy if you frequent guests, considering everything will be on the main floor.
Why build a two-story?
A two-story home offers some advantages to those looking to build. Savings is one of the largest benefits; two-story homes tend to be more compact, with smaller foundations and less roofing. This generally means lower costs for both the builder and for you, so you can get the same (or more) square footage in a two-story for less than the cost of a rambler.
Families with young children or even just a messy lifestyle may prefer a two-story, as it allows the separation of everyday living space and entertaining space. If guests or company are over, the main floor can stay tidy. Many two-story home designs today also integrate a main-floor master suite, allowing for space and separation for parents of teenagers, and for those approaching retirement age to have reassurance that they can continue to live in their two-story homes even if walking up and down stairs becomes more difficult.
All in all, it comes down to what you want as a homeowner; be sure to talk to your homebuilder about all of the available options. PureHaven Homes specializes in building custom homes that can incorporate the pros of both a rambler and two-story into one beautiful house.