From $9.95


Statistics

Users
Total: 32,911
Visited Last 30 days: 203
Forum Messages
Total: 20,966
Last 30 days: 7
Forum Evaluations
Total: 24,160
Last 30 days: 0
Journal Entries
Total: 5,400
Last 30 days: 7
Connections
Total: 15,247
Last 30 days: 4
Downloads
Total: 87,221

Journals

Name
NorthShoreBathrooms
12 Visits | 1 Posts | 2 Pix | 0 Videos
Tenants-Right-When-S... Maryland, MD
601 Visits | 5 Posts | 4 Pix | 0 Videos
furnacerepairon St Catharines, AL
35 Visits | 1 Posts | 9 Pix | 0 Videos
furnacemkm Markham, AL
38 Visits | 1 Posts | 7 Pix | 0 Videos
vallejocleaningservi... Vallejo , CA
35 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
getpestcontrol Delhi, AL
39 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
noithattrieugia tphcm, AL
54 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
httpownerbuilderbook...
121 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Packers-and-Movers Delhi, AL
380 Visits | 2 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Best-Access-Doors Jackson, AL
170 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Concrete-Contractors...
232 Visits | 2 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
bird Springfield, MO
169 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Tanglewood Colorado Springs, CO
120,420 Visits | 1,004 Posts | 2,581 Pix | 47 Videos
Drywall-Repair-Lehi
247 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
ianpundt
285 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Magic-Of-The-SideSto... San Carlos, CA
607 Visits | 2 Posts | 2 Pix | 0 Videos
httpswwwfaxitfastcom... salt lake city, AL
252 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Owning-My-First-Prop... Grand Rapids, MI
361 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
movers-and-packers Hyderabad, AL
353 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Investment-Propertie... Rochester, MN
403 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
See all journals...

Current Top-Rated Posters

RatingPosts
Lance in Buena Vista, CO0.002

I am really glad I found this site... I have enjoyed reading through the posts.
Nes in Alabama

Try one of our new Construction Bargain Strategies for free. Coupon code: CBS. One strategy could save you $1,000 or $10,000 or maybe $50,000 when you build or remodel.
25,000 pages of free owner-builder resources.  We accept no ads.

One-story vs. Two-story House


Filter by date: and/or Keyword



Reply... Subscribe to this topic


Brandon's Forum Posts: 10
Journal Entries: 12
Interview Answers: 167

Private Message


Image from Brandon's blog

Login to Vote

By Brandon in Lafayette, LA on 1/10/2003


Just curious as to the actual savings of building a two-story home vs. a one-story home. Some of the literature I've been reading suggests that it is less expensive to construct a two-story home because of less foundation to be poured. I realize that other considerations have to be addressed (lot shape, mason requirements, painting higher ceilings), but I was just looking for a general opinion out there. My wife and I are building in south Louisiana in a couple of years and are starting the planning already. Thanks, it is nice to know there is a place I can go for help out there.
Reply...


Larry's Forum Posts: 4

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Larry in Magnolia, TX on 1/2/2005


Brandon,

Yes, it is less expensive to build a two-story than to build a one-story the same size. The slab is one of the biggest expenses of the home. While planning your new home look at your lot and see what is the best foundation for your home. Do you have your land yet? Is the property cleared? I recommend having an engineer do a soil test and have the slab engineered.

Hope this helps.

Larry


Reply...


Brandon's Forum Posts: 10
Journal Entries: 12
Interview Answers: 167

Private Message


Image from Brandon's blog

Login to Vote

By Brandon in Lafayette, LA on 1/3/2005


Thanks, Larry. I hear both pros and cons about building a two-story home vs. a one-story, but the wife has her eyes set on plans for a two-story. We are in the "saving phase" of preparing to build and have already purchased a beautiful lot in a country setting. What about roof cost, is there a savings there as well? Thanks again for responding.


Reply...


Larry's Forum Posts: 4

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Larry in Magnolia, TX on 1/3/2005


Brandon,

The more the roof is cut up, the more expensive it will be. By keeping the roofline straight the cost will be kept down. The pitch of the roof can save you money in labor and energy bills. 6/12 vs. 12/12 pitch. Review your attic space to see what you want to do up there. Do you need more storage space or will the smaller space fit your needs?

Larry


Reply...

2005 Merit Award Winner

Kevin's Forum Posts: 51

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Kevin in West Chester, OH on 1/11/2005


I have also frequently heard that it is more expensive to build a one-story than a two-story of the same size. My question then becomes if you include basement space, is this still the case? I have heard finishing a basement is one of the cheapest ways to add space to a house. So, my example says a 2,500 sq. ft two-story costs less than a 2,500 sq. ft one story... However, if you finish your basement, with the two-story, you may have only 3,750 sq. ft (if both stories are the same size), however, if you finish the one-story, you have 5,000 sq. ft. The lot we plan to build on is a sloping lot, so our basement will be a walk-out basement - making it very useable space.

Does anyone know if, when including a basement, it is still cheaper to build a two-story than a one-story? In my above example, you would have to build a ~ 3,300 sq. ft two-story to achieve 5,000 sq. ft of total space.


Reply...


Anthony's Forum Posts: 18

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Anthony in Lebanon, OH on 1/11/2005


A two-story shares basement costs (unfinished or not) so it only makes sense that a two-story is cheaper. Half the walls, half the concrete floor, half the excavation is possible.

Basement finishing is cheap if the basement already exists. My finished lower level is done up the same as the rest of my house and it was less than half the cost per square foot.

Makes sense right?


Reply...

2005 Merit Award Winner

Kevin's Forum Posts: 51

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Kevin in West Chester, OH on 1/11/2005


I understand if you look at a 2,500 sq. ft house, that a two-story is less than a one-story (shared basement, and roof, etc.). However, I don't necessarily understand if you include the basement as real square footage, which one is more expensive.

Meaning, the 2,500 one-story at $250,000 (for easy math) is $100/sq. foot. However, if you finish the 2,500 sq. foot basement for another $40/sq. foot ($100,000) - you have 5,000 sq. ft at $350,000 - or an average cost of $70/square foot.

To have an equivalent 5,000 sq. feet of total space in a two-story, you would have 1,666 sq. ft on story one, 1,666 sq. ft on story two, and 1,666 sq. ft in the basement totaling 5,000 sq. ft. If the above ground portion is 3,333 sq. ft at say a 15% discount ($85/sq. ft)... then the cost is $280,500 plus another $67,000 to finish the basement (1,667 sq. ft at $40), in this scenario the total cost is $347,500... or about the same cost per sq. ft.

So, net, in my example above, if a one-story cost 15% more than a two-story, then a one-story is more cost effective IF you plan to finish the basement. Of course, if the basement is even less per sq. foot to complete... then the one-story premium can be even higher than a two-story.

I am currently contemplating a one-story, with walkout basement using Superior Foundation Walls... which creates the external framing for the basement for you (wood furring strips to attach drywall to, holes to run plumbing and electric through, etc.).


Reply...


Anthony's Forum Posts: 18

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Anthony in Lebanon, OH on 1/11/2005


First of all, basement finished square footage never counts in a total if you are a Realtor or a builder... it's just an extra thing for extra space.

Consider this: 2,000 sq. ft two-story. 1,000 on each floor sitting on a 1,000 square foot basement. The basement is a fixed cost. Assume basement unfinished is $25 per square foot to put in. If your one-story house is $100/sq. ft, $25 of that is for basement. Therefore, automatically the upstairs (sharing the same basement) would be only $75/sq. ft. understand? $25,000 for the basement (which is there no matter if it's a 1,000 square foot one-story or a 2,000 sq. ft. two-story).

Okay, now this. 2,000 "Ranch." This has 2,000 of basement at $25/sq. ft. You're now paying an extra $25,000 automatically to have the second 1,000 feet on the same level vs. upstairs (unfinished or not).

Okay, now let's move forward and finish the basement. The basement is already there. Assume $25/sq. ft for a regular basement finish. If you do 1,000 sq. ft of finished in the basement (which you already paid for to put under the house) it's only an additional $25K. Look at this vs. the second floor costing maybe $75 a sq. ft...

Pretty big difference in prices for "finished" space. So assume you do a 2,000 sq. ft ranch with 1,000 sq. ft finished basement. using the numbers above (for illustration), this is a $225,000 project.

Okay, now 2,000 square foot two-story with 1,000 basement finish. $200,000 total.

If you've got to do a basement because of the sloping lot, it's a heck of a lot cheaper to utilize the space down there (since you have to have a basement anyway) than it is to add sq. ft on the first floor.

It all comes down to footprint size.


Reply...


Anthony's Forum Posts: 18

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Anthony in Lebanon, OH on 1/11/2005


I guess I might have misunderstood your last message...

"Real" square footage is NEVER in the basement, i.e. if you have a subdivision that requires 2,000 sq. ft. ranch or 2,500 sq. ft. two-story finished, basement space doesn't count toward your total.


Reply...


Nick's Forum Posts: 7

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Nick on 1/12/2005


My subdivision has a requirement on home size. The requirements are:

2,400 sq. ft. Ranch

2,700 sq. ft. 1 1/2-story

2,800 sq. ft. 2-story

Assuming all have basements, would the build cost of the two-story be comparable or still less than the cost of the Ranch?

It makes sense to me that a 2,400 sq. ft two-story is cheaper to build than a 2,400 sq. ft Ranch, but I am wondering about the two-story 2,800 vs. the Ranch 2,400.

I would like to do the 2,800 but I am concerned it will cost much more than the 2,400 sq. ft Ranch.

Thanks.


Reply...


Tom's Forum Posts: 42

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Tom in Yosemite, CA on 1/14/2005


You're in LA, which I assume means slab on grade. Brandon is not likely to get any "free basement" space, since he probably doesn't have one.

Furthermore, the slab is essentially floor decking, just like building on the second story, maybe more; maybe less depending on the costs of concrete/labor in your area.

A couple of builders I respect who've studied the question and tracked costs over many jobs say that, in practice, a two-story home doesn't save much money, at least in the case where you're building on a flat lot with simple excavation and a slab on grade or low crawl space. They say to pick the design you like and not to start with the number of stories as this is not a significant cost factor when all is said and done.

With two-story construction, add:

- roof is likely to end up more per sq. ft since it's harder to work on. One contractor told me they don't even have insurance, for example, to work on buildings on steep lots on piers where the roof ridge is above a certain height at the high point.

- framing is more complicated and might run labor costs up.

Reply...


Chuck's Forum Posts: 3

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Chuck in Tracy, CA on 1/15/2005


If you are to build a one-story house, call it a "Ranch" or whatever, and you need 2,400 sq. ft. you are going to have to build a large rectangular shape with no corners to be competitive with a two-story of the same sq. ft.

This will mean that it is not much to look at, the more corners you add the more expensive the home. The bigger the one-story, the farther you have to pour and finish concrete (slab on grade), the more b.f. of lumber you will need and more labor will be required to install the lumber. You can utilize different engineering and save materials to save money on a two-story design. You have less roofing and labor, less trusses, less materials in general.

Another thing to consider, you need a larger chunk of land to put this home on, while it may not be important at this time, the cost of land does not appear to be dropping.

All things being equal, yes, it costs less to build a two-story home than it does a one-story. If you are building on a sloping lot, the angle of slope may be ideal to tuck your garage under the home so you can utilize the full benefits of the lot.

Try to consider all of the variables, then you can test your theory at building-cost.net, they will give you a general idea of your costs by sq. ft. and geographical area, they also allow you to choose your level of "finish" on the home. While you should not set your budget based on this information, it surely will give you a quick and efficient guesstimate.

Good luck.


Reply...



Reply... Subscribe to this topic

Copyright 1997-2020 Consensus Group Inc.