Are split-level homes cheaper to build? 6 Things to know

Split-level homes are an increasingly popular option for homeowners across the United States. These homes are known for their distinctive style and are generally cheaper to build than other types of dwellings. When deciding whether or not a split-level home is a right choice for you, it’s important to understand their design, building costs, and potential savings. This guide will provide you with all of the information that you need to make an informed decision about whether or not a split-level home is right for you.

Advantages of Split-Level Homes

These homes offer potential buyers a fresh take on housing design. They often house just as much space as a traditional single-story home, with the lower level providing for guests and extra bedrooms or utility rooms. Split-level homes are particularly appealing to those who would like additional space within the same amount of area, as the Truoba split level house plans allow for multiple levels of living within one footprint.

Advantages of split-level homes include:

-Save Space: Split-level homes offer more variety and versatility with different levels without having to take up more overall land space, making them ideal for families that need more living space but might not have room to build an addition.

-Cost Saving: Split-levels tend to cost less per square foot than large single-level dwellings because there is less overall material needed to construct them. Additionally, they use fewer materials due to their multi-story construction, eliminating the need for roofing which is typically one of the most expensive components of a single-story home. It’s also possible to customize a split-level design in order to maximize efficiency when it comes to energy consumption, another major driver when it comes to cost-effectiveness.

-Safety & Security: The additional levels provides an added layer of security from normally easy access points such as windows and doors into your home. This added safety measure might give those who would normally be insecure about one-story houses greater peace of mind that their family is safe in their home environment.

The drawbacks

First of all, they require a larger foundation area compared to their two-story counterparts and involve intricate framing, which adds significantly to their construction costs. Further, split levels have less space overall than a traditional two-story house due to the mid-level between the main living space and basement. The areas on the upper floor that have sloping ceilings can also prove inconvenient when it comes time to furnish them. In addition, because of their complex design, it is often harder to maintain as they involve more rooflines, corner connections, and exposed materials in all locations.

Finally, split levels also don’t always sit well with potential buyers who may be apprehensive about navigating their narrow staircases or wary of the extra maintenance responsibilities associated with this type of home structure. Because of these issues with usability and cost considerations during construction and eventual resale difficulties for homeowners, split levels may not be the best choice for many looking for an economical option in homebuilding.

Building Costs

Generally speaking, because of the complexity of constructing a split-level home, labor costs for building this style of house may cost more than for regular two-story homes. This higher labor cost may be offset by a lower foundation cost due to the lower height elevation from which precast foundations typically begin.

These homes can also create savings in other areas such as reduced roof materials since there are usually fewer areas that need to be covered compared to traditional designs like gable roofs. And having living space on separate levels does require less overall finished space overall since the smaller areas do not need larger expanses for walls and flooring as much as might be needed in larger common rooms on single floors typically associated with two-story structures.

In addition, depending upon how far each level is divided or sloped down towards each other can determine significantly how much space (and money) is saved overall in construction costs contingent upon your local code requirements for egress measurement/minimum dimensions for stairs for an individual’s safe movement from each area within your home design plans when submitting documentation for local permitting purposes prior to construction commencement being allowed by local jurisdiction enforcement officials.

What to know about the design

-Floor plan variations: These homes can come in many different shapes and sizes, so it is important to take into account all of the necessary features when creating your floor plan. Try to keep areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms at one level for efficiency and cost savings.

-Foundation type: The size of your split-level home will dictate whether or not you need a full basement foundation or a crawlspace foundation. Consider the pros and cons of each foundation type with respect to installation costs and building regulations in your area.

-Stairs: Stairs are an essential part of a split-level home, which means calculating their dimensions is critically important. Make sure you factor in estimated costs then decide on the type of stair that best matches both your budget and aesthetic preferences.

Roof design: A variety of roof designs will work with a split-level house; however, hip or gable roofs are some of the most commonly used options due to their simple construction methods. Choose the option that works best for your needs while keeping in mind material price differences within each category.

Financing Options

If you’re considering a split-level home and are curious about financing options, consider speaking to several mortgage bankers to understand how best to pay for your new home. Most lenders who provide mortgages for single-family residences will also offer credit for split-level homes. It is important to note that standard mortgage loan rate structures may not apply when you are building a custom-built home and the terms of the loan could be different from traditional loans.

There are various financial products available, depending on whether you’re looking for a construction loan or permanent financing for a finished home. A construction loan typically allows you to finance up to 80 percent of the cost of building your split-level home, including labor and materials, upfront. Permanent financing can cover the remaining 20 percent when your project is completed and usually involve closing costs.


In conclusion, split-level homes can be quite cost-effective to build when compared to many single-story floor plans, since fewer walls are required overall, which saves time and materials. Additionally, they often provide additional living space that can be used in multiple ways depending on your needs. And with careful planning and construction, you may also enjoy great energy efficiency in your split-level home.

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