If you are actively seeking a rental home, you have likely come across a variety of floorplans. While the debate of one-story versus two-story may seem as simple as personal preference, there are a variety of factors you should consider when choosing between the two. Here, we share the pros and cons of both one-story homes and two-story homes to help you decide.

One-Story Homes

One-story homes can aid in simplifying your lifestyle when it comes to maintenance since everything is located on the same level. Inside, you won’t have to worry about lugging up vacuums and carrying items up and down the stairs; outside, you won’t have to worry about using scaffolding to clean gutters, paint siding, and clean windows. In addition to ease of cleaning, you may also find that your heating and cooling bills decrease with a one-story home due to less square footage. One-story homes are also safer to navigate for young children, the elderly, and people with mobility issues. Eliminating the stairs that lead to a second flood can reduce the risk of falls and accidents, and allow everyone to get where they need to be safe. Finally, one-story homes are easier to evacuate in the case of an emergency. Being ground level allows you to open any window in the event of a fire without having to worry about the fall. One-story homes are also the safest structures to be in during an earthquake.


While one-story homes have great benefits, there are also some negatives to consider. The first con is the lack of space. If you desire a larger home, you will have to opt for a larger amount of land, which is often more expensive than two-story homes that only require vertical space. Privacy is also limited in one-story homes; all windows are ground level which means anyone can look inside, unlike a two-story home, in which the second-floor windows are too tall for peeking.

Two-Story Homes

Living in a two-story home brings an increased sense of privacy and safety. As mentioned above, windows on the second floor of a house create private spaces since there are no chances for outsiders to look in. Having two stories can also create a separation in the space, where the downstairs is used for friends and entertainment and the upstairs is used for family and private relaxation. If you choose a two-story home, you will also have a lower risk of burglars, since an open window on the second floor is more unattainable than one on the first floor. Thieves are also unlikely to risk going upstairs and back down carrying your items. Finally, having a second floor can make for a beautiful design inside and out, and a second-story porch or balcony allows for a lovely view.


Just like one-story homes, two-story homes also come with some negatives. The first is a greater risk of accidents since accessibility to the entire home is limited by stairs. Young children will need to be carefully monitored, and parents may need to install a gate at the top and bottom of stairs to avoid dangerous falls. Elderly people or those with mobility issues may also wish to install a chair lift to access the second floor, which can be quite pricey. You may also find that your heating and cooling costs will increase, as you will have to adjust the thermostat frequently to find a comfortable temperature for the whole house due to hot air rising and cold air dropping. Finally, two-story homes may be noisier than one-story homes, since people will walk and talk above the first floor. If the home is not properly designed for acoustics, you may find these sounds to be cumbersome.



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