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The Advantages of Building and Owning a One-Story House

The One-Story Home: Stylish Living Without Stairs


The one-story home is emerging as a fashionable and sought-after style on the American horizon. With no stairs to navigate, a one-story house plan can be versatile and adaptable. Today people from coast to coast are finding many creative design options: cozy Cape Cods, bungalows, ranches, artsy Craftsman, chic European and Mediterranean, comfortable Southern, and country styles.


Amazing 1-story, 3-bedroom Craftsman home

Wouldn’t you love living in this fantastic 1-story, 3-bedroom Craftsman home? The impressive exterior includes a roof of asphalt shingles, a delightful courtyard, and a covered front porch. Walk into the foyer to a vaulted family room, kitchen (below), and a covered rear patio. Lots of windows mean plenty of natural light around the house (Plan #198-1005).

Gorgeous kitchen with a center island, breakfast nook, and abundant cabinets

Here’s a gorgeous kitchen with a center island, breakfast nook, and abundant cabinets. Hanging lamps and windows provide a lot of light.



Features of One-Story Homes

1. Main level with all the living and social spaces (bedrooms, baths, kitchen, dining, Great Room, etc.).

2. Open floor plan.

3. Basement space option.

4. No stairs.

117-1092 front 3d rendering

This fantastic country style house plan has three bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Exterior amenities include a lanai, pool, and BBQ porch. The spacious interior includes a family room, study, dining, kitchen with breakfast nook, and a pantry (House Plan #117-1092).


Here is a look at the spacious interior – family room with a glimpse of the kitchen/breakfast nook and the pool.


Who’s in the Market?

While pushed to the background during the 1960s and ‘70s, when Americans were building McMansions to display their economic status, the one-story home continued to remain in fashion in some areas of the country. As styles and tastes shifted over the years, a resurgence of the one-story home plan has begun taking root across America. Although two-story homes and split levels remain popular, the construction of one-story homes has been steadily climbing since 2011.

Plan 1351060 European 24469

Its attractive rock/brick exterior – plus eye-catching front yard with lush shrubbery – enhances the curb appeal of this 1-story, 3-bedroom European home. There is a combined Great Room/kitchen, sunroom, and deck/patio (House Plan #135-1060).


A recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau showed 322,000 new single-family one-story homes built in 2016.

Another study released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) on housing preferences revealed that about two-thirds of home buyers would prefer a single-story home, with millennials at 35 percent, Gen Xers at 49 percent, baby boomers at 75 percent, and seniors at 88 percent.

So, who – exactly – is buying one-story homes?

1. Young couples/families with babies and/or young children find a one-story home convenient and economical. The single-floor design allows young parents to keep their children within watching distance. They can work in the kitchen and still watch the young ones as they play in the next room. Not to mention, a one-story home can be expanded and improved as their families grow; it may actually end up being a “forever” home for them

2. One-story houses are also attractive to single professionals who have the option of keeping their home small or adding to it if there is a need – especially if they want to convert one of the rooms into a home office. 

3. Empty nesters can downsize and still maintain enough space for returning children, accommodate in-laws long-term, or entertain overnight guests.

4. A single-story home is most appealing to the “Baby Boomer” generation and retirees who can move around their homes easily and comfortably without climbing up and down stairs.  

Summerview front rendering 

Transitional style Ranch home use of shakes, brick and stone to present a welcoming curb appeal. 

Top: Here’s a charming 1-story country cottage with two bedrooms and two full baths. The covered porch opens to a spacious Great Room/kitchen/dining area with a large bay window for terrific views (House Plan #138-1003). Bottom: This Craftsman-influenced 3-bedroom, 2-bath ranch style home with a gable roof has an inviting courtyard and covered front and rear porches (House Plan #169-1022).


By the late ‘60s and ‘70s, American homes were bigger, more elaborate, with intricate ornamentation on their rooflines and entryways. Soon, stately two-story to three-story homes – the symbols of wealth and success of a new American generation – were lining suburban areas and heralding the decline of the one-story house.

Two-story Texas style house plan #106-1169

Two-story luxury house plan #161-1051 with lots of amenities

Top: This 2-story, 4-bedroom Texas style home has a primary bedroom on the main level. There is a family room, kitchen with breakfast nook, and library. Three bedrooms plus a bonus room are on the second floor (House Plan #106-1169). Bottom: This 2-story luxury home with three bedrooms and three baths packs excellent views and lots of space. It comes with a private deck, home office, guest room, and modern kitchen with an island, peninsula/eating bar, breakfast nook, and walk-in pantry (House Plan #161-1051).




The one-story home plan is back on the scene as more home buyers continue to rediscover its advantages. Not only charming and appealing, but the single-story home plan also combines simple, functional, traditional, trendy, chic, and elegant design features. Here are some of the significant benefits of the style:


Structural Benefits

1. You have the accessibility, comfort, and convenience of all living spaces on one level in an expansive open concept floor plan. The house is fluid and spacious, with no walls dividing the kitchen, dining, and living rooms. It is also easy to transition from prepping/cooking in the kitchen to eating or socializing without missing out on conversations or leaving guests unattended.

2. Perhaps the most important benefit of this kind of plan is that there are no stairs to navigate and separate residents from bedrooms and bathrooms. This also means that if you want a drink of water in the middle of the night, you can just step out of your room and head into the kitchen without climbing up and down stairs. And best of all, no more lugging baskets of laundry up and down steps.

Living with no stairs is ideal for Baby Boomers, retirees, and those with health issues or limited mobility because it minimizes accidents and risks of falling.

home Bungalow style house plan #123-1071

This very cozy bungalow nestled in the countryside features two bedrooms with a bathroom and walk-in closet. Its open floor plan accommodates a Great Room – family room/dining area/kitchen/laundry room (House Plan #123-1071).

 Country Ranch style house plan #126-1300

With an extended covered porch, this charming Country style Ranch home has two bedrooms, a full bath with laundry facilities, a Great Room, a dining area, and a  kitchen with a snack bar (House Plan #126-1300).

Craftsman style house plan #144-1019

This Craftsman house plan tailor-made for retirees or empty nesters has two bedrooms, two baths, a family room, a fireplace, and a kitchen with a breakfast nook (House Plan #144-1019).


3. A house without stairs is safer for children and older people. Without the risk of toddlers and younger children slipping and falling down the stairs, parents can eliminate child gates on stair landings. In addition, a single-story home facilitates wheelchair accessibility.


Design Advantages

1. Versatility and adaptability define the 21st century one-story home. If you want to be snug as a bug in your single-story haven, you can choose a compact Bungalow, Cape Cod, or Cottage style. Try the Country or Southern plan if you love the homey and warm style. Or go for vintage charm with the European or Mediterranean plan.

2. There is more living space in a home with one floor because square footage is not used up for staircases.

3. Many single-level house plans provide split master bedroom suites for privacy and comfort.

4. There are more choices for different ceiling heights and skylights.

5. Fewer bathrooms are needed because everything is on one level.

6. The mudroom can be combined with the laundry room – there’s also the option to create an all-purpose utility room.

7. With today’s emphasis on outdoor living spaces, a one-level home provides the option to expand. It’s simple to add on a covered/screened porch, sunroom, deck, or rear patio for social events and other gatherings. In some cases, families have added rooms on top of the garage, rear, or sides of the home.


Maintenance and Budget Benefits

1. With living and entertaining areas located on one level, maintaining and cleaning are straightforward and uncomplicatedAdditionally, it’s easier to reach and clean gutters, windows, exterior facades, and the roof.

2. As green living features and energy efficiency become “must-haves” for home buyers, an eco-friendly single-level home is a more desirable choice in that it offers savings on heating and cooling bills.

3. It is cheaper to add on to or expand the structure of this kind of plan.



Other Advantages

4. No noise from the stairs and second-floor traffic. Say goodbye to all the noise as family members – especially the younger ones – stomp and run up and down those stairs. Count on a good night’s sleep without all that noise and traffic.

5. It’s easier to evacuate in case of fire.

6. Your resale value increases because of its popularity, versatility, and appeal across the board.


Consider how much you can do with a one-story home plan. There are endless style and decorating possibilities. So, are you ready for some trendy living?


Note: the house plans shown in the lead image of this article are as follows (clockwise from top left): 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath Country style House Plan #141-1240; 3-bedroom, 2-bath Craftsman style Ranch House Plan #169-1022; 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath Country style Ranch House Plan #117-1092; 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath luxury Ranch style House Plan #198-1001.


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