One Story or two story with downstairs master? Which would you prefer?
Kristina Morgan
August 22, 2013 in Polls
Just taking a poll!

(Editing the poll for clarity, Since I don't seem to be able to edit the word "ranch" please let me know whether your personal preference as a home-owner would be a one story or two story with the master bedroom downstairs.)
Ranch
Two-story
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I can't vote because not every one story house is a ranch. I would def prefer a one story to a two story but a ranch style home would not be my first choice or even my fifth choice.
3 Likes   August 22, 2013 at 6:19PM
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olldcan
Like Carolyn, I didn't vote. I definitely prefer a one story but definitely NOT a Ranch
   August 22, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Karin Madgwick
Voting for one or the other depends on personal taste and needs. It also depends on the size of the block if you are building. There are too many variables to vote.
   August 22, 2013 at 6:28PM
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Kristina Morgan
Maybe I need to modify my poll so it says one story or two story.
   August 22, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Kristina Morgan
Also, I only mean your personal preference. I know everyone is different. I'm hoping to get a consensus.
   August 22, 2013 at 6:37PM
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laformica
We raised three kids in our ranch home. Now my 84 year old Father is moving in. I'm glad we have a ranch house. After this phase in our life, we probably will be glad we don't have stairs to climb. We will be able to utilize our ranch house through most phases of our life! God willing!
   Thanked by Kristina Morgan    August 22, 2013 at 6:46PM
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Madeline
Hi @Karin Madgwick. Of course there are variables to consider just like everything in life. But considering there are those different variables for all, one would think you'd have an opinion for the kind of house, one story or two in the "best of all possible worlds" to paraphrase Voltaire. And remember this is simply a Houzz poll. No one's going to hold your feet to the fire. At least I certainly hope not. Have a nice evening (morning?).
1 Like   Thanked by Kristina Morgan    August 22, 2013 at 6:50PM
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lake1114
In my younger days I liked having the bedrooms upstairs and out of sight esp with kids. Now-def the whole house one story!
3 Likes   August 22, 2013 at 6:52PM
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lefty47
HI -- Is your preference a Ranch style home or your question more about one story or two . I think most ranch houses are one story . I voted one story -- just easier as you get older . Lived in a two story townhouse once with no bathroom on the main floor -- big pain .
1 Like   August 22, 2013 at 7:35PM
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Kristina Morgan
We are builders and trying to decide whether or not we want to build one story homes, which are commonly referred to as ranch plans, in this area. Two story and story and 1/2 homes are the norm here but we're seeing a need to fill this niche and wondered if it is viable or not. This isn't a scientific poll at all. Just looking for some off-the-cuff feedback given the options.
1 Like   August 23, 2013 at 5:47AM
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lefty47
HI -- I see an increasing need for one story houses due to the boomers coming of age and being more comfortable in a one floor house. In my city it is almost impossible to find a new build one story house .
3 Likes   Thanked by Kristina Morgan    August 23, 2013 at 5:58AM
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Belle Chaise
Not big on first floor masters because of safety and children.
2 Likes   August 23, 2013 at 5:58AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
With the aging population I would be building one story homes with at least one wheelchair accessible bathroom.
1 Like   Thanked by Kristina Morgan    August 23, 2013 at 5:59AM
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Kristina Morgan
@ River Valley Cabinet Works: Thank you and you are right! We never build anything less than 8/12.
   August 23, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Allison Burnfield McAteer
I'm young and love our ranch. I love that my Grandma can make it into and out of our house easily. I love that we are close to our kids (but they are young). We have a full basement too that doubles the square footage of our house. What I hear people my age dislike about ranches is that everyone is on top of each other.
1 Like   Thanked by Kristina Morgan    August 23, 2013 at 10:27AM
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nasmijati
A lot of Boomers were raised in one-story Ranch tract housing. If the same footprint was used, but designed using Universal Design principles, the home would be accessible for all.
1 Like   Thanked by Kristina Morgan    August 23, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Dytecture
Personally I like having all the bedrooms upstairs in a 2 storey house, perhaps a guest / master bedroom on the 1st level for the less mobile member(s) of the family.
1 Like   August 23, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Snaggy
Stupid Question from a Brit...what's a ranch house ?
   August 23, 2013 at 12:15PM
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wifemothergoddess
We have 3 young children and live in a two story with all bedrooms on upper, and I dont like it. If I could go back in time I would look for homes with master and children's bedrooms on the lower level. That said, I do like the exterior look of a two story with dormers, so maybe it would have a tucked away staircase that lead to a bonus flex room (for guests or media or crafts, etc).
   August 23, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Hi Snaggy, a ranch house is a style from the 50's, long and low, one story. They were not on a ranch. Below is a nicely remodeled one.

1 Like   August 23, 2013 at 12:57PM
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Maguire
As a Realtor for the last 30 years, I see the need for single story homes growing tremendously. They get snapped up here in less than 24 hours...we have a shortage. Baby boomers are aging and single level homes, particularly those with wider doorways (for walkers and wheelchairs) are in big demand. It's surprising how few single level homes are built with less than 2 or 3 steps. I realize there's usually good reason, drainage, services, topography and all, however, it makes it difficult for seniors looking for a place to spend the rest of their years at home.

Many people associate the term "Ranch" with tract housing since that's how they initially became popular - in the baby boom generation. The 20-30 year olds love them, getting in bidding wars here.
3 Likes   Thanked by Kristina Morgan    August 23, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Ann
Yep, one story was the first thing we wanted when we bought what will likely be our best and last home at age 50.
1 Like   August 23, 2013 at 1:13PM
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Laurie Lewandowski
I have a cape cod with two up and bathroom; master on first floor. Now that we are empty nesters I only go up to check on things and flush the toilet! It's nice to have the two bedrooms for guests that are up.
   August 23, 2013 at 1:31PM
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lefty47
HI - This is why I love mid century modern homes - because most of them are one story and close to the ground , yet so livable for any age group . Now I am very fond of some of the modern pre-fab houses (not manufactured/trailers )- very much the same feeling. Very simple but well planed living spaces . I live in a ranch /tract house that is almost exactly the same floor plan as the house I grew up in. The builders today seem to be only thinking of the yuppies (20 to 40's ages).
   August 23, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Ramona
Real estate people seem to use the word ranch for any single level home. I always thought that was strange. When I was growing up, I longed to live in a home with a fireplace, a lovely staircase and bedrooms upstairs. After five ankle operations, a two inch threshold is dangerous. Even without that, the way I live makes upstairs bedrooms a pain in the neck or ankles and back -- going up and down for a snack or to retrieve paper, books, computer would drive me nuts. It would be good if cost saving techniques were invented for single story homes. I'm getting very set in my ways.
   August 24, 2013 at 3:58AM
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rredpenn
Surprised no one has yet extolled the virtues of the "walk-out" ranch! Best of both worlds. We have never lived in anything else! Master on main floor, guest/kids' rooms below--this has worked well for our family situation. When elderly guests stay (eg. our parents) we just let them have the master, and WE go downstairs! I suppose though that only works where basements are commonly built. Certainly would not work in Florida or Hawaii!
1 Like   August 24, 2013 at 4:55AM
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Snaggy
@ Carolyn Albert-Kincl Design..thank you
   August 24, 2013 at 5:20AM
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rredpenn
Real estate agents here call them "walkout ranches" (We are in the MWest...) but yes, I suppose they are "raised". I would add that the defining characteristic is the daylight basement with door(s) and windows making it a "living" space. Here newer houses all seem to be built this way, and developers create hills in flat farmland just so homes can have this feature in their lower levels.
1 Like   August 24, 2013 at 6:19AM
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kikiandkyle
I prefer a two story with the master up, not a common occurrence here in Houston!
1 Like   August 24, 2013 at 6:28AM
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kikiandkyle
@River Valley Cabinet Works single story homes in the UK are called bungalows. A family home is almost always 2 stories, bungalows are for old people!
1 Like   August 24, 2013 at 6:31AM
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Snaggy
@ River Valley Cabinet Works..not like that no .....we do have bungalows but there more square not so spread out..I live in one ..and no I am not old |!|
2 Likes   August 24, 2013 at 12:20PM
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Kristina Morgan
We have a LOT more two-story homes here in our area of NC than one story homes.
   August 24, 2013 at 2:06PM
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gogoellen
Just left our two story (no bedrooms downstairs) and I LOVE having a single story! Yes, we are 60 and realized that stairs could become a problem!
2 Likes   Thanked by Kristina Morgan    August 24, 2013 at 2:34PM
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Kristina Morgan
I really appreciate everyone's comments. We are going to be designing some ranch plans in the very near future, with tall ceilings and an open concept. We're also doing the roof pitches as mentioned earlier so the house will have more street presence among so many two-story homes here.
1 Like   August 25, 2013 at 7:09PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
That will be good news for folks in your area! Where are you?
1 Like   Thanked by Kristina Morgan    August 25, 2013 at 7:12PM
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Margaret Phillips
For a lot of people and areas. The term Ranch is anything with one story. Meanwhile it can be a 50's tract house or a glamorous sprawling new construction with two story rooms and vaulted ceilings.
2 Likes   Thanked by Kristina Morgan    August 25, 2013 at 7:26PM
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Kristina Morgan
@ Carolyn Albert-Kincl Design: We are builders in North Carolina.
1 Like   August 28, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Kristina, we are also remodelers in central NC. I think what NC lacks is 'quality, customized' one story housing. There are a lot of tract builders putting up developments that include one story homes, but none have the amenities and the upscale design that people want today. They work well for first home buyers that are constrained by budget, but those of us aging want more options and higher end finishes. Good luck.
   August 28, 2013 at 2:09PM
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feeny
I spent the first 20 years of my life in a ranch house, yearning for staircases and multiple floors. Now we live in a charming old house with three floors and a basement, and I love it. But when I'm 70 or 80 I'll probably appreciate the virtues of that ranch house I left behind.
1 Like   August 28, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Thanks, Kristina, for giving me the info on where you're building. That sounds like great advice from Deborah who is in the same market as you are, Kristina! What price range are you building in?
   August 28, 2013 at 6:43PM
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Darzy
Here in N California if you want a lot of square footage, two stories was what you had to choose from in development communities because of the "postage stamp" size lots available. Single stories are snatched up and are pricey for larger homes on large lots. My two cents would be to build homes with two master suites (either a single level with two suites, or one up, one down) to accommodate aging parents or partnership ownership. P.s. Or, unfortunately, for returning children! :)
3 Likes   August 28, 2013 at 7:02PM
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frenchcountrychick
We built ours 2 1/2 years ago. It is a custom home and I wanted a one story, but I didn't want it to look like the typical 70's rancher. It is off to the left. (don't look at my driveway there is only so much money to go around lol) The basement is our next project.
   June 8, 2014 at 9:16PM
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bgfuqua
here in fl we have a lot of split bedroom houses that are one level with the master bedroom in a different part of the house than other bedrooms. this is very nice.
   June 8, 2014 at 11:12PM
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shars55
I HAD a two story with the master downstairs, and I still hated it. Hot upstairs, cold down, carrying laundry up and down was a pain, etc. I now have a one story that I LOVE!!!! Thank goodness we found a builder that was building one stories on 1/3 of an acre so he was able to build a good size house and we still have a decent size yard. We have 3000 sq ft so we are not on top of each other, which I gather is the biggest complaint about a one story.
   June 9, 2014 at 12:00AM
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rainymorning
Our one-story home is cheaper to heat and cool and easy to keep clean. It also forces you not to have a lot of unnecessary stuff. I do like having a basement for storage and a place to seek shelter when tornados loom. Laundry room is on the first floor as it should be.
   June 9, 2014 at 8:11AM
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bob04951
Personally, if you have kids, would want to all be on the same floor. If you don't have kids, why do you need a two story anyway? If there are kids, do you want to run up and down the stairs when someone is sick? As far as a rancher, a cottage, or whatever one story design you desire, it's your own choice. We have a one story sprawling log home, and love it, so to each her own. And yes, a one story is waaay cheaper to heat too! Design your home the way YOU want it and take all of your concerns into consideration in doing so. Room for guests, visiting relatives, possible future in law space, think about it all. And good luck to you, hope you get what you want!
   June 26, 2014 at 12:54PM
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sutclifc
We have just completed construction of another one-story home. I would never again live in a two-story. As far as I can tell, I'm not getting younger -- stairs are dangerous. We've built this one, paying close attention to design that would allow us to stay in this home as we age. We have levers, not knobs. We have wide halls to allow use of a wheel-chair, should that become necessary. Our shower is a roll-in, though that feature right now is more for convenience than necessity. Our cabinetry has handles that allow us to use our whole hands rather than little fiddly knobs that would be difficult if we develop arthritis. Wish more people would think of this sort of thing when they build . . .
   September 3, 2014 at 1:32PM
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