If you’ve anytime entered a home and apparent two side-by-side stairways, one arch up to a college akin and one arch bottomward to a lower level, you’ve acceptable been in a split-level home. Best accepted in the Midwest, split-level homes were an acutely accepted abode blueprint about 60 years ago.
“Split-level homes are an earlier appearance home that fabricated their admission afterwards World War Two and became air-conditioned accepted in the 1960s,” says Tim Grant, an Atlanta-based absolute acreage abettor with Better Homes and Gardens Absolute Acreage Metro Brokers. “They accept staggered attic levels affiliated by beneath staircases. Oftentimes they accept a drive beneath at or beneath grade—yard level—and bedrooms aloft the garage.”
These layouts are no best accepted in new, added avant-garde builds, but they’re absolutely on the bazaar if you’re arcade these days.
Here’s what you should accede if you’re attractive to acquirement a split-level home.
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Split-level homes about accept three levels but adeptness accept as abounding as bristles levels. Instead of artlessly layering anniversary akin on top of anniversary added (as in a acceptable multi-story home), these levels are staggered.
“I acquisition the best way to call a split-level home is by the agreement of the stairs,” says Christian Barnes, owner, president, and CEO at Better Homes and Gardens Absolute Acreage Kansas City Homes. “If a home has a admission that is breach in half—thus a beneath flight of stairs—it would added than acceptable abatement into the split-level category. Split-level homes tend to accept staggered levels of active space.”
One blazon of split-level home alleged a split-foyer home usually has a capital antechamber with breach levels aloft and beneath the admission level.
“In our market, we accredit to a ‘split-foyer’ as a ‘split-entry,’ because it’s aloof that,” Barnes says. “When you admission the home from the advanced door, you are greeted with stairs and you can either go up to a capital active amplitude or bottomward to, best often, a garage, lower-level den, and basement.”
In a split-level home, added levels are about staggered. The accomplished akin adeptness be on the larboard ancillary of the house, with a average akin on the appropriate ancillary of the abode and a lower akin on the larboard side, beneath the accomplished level. Unlike split-level homes, a split-foyer home does not accept staggered floors: The capital levels are stacked, one on top of the other, so anniversary akin extends beyond the abounding brand of the house—though you will accept to ascend or alight a half-flight of stairs from the antechamber to admission anniversary level.
As with all homes, there are appropriate considerations to accomplish back it comes to advancement your split-level home. Courtney Klosterman, home insights able at home allowance aggregation Hippo, suggests advantageous appropriate absorption to your basement, roof, and foundation.
“Split-level homes tend to accept affectionate of shallow-pitched roofs. In air-conditioned climates with snow, we charge to accumulate these areas bright because that can account autogenous damage,” she says.
It’s additionally acute to accumulate gutters apple-pie so rain and broiled snow can cesspool appropriately through downspouts and abstain pooling on the roof.
Water is additionally a blackmail in basements and lower levels. Klosterman credibility out that abounding split-level homes accept accomplished basements or lower levels area baptize heaters or HVAC systems are additionally stored. It’s important to accomplish abiding that any hidden pipes are in alive adjustment to abstain baptize accident to those systems.
“The Midwest is decumbent to flooding, so if you can, get a sump pump that can advice allay any baptize problems,” she says. “If you’re in the Midwest, you’re additionally decumbent to arctic pipes, so accomplish abiding any pipes in your basement are able-bodied insulated.”
Water can additionally admission your home from the ground, so Klosterman says it’s important to accumulate baptize six anxiety or added abroad from your foundation. Split-level homes frequently accept below windows into their lower levels: Keeping these appropriately caulked and closed adjoin baptize is key.
Barnes suggests advantageous appropriate absorption to the barn ceiling, back abounding bedrooms in split-level homes are anchored aloft the garage.
“Make abiding the barn beam is not alone appropriately cloistral to abstain cold/hot air escaping, but additionally ensure the abstracts are fire-rated, as abounding abode fires alpha in garages,” Barnes says.
Attic blast can additionally affect the lifespan of your roof.
“Some split-level homes with alveolate ceilings don’t accept the attic amplitude to ensure able ventilation, so homeowners adeptness acquisition themselves replacing the roof added generally than a home with a acceptable attic,” she adds.
If you’re attractive to account your split-level home or apprehensive whether you could advertise one bottomward the band if you accept to buy one now, you’re acceptable analytic if this appearance has acceptable resale potential.
Klosterman believes that, with such a bound apartment bazaar and accretion absorption in earlier appearance homes, split-level homes will advance sellability in the actual future.
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“These houses adeptness not be as aesthetically adorable to some, but they do accept abundant functionality, and that shouldn’t be overlooked,” Klosterman says. “In addition, a accomplished basement can go a continued way now that bodies are alive from home, their kids are demography classes from home, and they’re agreeable in home fitness.”
In addition, earlier homes are accepting added absorption now that new architecture has slowed, she says.
“More bodies are accepting to booty a additional attending at homes that accept been lived in for 20 additional years,” she says. “A design in the asperous is an befalling to get into the bazaar with one of these homes and absorb the time to clothier it to your accurate wants and needs.”
The better downside to these homes is accessibility, because about every active amplitude requires the use of stairs, which can be annoying at best and chancy at affliction for children, bodies with disabilities, and earlier inhabitants.
“Be able to booty your groceries, bags, and alike babies in car seats up and bottomward stairs,” Barnes says. “That can be a workout, abnormally for new parents.”
Still, there are affluence of pros to this blazon of layout, Barnes adds.
“The better affairs credibility of a split-level home is the adeptness to action the best bulk of accessible active amplitude in the aboriginal footprint,” she says. “They are ideal for maximizing active amplitude on abate lots. Split-level homes about avowal lots of accumulator and easier admission to attic space.”
Split-levels may not be as accepted in new constructions, but if you’re digging through your bounded market, don’t be afraid if you appear beyond added than a few of these characteristic attic plans—at atomic now you’ll be able to appraise whether you can accomplish the best of a split-level home or whether you should accumulate searching.
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