Love the ease of a one-story plan but want some extra space? One-and-a-half-story plans provide the right solution. What’s a half story? Usually it means that on the second level of the home you’ll find a couple of bedrooms and a bathroom, or perhaps just a loft. Bonus rooms up here can give room to expand later on when you want more space.
Home designs with a half story upstairs have a rich history. Craftsman bungalow plans typically feature this configuration, placing almost all of the living spaces on the first floor but then providing a bedroom or two upstairs. Often the upstairs bedrooms are secondary ones, meaning that they would be used by children or visitors. Many of today’s modern layouts place the master suite on the main level. This arrangement (master down, other bedrooms up) works well for all kinds of different families; school-age kids or teenagers will appreciate the privacy of their lair up there, away from parents. Similarly, special guests can spread out upstairs.
If the master suite is on the first floor, a one-and-a-half-story house plan makes aging in place easier. That’s because if kids move out, you can simply use the upstairs spaces for storage or visitors, while day-to-day living takes place on the main level. On the other hand, some vacation homes feature master suites upstairs in order to take advantage of the view in a scenic location. If you think that mobility may be an issue down the road, consider leaving room for an elevator shaft by stacking closets on each level (consult our modifications department to learn more).
Another advantage to building a home with a half-story upstairs: it’s cheaper (land-wise) than building out. Building up instead of out is a smart move on a tight lot, especially an infill lot in the city.
In this collection, you’ll find plans with versatile half-stories. Whether they include children’s bedrooms, a versatile loft/den, or even a master suite, the extra space upstairs opens up all kinds of possibilities. Craftsman bungalows feature prominently here, but you’ll also find modern farmhouses, sleek contemporary designs, cute country cottages, and more.