As you search through homes for sale in Austin, TX, you may start to question if a one-story or two-story house is better. The number of floors is more than a cosmetic difference. There are pros and cons to owning both a ranch-style and a multi-story home.

Depending on your life situation – budget, family size, desired location – you could lean more toward one choice over the other. If you’re unsure whether a one-story or two-story house will work better for you, check out the benefits (and downsides) of each.

Pros Of A One-Story Home:

Whether you want a sprawling ranch-style home or a small cottage perfect for two, there are some advantages to living life on one floor.

  • Easier Maintenance: Everyday task and annual maintenance is easier with a one-story home. Avoid lugging a vacuum up flights of stairs and when it’s time to prepare your home for spring, pressure washing or cleaning the windows is a much easier task.

  • Simpler Design: If you want to build a custom home in Austin, TX, a one story home is simpler to design, and, depending on preferences, is typically less expensive. A two-story home is more difficult to structurally engineer.

  • Safer Navigation: A growing family with young children or those with elderly parents will appreciate the ease of navigation through a one-story home. There are no stairs to cause a possible fall or accident.

  • Easier Escape: In the event of a house fire or natural disaster, one-story home are easier to escape as the window are on the ground level.

Cons Of A One-Story Home:

  • Larger Land: To build a single-story home, you’ll likely need a larger plot of land compared to a multi-level house. A one-story home may also require more materials during a custom build, like the HVAC , which runs a longer track in one-level homes.

  • Less Privacy: While windows on the ground level make for a good escape route, they also make seclusion or privacy a little tougher. Neighbors, the mail man or passersby can peer into your home.

Pros Of A Two-Story Home:

Whether you desire a colonial style, something straight out of Cape Cod, or fancy a Victorian, multi story homes offer an elegance and grandeur that’s hard to come by in a single-level home.

  • Added Privacy: Give the kids an extra place to play or get away from the in-laws with an easy escape to the second floor. It’s also a great way to allow guests some more privacy when they visit.


  • Design Options: In two-story homes, builders have the opportunity to play with the scale of spaces.

  • Million Dollar View: Some of the most desirable neighborhoods in Austin, TX have fantastic views – views better seen from a second-story window.

Cons Of A Two-Story Home:

  • Accidents: Young children, older adults, family members with disabilities or just unobservant guests can turn a flight of stairs into a recipe for a major accident. If you don’t want to take the time to baby-proof your home, you may want to stick with a single-level house.

  • Utility Bills: Depending on the size, a multi-level home may call for multiple HVAC units. Two-level homes are more expensive to heat and cool, even with the same square footage as a single-level house.

  • Noisy: Depending on the age and construction of the home, you may hear walking or talking above you when family members are on the second floor.

There are advantages to purchasing a single-level and two-story home in Austin, TX. Consider your family, budget, and willingness to dedicate time to maintenance and upkeep before deciding on your ideal home.