Should I Build a Single or Double Storey Home?

8 February 2024

The decision on whether to build a single or double storey home usually takes place at the beginning of the homebuying journey. However, it isn’t uncommon for homebuyers to pick a neighbourhood, block and builder and still be undecided whether a single or double storey home is the right choice for their current and future needs. While some homebuyers are 100% certain they want to build up or out, for many people this is a major decision that can leave them feeling overwhelmed. However, once you know what you need to take into consideration and the pros and cons of building a single or double storey home, you’re sure to feel more confident about the decisions you need to make. 

In this article, we outline some of the key considerations involved to help you decide whether to build a single or double storey home, including personal factors like your stage of life, building and ongoing costs, energy efficiency and block size, frontage and aspect – let’s get started! 

Important factors to consider when choosing the right home design for you

As you’ll quickly realise when you start your research, there are pros and cons of each home type across key factors such as stage of life and your family’s current and future lifestyle, the initial building and ongoing costs, block size, frontage and aspect, and potential resale value. While there are usually a variety of other factors that can help you to decide which house type is right for you, these are the most prominent factors that most Australian home buyers need to take into account.

Stage of life and family situation

Your new home should complement and enhance your lifestyle, not hinder or detract from it, so some of the first things to think about when choosing between a one or two storey home are your current and future stages of life – what stage of life are you in today and where do you want to be in the future? As the decision you make on whether to build up or out could impact your family’s lifestyle for many years to come, you need to consider both your current and future lifestyle, and also recognise that you can never really know what life is going to throw your way! 

If you have a family or plan to have one, double storey homes have traditionally been the preferred choice as they provide privacy by separating bedrooms from living areas. However, with many single storey homes boasting floor plans that place the master suite away from shared living areas and the other bedrooms, many families are now finding they can consider both single and double storey homes. Some of the things to think about here in terms of your ‘stage of life’ include:

  • Family – Do you have a family and do you have extended family members who stay with you often and could potentially move in with you? Your family situation is an important consideration when it comes to space and privacy. While homes with two storeys often have the extra space to cater for families with older children or extended family members, many single-storey homes are designed with privacy in mind and position the master bedroom at the far end of the home, away from the other bedrooms. Not to mention that they are typically the more affordable option.
  • Lifestyle – Does your family tend to gravitate to the indoors or outdoors when at home and do you have pets that need outdoor space? Homes with a split-level floor plan are a better choice for maximising outdoor space on a block and delivering more alfresco space, but that all depends on the size of the block, the home you build and its position on the block. You may also find that there are parks and green spaces near your home that provide easy access to outdoor spaces and that this compensates for having slightly less outdoor space at home.
  • Future – What are your future plans in terms of home ownership? Are you planning to build your forever home now or are you looking at building a home that you’ll sell in 10-15 years or so? With many home builders offering a range of ‘forever homes’ – like Nest by Hallmark, a range of homes created for growing families looking to settle into their forever home now – it’s more viable than ever to build a house that suits your current needs whilst also being able to accommodate for your future needs.


Consider building and ongoing costs – and resale value

Because building up involves more complex designs and construction processes, a double storey home will cost more and take longer to build than a single storey home. Naturally, a larger initial outlay and longer build time are factors that need careful consideration, after all, your home building budget plays a significant role when making this decision. However, building up instead of out may prove to be a stronger investment over the long term due to the greater potential for a higher resale value. 

When building new, you should always factor in the potential resale value of your home – even if you’re building your forever home. After all, most Australians relocate at least several times in their lifetime and we never know what the future holds in store! On that note, while resale values are often shaped by buyer preferences and local market trends, double storey homes tend to have higher resale values and are often in greater demand due to curb appeal and the potential for design option inclusions.

However, the cost of building a single storey home versus a double storey home is the ultimate deciding factor for many people building a home – on average, building a two-storey home costs around 30% more than a comparatively-sized single-storey home. While the construction costs involved in building a double storey home are higher than a single storey home there’s the benefit of the increased property value – and appeal to potential homebuyers – as with the additional construction costs comes the benefit of being able to sell the home for a higher price in the future. 

Don’t overlook energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is another major consideration for Australians and with escalating power costs that are showing no signs of easing anytime soon, all homebuyers should give some thought to this important issue. With two levels to keep cool in summer and warm in winter, double storey homes are generally more expensive to keep comfortable than single storey homes. After all, hot air rises and you’ll find that you’re more dependent on air conditioning to keep the upper floor of your home comfortable in summer, plus you get less natural light on the ground floor in winter.

However, to a certain extent, energy efficiency at home depends on your lifestyle and how you choose to keep comfortable throughout the year, plus double storey homes can provide natural heat stratification and upper-floor rooms will often benefit from improved ventilation and natural light. Another consideration is that Australians are installing solar panels and home batteries – a great choice here in South East Queensland with sunny weather most of the year – allowing homeowners to enjoy lower energy costs at home in the long run. This can make energy efficiency less of an issue and empower homebuyers to prioritise other factors when deciding whether to build a single or double storey home.

Block size, frontage and aspect considerations

The size of your block is likely to be the most important consideration when deciding whether to build a single or double storey home. Property prices have skyrocketed over the past few years, leading to many homebuyers – particularly those in the inner city and suburban markets – buying smaller blocks as that is typically what’s most available. To create the living space families need, many homebuyers are ‘building up’ – opting to build a double storey home to maximise the space their block offers while others are focusing on areas where land is more affordable and there are more opportunities to buy and build on a larger and wider block. Wherever you choose to build, whether it be inner city, suburbs or even on acreage, location and block size will undoubtedly be among the most important considerations in your decision. 

Before reaching a decision on whether your new home will have one or two floors, be sure to research local building regulations and consider the site conditions. Some areas have zoning regulations and height restrictions that impact your options and then there’s block suitability to consider – due to land conditions, it may not be suitable for a double storey build. Additionally, think about your neighbours’ homes in relation to privacy, natural light and style, and of course the aspect, as a natural outlook or a city skyline view can really enhance the time you spend at home. 

With the extra height that can help to provide unobstructed views over trees and neighbouring homes, double storey homes tend to deliver more appealing views than single-storey homes. The enduring appeal of watching the sun set from an upstairs balcony can really enhance time at home in addition to making the property more appealing to potential homebuyers should you decide to sell in the future. Don’t forget that great views can add real value to a property, an important consideration that you don’t want to overlook if you’re building somewhere with city skyline views or a beautiful natural outlook, like our display homes on acreage estates across South East Queensland. 

Do double storey homes deliver greater curb appeal?

With the extra presence that the additional storey delivers, double storey homes are traditionally seen as delivering greater curb appeal than single-storey homes and are often considered more desirable to potential home buyers. Curb appeal is a top priority for many homebuyers, with the use of vertical elements, like breezy balconies and grand entrance ways, making double storey homes more desirable to some homebuyers. 

However, with the façade options available, it’s inherently easy to choose a single-storey home design that offers amazing curb appeal! The single storey home designs at Hallmark Homes offer various façade options – from a Hamptons style to an Urban style, the choices are endless and there’s bound to be a design best suited to your personal style! 

Single and double storey home designs by Hallmark Homes

As you can see, there’s so much to consider when deciding whether to build a single or double storey home, from your family situation and stage of life to building costs and resale value and the many important considerations relating to block size and suitability. That’s why it’s so important to keep the focus on value for money and lifestyle value when choosing a home design​. 

With so many fantastic home designs and floor plans to choose from, those looking to build a new single or split-level home aren’t stuck for options – in fact, most people that are in the process of building a new home in South East Queensland find they have more choices than they know what to do with! As such, the range of home designs and floor plans available means that homebuyers won’t struggle to find a great selection that they love and suits their block size and frontage width needs. 

And don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss your thoughts with a new home consultant at Hallmark Homes – we’re here to provide expert advice at all stages of your home building journey. 

Hallmark Homes has a huge – and growing – selection of three, four, and five bedroom single and double storey homes and you’re sure to find a variety of home designs that suit your needs, budget and block size. Not to mention your lifestyle! Explore our three home design ranges below. 

  • Luma is a range of affordable homes, designed to suit small and narrow lots. These single-storey homes deliver more style, more space, more flexibility and more luxury than ever before.
  • Nest by Hallmark is a range of single and double storey home designs created for growing families looking to settle into their forever home now — with plenty of room for the future.
  • Eden by Hallmark is a larger-than-life collection of stunning single-storey, four and five-bedroom home designs that allow you to truly embrace life on an acreage block. 

Hallmark Homes is one of South East Queenslands largest and most trusted builders. Building homes every year for all kinds of customers, from young families who need room to grow, to empty nesters wanting to downsize. We have single storey homes on display across all our display home centres and you can find two stunning double storey designs from our Nest Range at Aura on the Sunshine Coast (Outlook 287) and Shoreline at Redland Bay (Grande 359). If you have any questions about building a single or double storey home and our single storey, double-storey, acreage and narrow lot home designs, contact one of our experienced consultants.


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