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What Is a Cut up-Degree Home?

Homes are available in many kinds and builds – it’s a part of what makes them so distinctive and fascinating. From the Mediterranean fashion to the Cape Cod fashion, the probabilities are countless. A traditionally standard home fashion is the split-level home, which emerged from the raised ranch-style home within the Nineteen Thirties, however gained reputation within the Fifties. This architectural fashion has fallen in reputation lately, however continues to be an excellent housing possibility for a lot of homebuyers.

Characterised by its multi-story, easy, and spacious design, the split-level home is ideal for households massive and small. So whether or not you’re trying to purchase or lease a house, a split-level home could also be for you.

Historical past of the split-level home

Additionally referred to as tri-level houses, the split-level home originated as a spin-off of the ranch-style home. The fashion gained reputation as troopers returned house from WWII and started to have youngsters, signaling the beginning of the child increase. The abundance of bigger households wanted quick housing choices. As a result of split-level homes may very well be constructed shortly and affordably, they had been the only option, popping up in cities throughout the nation like Rochester, NY, and Kansas Metropolis, MO. These houses had been additionally good for suburban life – they may match simply on small, sq. plots of land and had an connected storage. 

Traits of the split-level home

For those who’ve seen The Brady Bunch, you’ll know precisely what a split-level home seems to be like. Whereas designs can differ extensively, these modest houses have at the least three flooring related by brief flights of stairs. The entrance door normally leads into the widespread space, with brief stairs right down to the storage and laundry room and as much as the bedrooms. Frequent options embrace low-pitched roofs, built-in garages, massive residing areas, pure supplies, minimal ornamentation, and loads of home windows. 

Cut up-level homes are thought-about two-story houses though they’ve three or extra flooring. It is because the primary room, which connects the basement to the bedrooms, is midway between flooring. The vertical distance between the 2 flooring isn’t a full flight of stairs, so it’s not counted as a full story. 

Cut up-level homes will usually have sliding glass doorways main out to the yard. Outdoors, there may be normally a patio and a grass-filled yard. In a split-level house, you’ll need to use the patio to your benefit. For instance, Kelly Masonry, a Springfield, PA patio specialist, advises, “When achieved proper, patios present householders a lift in curb enchantment in addition to an aesthetically-pleasing space exterior the house to unwind and luxuriate in. Masonry supplies equivalent to pavers, bricks, and flagstone will not be solely beautiful additions to your own home’s exterior however are additionally extraordinarily sturdy and simple to keep up.”

minimal open room

Typical split-level home flooring plans

The doorway to a typical split-level house is normally on the primary flooring main into the primary residing space. From there, brief stairways lead as much as the highest flooring and right down to the underside flooring and. Ground plans can differ extensively, however they often observe a easy formulation:

  • Backside flooring: This flooring normally accommodates a storage and a mudroom, playroom, or den.
  • Fundamental flooring: The principle flooring has a lot of the widespread areas, together with the kitchen, eating room, front room, workplace, rest room, or different auxiliary rooms.
  • Prime flooring: The highest flooring is the place the bedrooms and extra rest room are situated, normally with entry to a small attic for storage. 

Distinction between split-level and bilevel houses

Each kinds originated from the raised ranch, which results in confusion between the 2. Whereas a split-level home has three distinct ranges separated by brief flights of stairs, a bilevel home has solely two flooring, with a small lobby dividing them. 

Bilevel houses normally have a basement containing a toilet and an connected storage, with home windows to permit for pure mild. There’s additionally normally a household or front room on this flooring. A brief flight of stairs up from the basement results in the cut up entrance lobby, with an additional brief staircase resulting in the primary flooring. This most important flooring accommodates the kitchen, bedrooms, loos, and eating room. 

Several types of split-level houses

As with most standard home kinds, there are a lot of variations on the normal split-level home design. Whereas most contain totally different storage or entrance placements, some are extra adventurous. Fashionable interpretations of those kinds have grow to be extra prevalent lately.

Commonplace cut up

The unique split-level fashion house, normal splits have three distinct flooring related by brief flights of stairs, all laid out over a reasonably small footprint. Commonplace round a lot of the Midwest and lots of suburban areas, the usual cut up options little ornament and usually accommodates open flooring plans. 

Facet cut up

This fashion is the most typical of all split-level kinds. With facet splits, all three ranges are seen from the entrance of the house. They’ve an entrance on the primary flooring, with brief stairs main as much as the bedrooms and right down to the storage and different rooms. In a facet cut up, the storage and bedrooms are on prime of one another, with the primary room subsequent to them.

Again cut up

These houses differ from different split-level kinds due to their orientation. The again cut up fashion consists of three flooring related by brief flights of stairs. Nonetheless, the bed room and storage are located behind the primary room, not seen from the doorway. 

Stacked cut up

Stacked cut up houses have greater than three flooring with as many brief flights of stairs. Like different split-level kinds, the doorway is normally on the primary flooring main into the primary room. The underside flooring accommodates the storage and workplace or den, with the higher flooring containing any variety of bedrooms or accent rooms. Although stacked cut up homes have greater than three flooring, they often gained’t have greater than 5 flooring.

Cut up-level ranch

A split-level ranch home and normal split-level house are extremely related – the primary was the predecessor to the second. The one distinction is {that a} split-level ranch has two flooring as a substitute of three. Each houses are laid out identically, with an entrance to the small lobby and brief staircases as much as the primary rooms and right down to the basement and storage.

Execs and cons of split-level houses

That will help you resolve if split-level houses are the correct house fashion in your wants, listed below are some widespread professionals and cons.


  • Privateness: The advantage of having brief stairways between rooms is the built-in privateness and separation of house, making this house fashion standard for households.
  • Ground plans: Open flooring plans supply numerous performance and suppleness when arranging a room. You may make the most of as a lot house as doable.
  • Worth: As a result of these houses are falling out of favor and are typically older, they provide extra space for much less cash. Take into account a renovation to get precisely what you need.
  • Proximity: These houses have a small footprint, which means you’re by no means removed from any room.
  • Outside house: Cut up-level homes usually embrace a yard with a patio, so you should use this to your benefit.


  • Pure mild: Cut up-level homes typically have restricted entry to pure mild. That is due to their low-pitched roofs, minimal home windows, and budget-friendly design.
  • Ground plans: Whereas these houses have open flooring plans, they will really feel uneven and separated.
  • Stairs: For these with disabilities, the various flights of stairs could make these homes unattainable to navigate. 
  • Materials: The housing materials normally isn’t very sturdy and sometimes requires restore. 
  • Fairness: As a result of these houses aren’t extraordinarily standard, they accrue worth at a slower charge and might be tougher to promote.

renovated living room

Cut up-level home renovation concepts

Resulting from their age, split-level houses are good candidates for renovation and transforming. Take into consideration exterior components, equivalent to siding and roofing. Earlier than updating your roof, make sure that to “have your roof inspected and serviced by a licensed roofing contractor,” says Victor Wierzba of KM Development, a roofing firm based mostly in Illinois. “This may assist lengthen the helpful lifetime of the roof and assist keep away from pricey emergency repairs.” 

Take into account inside adjustments, like including partitions or splitting up a room into two separate areas. Listed here are another renovation concepts to assist spruce up a split-level house: 

  • Aesthetic: When updating a split-level home, attempt making a uniform aesthetic or basic theme. Match pillows, rugs, and wall colours, add similar-looking decorations, or create a retro home full with a walk-up bar. 
  • Landscaping: These houses have tons of out of doors house, so make one of the best use of it. Add flowers, herbs, edible vegetation, or raised beds to the entrance or yard. Create one thing interesting and maintainable. 
  • Exterior: Repaint or add new siding, change home windows and doorways, pour a brand new concrete driveway, add a skylight, or construct a bigger entrance porch.
  • Staircases: Staircases are all over the place in a split-level home. Make them pop with up to date supplies, customized handrails, carpeting, or funky paint colours.

For those who resolve to renovate your own home, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve employed one of the best contractors for the job. West Michigan’s Legacy Roofing & Restorations advises, “When hiring a contractor for any venture, make sure that to start out regionally and ask for referrals. Don’t rent a contractor who isn’t licensed or insured. And skim their critiques. These present perception into what it’s wish to work with them and provide you with peace of thoughts. Trusted assessment websites embrace Google, BBB, Angie’s Record, and Residence Advisor.”

Is it laborious to promote a split-level home?

Though these homes have continued to fall out of favor because the Seventies, they nonetheless appeal to consumers. For those who personal a split-level home and wish to purchase or promote, take a look at the following pointers from actual property consultants.

Use house to your benefit

An interesting split-level house has renovated, spectacular decrease ranges  for the fashionable purchaser. As a result of the underside degree of the home has massive home windows, use it as a room the place everybody can chill out. This degree additionally presents a possibility to place in a quiet workplace house for distant work. Will Rodgers, serving the actual property wants of Virginia and past.

Maintain the small print earlier than itemizing 

When promoting a split-level home, there are three essential steps:

  • Declutter: Step one is to declutter. These houses are smaller; maintain the house clear and freed from litter to make the house look as massive as doable. 
  • Restore: The second step is repairing something that’s damaged. This may maximize the quantity of curiosity it’s possible you’ll get from potential consumers. 
  • Stage: The final step is to stage the home correctly. Your aim is to make your house look as massive as doable, so transfer furnishings round to maximise the house and take away something pointless.

Tyler Bundy, actual property providers based mostly in Nebraska.

Stage the home utilizing its options to your benefit

Attempt staging a house workplace; this is likely one of the most desired house options. Some split-level homes have an open flooring plan on the primary degree, so make sure that to give attention to pure mild (including a skylight can be an excellent function). Many houses have massive yards, so constructing a deck makes an excellent promoting level. For the ultimate touches, take into consideration landscaping. This helps enhance worth and supply a extra welcoming really feel. – Peter Raneri of Exit Realty Premier, based mostly in Lengthy Island

Take into account multigenerational choices

Cut up-levels supply distinctive residing areas and design orientations, and performance nicely as multigenerational homes. As a result of these houses can simply accommodate a number of entry choices, creating particular person residences on every flooring is pretty easy. For these with children, the basement flooring can be utilized as a baby’s playroom.

“Whereas it isn’t tougher to promote a cut up degree house than every other property sort, it has its challenges. In some circumstances, it could be the best choice in your shopper’s wants.Pagano Properties, offering actual property providers to each Hawaii and New York.

The right way to discover split-level houses on the market in your space

If a split-level home appears best for you, Redfin may also help you discover one in three simple steps:

1. Go to and seek for both the identify of a metropolis or a zipper code of the place you need to transfer, for instance, Charlotte, NC

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2. Close to the highest of the following web page, click on on “All Filters” and scroll right down to the “Key phrases” field.

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3. Sort “cut up degree” into the “Key phrases” field and press “Apply Filters.” Now, all split-level homes inside the searched space will populate.


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