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Is it cheaper to build single or double storey?

October 27, 2022

Is it cheaper to build single or double storey?

For the majority of home buyers in Australia, single storey house designs are more preferred. However, many home buyers often still debate over the size of their homes and are unsure about what best works for them. The most common question real estate firms face is ‘Is it cheaper to build single or double storey?’

Since there are plenty of trade-offs involved with building a house, there are a few considerations that new home buyers should think about when buying a new home. Costs, floor plans, fittings – these are all crucial considerations when building a home so be sure to enlist the guidance of an experienced professionals.

Firstly, consider your family requirements and lifestyle. The needs of all the people living on the property, as well as you will be spending your time at home are important considerations that will influence your decision to build a single or double storey home.

Single storey house designs are usually more open and airy; home buyers will usually have the option to design their houses with open living rooms and kitchens, wider hall ways and high ceilings. A single storey house is also likely to be more accessible to older family members or members with mobility requirements.

Single storey house designs however, do tend to take up greater footprint on the lot, so the size of your lawn is likely to be smaller or it may not be possible to include additional features around your house, such as patios, pools and decks.

When you are assessing the layout of your home, you may find that a double storey house might be more appropriate for your family, particularly if you have children. Double storey house plans tend to be more flexible in terms of layout as they can provide a separation of spaces as well. This might allow the home buyer to plan out their living space with the family’s room upstairs, while the downstairs area is allocated for guests and entertaining. Double storey housing also looks substantial and can give you the advantage of views. The value of the property also goes considerably higher as you have the added bonus of more rooms and features in the house.

However, you must consider the costs of building a home in relation to your budget. Building up is usually more expensive and complex than building out. Costs tend to add up quickly with building up as it requires the hire of scaffolding. In fact, on average, it may cost the home buyer about 30% more to build a double storey home than a single storey home of the same size.  The costs tend to rise during construction – building stairs, scaffolding, balustrading and so on. The costs incurred in hiring extra structural work to support the second level may be substantial. It will also take longer to build a double storey home.

However, the extra construction costs can typically be counteracted by savings on land purchase. Double storey house prices can be built on smaller plot sizes so this is an advantage for double storey houses.

Double storey homes are, in general, more expensive than single storey homes. Double storey homes can be within $20,000 to $50,000 more expensive than traditional single storey homes. A quick online scan around property prices in Sydney revealed that single storey house prices usually start from approximately $400,000 (although the property market in Sydney is now quickly booming following a downturn during the COVID crisis in 2020). In comparison, double storey house prices are higher, with prices starting from about $500,000 (again, the property market in Sydney is booming and will be reflecting different prices now).

You may even go for the option of demolishing your current home and building a new one in its place. In fact, you can estimate the cost of building a property using a building cost calculator. If you are looking to find out the replacement cost of your home, you can use this calculator; you will have to provide some general information about your home. The calculator will provide an approximate replacement cost, which will include professional fees, demolition cost, removal of waste and debris and GST.

The great debate of choosing between single storeyed and double storeyed houses is generally a subjective one. At the end of the day, your decision will be based on your own perceived valuation of a property; it is also dependent on what you feel is best for your own lifestyle, your family’s needs and your future plans regarding this investment. These factors will also influence your house design plans – whether you want a home with an open style living and dining space, whether you want added features such as pools and patios and if you are willing to compromise on land and save more money. The right answer boils down to your personal preference. In the meantime, while you debate on this topic, feel free to contact P5 Homes. Our expert team of building and construction consultants will be happy to guide you through this exciting phase in your life!

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