What Is a Split-Level House?

1 year ago
2 minutes

Split-level houses are a home design style quickly becoming one of the most popular. Though they are technically only two stories high, the term split-level house refers to any home with two or more levels in addition to its base level. The levels of a split-level house are connected by a set of stairs which typically have one or more landings.

Also known as tri-level homes, split-level houses are designed to allow homeowners to maximise their limited space. Let’s take a tour.

What defines a split-level house?

Image of a house and exterior garden. Image source. 

A split-level house is not the same as a two-story house. Although they are similar, a split-level home arranges the space between three or four floors in a staggered form, stacking vertical areas. 

The dining room and kitchen are often on the ground floor of the home – where you enter. Then you will see stairs leading up to the bedrooms and down to the basement or garage.

Features of a split-level house

Split-level houses carry distinct characteristics compared to two-storey houses. On the outside, a split-level house typically features:

  • Asymmetrical facades (a rectangular main level and a squarer or protruding section containing the upper level)
  • Double hung windows 
  • Large windows on the main level
  • Low-pitched roofs
  • Mixed-material facades (especially brick and wood)
  • Two to eight exterior steps leading to the front door

Meanwhile, there are some interior features that make a split-level house a split-level house:

  • Low-pitched roofs
  • Separate living, dining, and kitchen rooms on the main floor; bedrooms on the upper floor
  • Made-up basements on the lower floor
  • Attached or built-in garages
  • Multiple attic spaces and storage areas
  • Less ornamental features (mouldings, cornices, etc.)
  • Large patio doors/sliders leading off the main living area

Considering buying a split-level house?

A kitchen space, demonstrating the benefits of having separate spaces in a split-level home. Image source. 

The benefits of numerous levels offered in split-level house architecture will appeal to anyone who wants a spacious home affording privacy on a modestly sized lot. Not only that, a split-level is the perfect model for steep and sloping lots. With a split-level house, you will have a separate living and sleeping space, as well as more outdoor space.

A split-level home can offer a living and personal space all at once. And that is something that is always in fashion.

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