Two Story Homes: More Bang For Your Buck


If you are going to build your own home and want to get more for
your money, consider a two story home. There are major parts of
the construction process that can save you money over building a
ranch style home. The three major areas to cut costs are
excavation, the foundation, and the roof.

When excavating for a ranch style home, you are digging a hole
for living space all on one floor. Let’s say the square footage
of this ranch is 2,000 sq. ft. If this house has a full basement
that’s a lot of dirt to be removed to accommodate a foundation. A
two story home such as a Colonial or Georgian style with the same
square footage will require half as much excavation. These style
of homes usually have close to equal the two story buildings amount of square feet on
both floors. For this phase of construction a single story home
requires twice the labor and twice the material to be removed for
the foundation. After backfilling the foundation, any extra dirt
that can’t be spread about the lot, has to be hauled away. This
could be a sizable burden to your construction budget.

The foundation is another place to save money on your
construction costs. Using the same 2000 sq. ft. house as an
example, footings and foundation walls must be poured to support
2000 sq. ft. of deck for the living space. A two story would only
require enough walls and footings for a 1000 sq.ft. as the second
floor would be stacked on top of the first floor and utilizing
the same foundation walls. If both style homes have a full
basement its easy to see that the ranch is going to cost double
to pour a concrete floor. this cost is usually figured by the
square foot.

The third major cost saving phase is the roof system. A two story
home has half the roof. This means cutting the amount of lumber
in half. If the rafters for this structure are 2×10 or 2×12, this
can be quite a savings. Add in for the longer lumber lengths
needed for steeper pitched roofs like a 10/12 or 12/12 and the
savings become even more substantial. Also, when building this
type of home, only half as much plywood is needed to cover our
framing. With the rising costs of lumber, this is another good
reason to go with a two story home. The roofing materials used
is also affected. Again, only half the materials are needed to do
the job. This is another task that is figured by the square foot.

There are many ways to save money when building your own home.
These three parts of constructing a home are the major ways to
save. If you want more bang for your buck, consider a two story

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