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What Is a Split-Level House? Exploring the Unique Architectural Design

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What Is a Split-Level House?

What Is a Split-Level House?

Aug 19, 2023   By Vijay Rohila

You should have no trouble locating a split-level home in any city where you're looking to buy a home.

These kinds of homes are quite prevalent and well-liked for a variety of reasons, whether you're seeking in rural areas, suburbs, or something closer to the city. As a result, even if you're unsure of the type of house you want to live in, you'll undoubtedly find a few split-level homes when evaluating your possibilities.

What, though, is a split-level home?

The Simple Definition of a Split-Level House

A split-level home is one with staggered levels and a front entrance that opens in the middle of the two levels, to put it simply.

This usually means that as you walk through the front door, you'll be met by a staircase leading up to the bedroom level and another one leading down to the basement area.

The basement space may be used for a variety of things because it is usually always completed. For instance, it often has a laundry room and at least one bedroom. The main room in the basement is frequently used as a living room or as the principal area for entertainment in split-level homes.

The fact that there isn't a single floor that occupies the complete footprint of the house is another simple way to understand split-level houses. Some homes may feature spacious main floors with a kitchen and dining area, but these floors eventually give way to the stairs that connect to the remaining two stories. The floors of a split-level home are staggered, as opposed to the precisely overlapping levels of a craftsman house and other common designs.


split level house

What's the Difference Between a Split-Level vs. Bi-Level House?

Many purchasers mistake bi-level homes for split-level homes, so they arrive expecting to see the former only to learn it's the latter.

Even though they are similar, they differ sufficiently from one another that you would probably not be interested in one just because you were looking for the other. At least three separate levels make up a split-level home. It has the first floor you reach when you enter the building. Typically, this also applies to the dining area and kitchen. The next two levels are those stated above, however, there may be others.

Only two levels exist in a bi-level home. I'm done now. The only way to reach any of them is by an entranceway, which is often situated between the two. However, the initial "floor" is really only a tiny area that is large enough for access.

Ranch-style homes are also frequently found in bi-levels but adapted for their distinctive two-level layout. Split-level homes, however, exist in a variety of architectural designs.

Split-level home types

Split-level homes exist in a variety of forms, dimensions, and architectural styles, as we just said. Not all split-level homes—also known as "tri-level" homes—have three stories. Additionally, there are stacked split-level homes that have up to five or six levels.

They are so typical in so many various neighborhoods because of their wide variation.

However, there are primarily two kinds of split-level homes. If you want to look at homes soon, it's important to be aware of them.


A side-split home has levels that are all visible from the curb. One classic illustration is the home from The Brady Bunch. Two levels are visible to the left and one level to the right from the front.


You can only view one level of a back-split house from the curb. You can only notice the two additional levels that branch off the main floor while looking at it from the side.

Is a Split-Level House for You?

Since the 1950s, split-level homes have been a popular choice, albeit fewer of them are being constructed now.

Nevertheless, they continue to be well-liked for three major reasons.

1. Fans of open floor plans are dwindling

First, open-floor designs, which have dominated domestic architecture for the last ten or so years, are alienating homeowners.

Although the spaciousness of these plans helped them gain popularity, it appears that more and more homeowners are choosing definitions. When the home itself supports the separation between different rooms, it is simpler to equip and decorate those spaces.

2. You'll Enjoy More Bang for Your Buck

They also maximize the use of a smaller lot area. A split-level home could have three floors instead of two plus a basement, and it might even include a crawlspace off the basement for further storage space. Again, each space seems separate, giving you greater freedom to organize your home any way you see appropriate.

As a result, multi-level homes frequently offer additional square footage without requiring the sort of lot that is typically associated with homes of similar size in other neighborhoods.

3. You're Never Far from Any Room

Third, regardless of whose floor you're on, many owners of split-level houses rave about how simple it is to go from one area to the next.

This is useful if you need to quickly enter the kitchen after bringing in goods from the garage or if you want to watch TV in the basement while being close to your front door in case the doorbell rings.

This is the reason why many parents of small kids adore these residences. Whether you are on the ground floor or an upper story, they still provide you room and solitude, yet you can walk about without ever being too far from your young children.

Looking for a Split-Level House?

Do you have your eye on a split-level home right now? Split-level houses may be purchased for costs that are comparable to or less than the market median, making them an inexpensive option for first-time buyers.

Do you anticipate finding the right person soon? Anyhow, we'd be happy to assist. There are 6 main construction styles you should look at if you're going to build a home and want to consider various floor plans and possibilities, including modern, barn style, classic, and more.

These already inexpensive properties may be purchased much more affordably with SimpleShowing. You will really get a cheque at closing for up to half of your agent's commission if you use our buyer refund program. This usually comes to more than $5,000.

Want to find a home for rent that perfectly suits your requirements? Check out what’s available on


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