Everything else being equal I’d get the rambler over a two story 10 out of 10 times. [/quote]
I’d agree, but I don’t think everything else will always be equal. You’re unlikely to get the same square footage for the same price. There’s a reason that most bigger houses are two stories. You have less exterior and roof to maintain, your house takes up less of your yard, and it’s usually cheaper to build. On the other hand, your roof and walls are more accessible so it goes both ways.
If your main concern is kids falling down the stairs, I don’t think that concern is really justified. First, not to be callous, but kids are pretty durable and rarely get seriously hurt falling down the stairs. Second, kids are pretty smart and figure out how not to fall down the stairs. I have a 3 year old and we have stairs and he has literally never fallen down the stairs. When he first started crawling it took him a bit to figure out how to turn around and go down backwards, but he worked it out. Third, if you really are concerned, get a gate for the stairs. It’s a pretty cheap fix.
If you have other concerns with the layout, then it becomes more personal. As was mentioned, stairs are more of a problem for old people than kids, mostly because old people are harder and more awkward to carry. If you’re worried about sleeping on different levels from the kids, can you just put all the bedrooms upstairs? Basically, there are lots of rubs, but I would lean towards a two story house. [/quote]
Good post. What suprised me was that the 1 story is actually more expensive to build than the 2 story plan; although both are roughly the same size.
We our building on our ranch so available room or yard isn’t an issue luckily. I certainly agree with you about kids toughness. My wife is the one who is more concerned [/quote]
Multi story are cheaper due to less foundation costs.
I much prefer a ranch personally for all the reasons listed although it should be cheaper to heat a multi story.
My parents built a quad level which was my moms dream house when I was a kid. She ended up hating it because of the stairs.
You could always consider installing a pellet stove to help with the heat issue. We have one and it helps out tremendously with keeping the main level warm. Pellets are very inexpensive too… some stoves even burn corn.