Basic house designs
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Chapter. 2. Basic House Designs. Objectives. Identify four basic house designs. Explain the advantages of each house design. Recognize the disadvantages of each house design. Explain the variations of split-level designs. Introduction. Four basic home designs: One-story

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Basic House Designs

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Basic house designs



Basic House Designs



  • Identify four basic house designs.

  • Explain the advantages of each house design.

  • Recognize the disadvantages of each house design.

  • Explain the variations of split-level designs.



  • Four basic home designs:

    • One-story

    • One-and-one-half-story

    • Two-story

    • Split-level

  • Each style has strengths and weaknesses



  • Factors that play a role in choosing basic design:

    • Site requirements

    • Climate

    • Environmental impact

    • Surroundings

    • Client’s personal preference, budget, and needs

One story designs

One-Story Designs

  • All living space on one level

  • Built on a full basement, crawl space, or slab construction

One story designs1

One-Story Designs

One story designs2

One-Story Designs

  • Advantages:

    • Living space on one level

    • In houses with no basement, no stairs

    • Lends itself to expansion and remodeling

    • Short walls allow for easy exterior maintenance

    • Provides opportunities for indoor-outdoor living

One story designs3

One-Story Designs

  • Outdoor space enhances living area of home and allows for casual entertaining.

One story designs4

One-Story Designs

  • Disadvantages

    • Building costs per squarefoot usually higher than other designs

    • House has a larger footprint than other designs, requiring a larger lot

    • More hallway space required to access rooms

    • Longer distances from HVAC systems may make heating and cooling difficult

One story designs5

One-Story Designs

  • Styles

    • Ranch has low-pitched roof, wide overhangs

    • Shotgunhouse has long rectangular floor plan with rooms in line with and directly connected from front to back of house




  • Containerized housing

    • Made from intermodal steel building units (ISBU) that create their own protective layer of rust

    • Exteriors can be covered with more traditional finishes such as stucco or siding

    • Each container is structurally independent but the units fit together for construction

    • Containers are “green” because they are made of sustainable and reusable materials

One and one half story designs

One-and-One-Half-Story Designs

  • One-story with tall, wide roof to allow expansion into attic

  • Identifying features include dormer, windows and vents in gables, and angular second–level ceilings

  • Amount of habitablespace in attic determined by width and height of house

One and one half story designs1

One-and-One-Half-Story Designs

  • The traditional Cape Cod is the most recognizable one-and-one-half story style.

One and one half story designs2

One-and-One-Half-Story Designs

  • Advantages:

    • Smaller footprint than one-story with same square footage

    • Design is adaptable

    • Attic can be finished later, deferring cost of expansion

One and one half story designs3

One-and-One-Half-Story Designs

  • Disadvantages:

    • Additional building costs result from dormers, stairs, and complicated roof

    • Stairs decrease accessibility

    • Low ceilings and limited window space on second level

    • Building height makes outside maintenance difficult

Two story designs

Two-Story Designs

  • Two full levels of living space

  • Smaller footprint with same square footage as a one- or one-and-one-half story design

  • Electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling components shared between levels

  • Air space in attic eases heating and cooling costs

  • Adaptable to many architectural styles

Two story designs1

Two-Story Designs

  • Exterior maintenance is challenging and costly

  • Stairs decrease accessibility for some people

Split level designs

Split-Level Designs

  • Multiple levels

  • Developed for sloping or hilly lots

  • Merges architecture with land to be visually pleasing and balanced

  • Separates sleeping, living, and recreation areas on different levels

  • Little or no hall space needed

Split level designs1

Split-Level Designs

  • Disadvantages:

    • Heating and cooling design is critical; zoned systems solve problems

    • Accessibility to all levels is hindered by stairs; installing stair lifts or elevators is cost prohibitive

Split level designs2

Split-Level Designs

  • Four-level split design levels include a basement, intermediatelevel, livinglevel, and sleepinglevel

  • Alternatives to regular basement are daylightbasement and walkoutbasement

  • Three-level split design does not have basement level

Split entry designs

Split-Entry Designs

  • Two levels separated by entrance stairway

  • Essentially a one-story house with a raised basement

  • Also called bi-level or raised ranch

Split level layouts

Split-Level Layouts

  • Side-by-side

    • For lots sloping from one side to the other

  • Front-to-back

    • For lots high in front and low in back

  • Back-to-front

    • For lots low in front and high in back

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