If you’re interested in a Ranch home plan, but aren’t sure if your lot is big enough to house one, a Split Level floor plan (also known as a bi-level house plan) might be just what you’re looking for. Likewise, if the idea of climbing a huge flight of stairs (especially later in life) doesn’t appeal to you, and yet you still crave a thoughtful separation of living spaces, a Split Level house plan could be the perfect compromise.
Influenced by Prairie and Ranch homes as well as later modern architectural styles, Split Level floor plans feature a two-story high section joined to a single-story section located a half-story in between. That’s a little complicated to imagine if you’ve never seen one, isn’t it? Don’t worry. As you browse bi-level house plans you’ll start to understand what we mean. In short, Split Level house plans offer three distinct interior areas connected by short flights of stairs. They also typically require smaller lots than their Ranch-style cousins, are particularly well-suited to tricky hillside (or sloped) lots, and offer great benefits to homeowners with families. Why? Because, in a Split Level home plan, typically bedrooms are tucked away on the quiet upper level while the central level offers room for a spacious kitchen, living, and dining room. Meanwhile, the lower level (usually partly below grade) gives kids a place to play and provides room for storage, laundry, and parking.
The exterior of a Split Level home plan design is often composed of natural wood, brick, or stucco punctuated by large picture windows. Though Split Level home plans may display vaguely Colonial or Tudor details, minimal decorative elements give them a modern feel.
Innovative and intriguing, multi-floor Split Level house plans were hugely popular in the United States from the mid 1950s to the mid 1970s. A common variation is the Split Foyer house plan, or Raised Ranch, which is essentially a Ranch plan elevated above a partly below-grade basement, with the entrance on the stair landing between these two levels.