Although your split-level home might have once been the grooviest place on the block, nowadays visitors are more likely to bring up the 70s feel, its likeness to the Brady Bunch‘s retro pad, and the awkwardness of the layout. Split-levels simply aren’t popular anymore. In 1975, 12% of new homes in the United States were split-level (21% in the Midwest), but today that’s fallen to less than 1%. Although they were once valued for their inexpensiveness, the fact that they didn’t require a fully excavated basement, and staggered floors that enhanced privacy within the family, most homeowners today find them outdated and dark. However, there are many remodeling ideas for split-level houses that allow you to open up the space and bring in more light and beauty. Let’s take a look.
Remodeling Ideas for Split-Level Houses
To be frank, many people find split-level homes unattractive from the outside. It all depends on the house in question, but common complaints include big garage doors that distract the eye, doors lost in a sea of siding, and awkward gaps between windows. To fix this, emphasize the entrance of the home. Consider adding a porch, portico, canopy, or enclosed foyer to the front of the house. It will draw the eye away from the garage and can also add functionality to the home (it might be a great place for extra storage, like a coat closet). You could also add new facade treatments to the siding or dormers on the roof to add some visual interest.
Inside, the main issue is likely space. Split-levels often wedge rooms into corners, box everything off, and (of course) include many stairs. Unless you want to take apart the entire house, you will have to accept most of the layout. However, you might consider remodeling the house a bit so that it centers around the kitchen, lending itself well to entertaining. You could take down any walls adjacent to the kitchen, add an island or peninsula, or even add an addition to the rear of the house that includes more kitchen space or a breakfast patio.
Split-levels often lack light because windows aren’t always built on their ends. To fix this, simply add some new windows! Install windows on both sides of a corner for extra light or think about adding a patio (with glass or screen walls) onto the back of the house. It will let in more light and add space to your home.
The disjointed levels of a split-level can feel very small, limiting your options for storage and extra space. The best fit to this situation is to add an addition onto the house if you have extra space on your lot. Generally, an addition makes most sense at the rear of the house. If you add two levels, you’ll have space to extend your kitchen or family room as well as expand your master suite.
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Instead of moving out or continuing to feel disappointed with your split-level home, hire a contractor who can help you figure out which remodeling ideas for split-level houses will work best with your property. If you live in the Springfield area, give Bailey Building Company a call. We would love to help you bring that old split-level into the twenty-first century.