Home & Garden

why people hate bi-level house so much?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 22nd, 2022 9:14 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2011
626 posts
134 upvotes
Edmonton

why people hate bi-level house so much?

I understand that you need to go up and down the stairs(short stairs) all the time but for most 2 story houses, you need to go up stairs(longer stairs) to get to your bedrooms anyways.

I am a shift worker and no matter how careful I am, I wake my wife up at 5am and I feel so bad. Sure I can sleep in the basement but I hate it..I feel like I am sleeping in the cave without air circulation....

Anyways we decided to buy a bigger house and checked out couple of bi-level houses and we loved it.

Basement doesn't feel like the cave...and gets lots of sunlight and good air circulation with bigger windows. Also we love vaulted ceiling and most bi levels have it.

One thing we don't like about bi level is kitchen is so small and not open concept. but that's not our top priority.

So I talked to my friends next day. Even thought none of them have lived in bi level house but they all hated it. They hate the stairs..

Another option for me is to buy a house with walkout basement but those houses are usually 50~100k more expensive(assuming bi level and walkout house have same kind of sq) than bi level.

Let me hear your opinion... is bi level that bad?
45 replies
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2014
602 posts
383 upvotes
Markham, ON
never lived in a bi-level house, but as an average guy, when I hear a split level house, I immediately think of 50 years old house since they tend to be popular only in that 1970-1980s era.
Probably have those old school, enclosed layout that most people dont' like nowadays.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
7751 posts
5240 upvotes
Victoria, BC
We have just bought a gorgeous split level with a very nice big open kitchen, and a very open concept. Not sure why anyone wouldn't like it. Don't worry about what your friends like, just do what makes you happy.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 23, 2008
17287 posts
15089 upvotes
GTA, ON
Well, if you ever choose to change the layout in the future through renovation, you'll be pretty limited to what you can do. However, if you love it, buy it.
Tis banana is IRIE 😎

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
Banned
Feb 13, 2017
951 posts
1275 upvotes
Nothing better than a back-split or side-split from the 70's-80's...on a nice big lot....fully gutted and opened up...
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
19720 posts
23129 upvotes
GTA
I live in a 5 level split house. It has pros and cons. It can feel less open since each floor can only be so big, but people renovate them to open up the levels with railings, etc.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
13006 posts
9966 upvotes
Edmonton
Chickinvic wrote: We have just bought a gorgeous split level with a very nice big open kitchen, and a very open concept. Not sure why anyone wouldn't like it. Don't worry about what your friends like, just do what makes you happy.
This. If you like it, who cares what anyone else thinks?

We had a bi-level for quite awhile. I like the ground level entry. I didn't like the "wall" when you first come in. It doesn't feel inviting (IMHO), even with a largish landing area with closet. That was my biggest pet peeve. Other than that, the windows downstairs were great; made the basement much less cave-like. Upstairs was pretty standard; as open as the designers built. Some would be wide open, some would be closed. The bi-level design doesn't dictate any particular layout.

As far as "noise" goes, I have no idea what that might refer to. We had a door at the bottom of the stairs to close off that area for watching tv or to lock the kids down there.

I wouldn't go with one of the 4 or 5 level splits, myself. Each level is too small, which breaks up the spaces too much for my liking. Bi-level was better for that. IMHO.

C
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
6701 posts
6296 upvotes
Chickinvic wrote: We have just bought a gorgeous split level with a very nice big open kitchen, and a very open concept. Not sure why anyone wouldn't like it. Don't worry about what your friends like, just do what makes you happy.

+1 as long as you like it that's all that matters. There will always be buyers when you're ready to sell.
Deal Addict
Oct 14, 2004
1467 posts
430 upvotes
Toronto
We bought a side-split in Scarborough 4 years ago and was about 24ft wide by 60 ft long.

Half the house is on a 'slab-on-grade', and half has a basement/first floor. When reno'ing it, we have found the basement is small to get all of the mechanical in and still have living space. It can be done, but it would have been much easier if it were to have been a bungalow.

That said, not many will do an extensive reno on their place, so this may not mean much to most.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2011
626 posts
134 upvotes
Edmonton
Becks wrote: What if ur leg is in a cast, or u get sciatica?
Unless you live in 1 story building you still have to go up or down the stairs....
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
19720 posts
23129 upvotes
GTA
Becks wrote: What if ur leg is in a cast, or u get sciatica?
Then you need a bungalow with no stairs.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2011
626 posts
134 upvotes
Edmonton
The house that I am interested has 5 bedrooms in total. 2 on main level, 1 upper level, 2 basement. If i want to remove one of the bedrooms on the main level for more open concept, would it cost a lot of money? Assuming the wall that I want to remove is not load bearing.
Deal Addict
May 21, 2015
1233 posts
854 upvotes
Sarnia, ON
We had a bi-level on a hillside lot (walkout basement) and liked it a lot. The front foyer was on ground level and open to the upper and lower level, no doors closing them off. The lower level was pretty much an identical floor plan to the main floor, all open plan but with a cathedral ceiling in the living room and near two storey wall of windows. Nicest house ever.

Our current house is an upscale 1958 4 level split with double garage under the bedrooms.. Though you'd never know it from the street, the main floor livingroom (25 x 14), dining room and kitchen are under a cathedral ceiling and the wall separating the kitchen from the living/dining room is only 8 ft so so there's another near 8 ft of open space above that to the top of the ceiling. It's very open feeling. I couldn't live in a house with 8 or 9 ft ceilings again, well not until I'm in "a home" . They seem so tight. The big downside though are the stairs, we have 4 sets of stairs, it seems like you're always walking up or down those stairways, but it keeps you in shape. I don't like houses where you can see the kitchen from the front entrance or while your sitting in the livingroom. With this house even though there is a wall, the openness above makes it seem even bigger and you can still carry on a conversation with people in the livingroom if you want without really shouting.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
5818 posts
3161 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON
One complaint I've heard from people my age is that it just means more stairwells to baby proof.
Newbie
Jan 5, 2020
1 posts
1 upvote
If lived in Bi-level homes, split level homes,
Zero lot line homes, homes with 4 levels splits,
And bungalows.
Some brand new some older.
In my experience, The Bi level home built in the mid 70s mid 80s is by far the superior.
Here’s my reasoning.
Obviously the “Zero lot line homes” are Tall with
Not a lot of basement windows and small,
Average 12 to 14 stairs to climb to get up anywhere.
Zero lot homes are the worst. 4 feet from your neighbours,
All the rooms are tiny. Tall houses fall into this category
As well..
Bungalows are 2nd on my list because they don’t have the stairs and the space seems bigger where ever you go in the home.
4 level splits kind of fall into this category too,
Except your walking up 8 steps to get anywhere in the house.
Bi level homes opened up with that kitchen wall that separating from the living room removed, looks amazing.
Also nick our that corner kids room and turn that into master bath. And the master bath turned into walk in closet.
And wow .. what a master bedroom.
Still have the one other room up stairs.
With a awesome finished basement with 2 large bed rooms down stairs and and modest family room / Man cave.
Bilevel is 8 steps to get out of the house up or down.
In my opinion.. if you have 100s of thousands of dollars to spend.. then go ahead and build your dream home the way you like it. But if you want to spend 250,000 on a fixer upper or put 100,000 into a Reno, bi levels are the way to go.
It’s what I did. I’m really really happy I did.

Top