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How do I Remodel a Split-Level Home?

By N. Swensson
Updated May 16, 2024
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Homeowners wanting to remodel a split-level home have several things to take into consideration, including the specific style of the home. The term "split-level" usually refers to a home in which the main entry is on a different level than the main living space or spaces. There are different types of split-level, including a raised ranch, a split-entry, and a multilevel. The style became popular in the 1950s, and some are still being built today. Common ways to remodel a split-level can include adding living space by building an addition on the side or back, or adding another level to the top.

Homes that have one floor of living space are usually called raised ranches, while homes with two floors are usually called split-entries. A true split-level home, also called a multilevel, is one with three levels connected by short staircases. The ways to remodel a split-level can vary, depending on the orientation of the home on the lot. People considering an addition as part of a remodel are often cautioned not to add too much space to the end of a split-level if the home's longest side faces front.

An addition can be tacked on to the end of a multilevel home to create an extra room or to expand the kitchen and dining areas. When length is added to the house, windows should also be added in most cases to avoid making the home look like a warehouse. Another option when trying to remodel a split-level is to move the main entry of the home and add a garage or extra room to the side. This option allows the existing garage space to be used for other purposes and increases the overall living space in the home. Moving the main entry can help to maintain the balanced look of the home post-addition.

Building an addition on the back of a split-level home is another way to increase the living space. This may be a good option for homes in which it would not be visually appealing or logistically possible to build on to the side. As with the other options, adding space to the back can increase the size of existing rooms or create a new room.

Another way to remodel a split-level home is to add a floor to the top. When opening the existing roof in this way, dormers often are added to preserve the home's curb appeal. The roof of the addition also should not extend above the highest point on the existing roof. Although some interior space may be lost to create a new staircase, this option can provide extra room in some types of split-level.

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Discussion Comments
By Glasis — On Jan 26, 2014

Environmentally conscious homeowners have a good opportunity to do green remodeling when they add an additional level to their existing home.

Since adding a new level involves installing a roof for the entire space, solar panels can be built in while the roof is being installed.

As a result, you could save money in the installation process and in your long-term energy bills.

There are also other ways to use the sun to light your new addition, and ecologically friendly building supplies are available.

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