Whether you’ve moved into a new home or you’ve been there a long time, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about remodeling. It is notoriously more difficult to remodel a split level home because they don’t follow the framework of a typical home on the inside. They could have smaller room sizes, less wall space, more load-bearing walls, short staircases, and even more complicated wiring and plumbing. These properties are more time-consuming to change.
It is possible to remodel a split level home, but you need to set aside a lot of time to complete the process. We’ll round up the best ideas for remodeling your split level home so you can focus more on relaxing when the project is complete.
Plan the Remodel Out Well in Advance
Remodeling a home is both time-consuming and expensive, and thanks to the intricate nature of a split level home, you need to make the best use of your time and resources.
Here are some of the reasons split level homes are more challenging to remodel:
- The rooms are all different sizes: While it’s common to have rooms of various sizes, it can be more confusing on split level homes because of the ceiling height. Some parts of the house will have a higher ceiling, meaning it’s always best to get these rooms measured. It’s not uncommon to have a kitchen that resembles one from a tiny house.
- The exterior can also pose an issue: Split level homes are different levels that are not consistent from one end of the building to the next. It can make things difficult if you are remodeling the outside.
- Stairs are short and don’t have a lot of headway: This can be a nightmare if you are moving building materials throughout the house, meaning you will have to get creative. There are even two sets of stairs when you walk into the house.
- Load-bearing walls: This is something you need to know about. Many of the walls will be load-bearing, so you need to know which can be moved.
An excellent way to go about a remodel is to consider your budget before pressing on with any work. You always need to plan it out from start to finish and make sure the contractor and their people adhere to the goals they set out with you when the work kicks off.
It is also good to consider any potential risks from the remodel so that you have plans in place to allow you to pivot and see the plan through to completion.
You should go in with the notion of shopping around. You will probably receive a variety of different quotes for different things. Remodels are not cheap, but they can help increase the look of your home while simultaneously adding to the value. You don’t want to devalue your home. That will be a disaster down the line.
New Windows Can Change Everything About Your Split level Home
A surefire way to enhance the look of a split level home is to change the windows. This is a relatively easy upgrade. All you will have to do is focus on the windows you want to switch things up. Here are some benefits of changing the windows:
- More light: Modern houses are more prone to bigger windows that let in a lot of light, so if you want to bring a split level home into the 21stcentury, you should consider new windows.
- More security and safety: Newer windows are more robust, especially if the windows in your split level home haven’t been upgraded in years.
- More energy efficient: With rising fuel costs, it is helpful to be more energy efficient. You’ll want the thickest windows that provide the right amount of support for your home.
- More comfortable: Windows can change the entire look of the room they are in and provide more comfort.
- Windows can increase the home value: If you are improving on the previous windows, you will be adding some money to the overall home’s value. Windows could turn out o be an investment down the line.
- Reduce outside noise: One of the reasons people typically upgrade their windows is because they live in a busy area where they can hear everything outside.
Changing the windows in your split level home is not the easiest of tasks because of the aforementioned differences in sizes throughout the home. Many people opt to keep the same windows because this can amount to a considerable expense.
Many companies offer free quotes and specialize in split level homes. This will be a good way to find out how new windows can enhance the look of your split level home. Bigger windows enhance the house’s look and let more light in, and on a split level home, it can prove invaluable.
Be prepared to spend more on windows for a split level home. This is because they are not usually widely available and have to be custom-built.
Remove Some Walls
It might seem daunting to think about, but another effortless way to increase the look of a split level home is to remove some walls. The walls are great, but not if the rooms inside are small. Removing the walls to increase the area of certain rooms will make the home more appealing.
When remodeling a split-level house, the aim of the game is to make it more comfortable, but you also don’t want to go too far when you’re switching things up. Here are some tips to consider when it comes to removing some walls:
- Look up other homes in the area: You don’t want to take too many walls down because it might become a bit of a nightmare if you sell the property. A good way to find out more about what rooms are in demand is to take a look at local home listings.
- Energy costs can run higher: All that open space means you will probably be forking out more money for the energy in your property. These areas run much higher because the spaces are bigger to heat.
- Recognize why you’re removing a wall: If the aim is to make a room bigger, consider what you will be putting in that space. The last thing you want to do is remove a wall and realize the more prominent space is not suitable for what you plan to do with the room.
- Split level homes can be confusing for guests: They almost always have two sets of stairs behind the entrance to the door. A good way to combat this is to consider whether the room above is required. If not, you can remove a set of stairs and raise the ceiling. This is a great way to create more room and increase the light.
One of the biggest issues with a split level home is finding out whether the wall is load-bearing. Because of the intricate build of the split level home, you should always have a professional on hand to check this out. The foundation of your split level home could be damaged beyond repair if you remove a load-bearing wall. These walls are holding up aspects of the house.
Upgrade to a Modern Kitchen
One of the most crucial areas of any living space is the kitchen. They remain one of the most popular parts of a home because people want to make sure they serve the entire family. Kitchens in split level dwellings tend to be very small because of the nature of the house’s build.
Kitchens are some of the most coveted areas when changing a home, so it’s always best to consider what you can do with the kitchen. If you remove a wall or two, you can expand the kitchen into a much bigger area that will allow you to have modern appliances.
A great way to increase the look of a kitchen is to have an island in the middle. These are very modern, and many people like to use them as a breakfast bar. These can also bring in much more storage into the room.
Kitchens can be used for various purposes, so it’s always best to make them as versatile as you can. This could mean doubling it as a dining area or even an entertainment area. It’s not uncommon for kitchens to have a table, chairs, and an entertainment system.
This also means it would be a good idea to upgrade the lighting and the storage solution. All of this should be planned well in advance to allow you to get all the materials and set goals.
One thing to consider is to use lighter flooring. This will help make any area look bigger.
Don’t Forget the Bathroom
Bathrooms can be one of the most cumbersome rooms to remodel because of the pipes, and that you need to remove everything in them before installing something new. Many people overlook the bathroom because it can be the most frustrating part of the home to upgrade, but it will be worthwhile with time and a plan.
Installing new cabinets in a bathroom is a great way to change the room’s look and add some storage for whatever is in the room. But it is also crucial to consider the placement of the bathtub, shower, and other amenities. The plumbing, especially in a split level house, can cause problems. Because of the changes in the height around the split level home, it’s not uncommon for these pipes to be much harder to get into.
The ceiling might also be much lower than other aspects of the house.
Make sure that you’re not adding too many things that require water because the last thing you want is low pressure. It could be a significant problem for your expensive remodel.
Here are some tips for renovating your split level bathroom:
- Always consult with a plumber: Even if you’re familiar with plumbing but have no idea about a split level home’s plumbing, you need to have someone on hand who knows about a split level home. The last thing you want is a pipe burst or disconnected and no idea which parts of the house will pass.
- The plumbing in split level homes might not follow the rules of what you know with a standard house: It truly depends on when the house was built, so always check out any documentation you got with the house. A common issue with homes is that they were once on septic systems, and when they were switched to city sewer, remnants of the septic system were left. This could be a nightmare for an intricately designed split level home if you don’t know the difference between them.
Don’t Forget About the Exterior Either
Split level homes can look very dated. That’s a part of the reason why they tend to be sold for less than traditional homes.
Working on the exterior will help enhance the curb appeal of the property. You want the home to be welcoming to people, but that doesn’t always equate to an easy process. Like we’ve said countless times, split level homes are tough to remodel.
Here are some things to consider when enhancing the exterior:
- Bad landscaping is an issue for split level homes: You want them to look strong, sturdy, and, most importantly, straight. Due to their footprint, split-level homes can look lopsided if the landscaping is not done correctly.
- Consider what you want the exterior to look like: You want the work to live up to your expectations, and a surefire way to do that is to consider what you really want it to look like. That will allow you to focus on other aspects of the house. The internet is an excellent source of ideas for split level homes.
- Do you really need a garage or basement? One of the more common ways to improve a split level home is to convert the garage and basement into a room. Garages and basements tend to be on the bigger side as opposed to other rooms in a split level home. This will give some extra storage or living space for all of your family.
- Try to keep the exterior design consistent with the interior: Consistency is key when remodeling a split level home.
Anything is Possible With a Plan
Remodeling any property can be tricky, and depending on your living situation, you might only be able to focus on one room at a time. But split level homes are entirely different because of their unique walls, windows, and room sizes. Load-bearing walls can be the difference between whether the remodel is a success or a failure.
The most important thing is to ask contractors about whether the split level home will be able to take the changes you want to make. Set goals that are achievable. You hear horror stories of building work that drags on for much longer than it should, so it’s always crucial to be working with a contractor who has testimonials. It’s even better to have testimonials that the contractor worked on split level homes.
Spaces Home Remodeling is a San Mateo based home remodeling contractor that specializes in remodeling split level homes. Contact us to learn more and to schedule a free consult.