At Davis Timber Frame Company, we often receive the question, can a one story home be built for around the same cost as a two story house? The answer probably not, if you were to compare the cost to construct a one story home that has the same square feet as a two story home, the cost to construct the one story home would likely be more. Building up rather than out is much more cost effective because you will need half the foundation and excavating work and your roofing for a two story home will be half of what a one story home roof will be.
Below is an example of a 2,500 SF one story timber frame design compared to a 2,500 SF two story barn home design. We designed both homes and while they are both beautiful, the one story design cost significantly more to build than the two story barn home. The one story timber frame home also features a complex roof design, which increased the cost to build even more.
Custom one story timber frame home
Two story timber frame barn home
This post is not intended to deter you from building a one story home, but rather explain why a one story home may cost you more to build. If you are looking to get the most square footage with a lower cost per square foot, consider a two story design. If you decide that you do want a one story home and budget is a concern, it's important to keep your design simple (especially the roof) and also important to contain the square footage as compact as possible. The larger your footprint, the more it will cost in the foundation and roofing, two big construction budget items.