75 Split-Level Exterior Home Ideas You'll Love

Exterior

  1. Increasing a split-level’s curb appeal can go a long way toward updating a tired exterior. Build a stairway leading up to a new, covered front porch, portico or canopy to create a warm welcome for guests. Break up a continuous roofline by adding dormers to create visual interest. Replacing old siding with fiber-cement siding provides a low-maintenance, new look to mimic natural wood, stone or brick. Removing or trimming overgrown bushes and trees provides a fresh, manicured appearance. Add stylish, solar path lights along a walkway leading to a front entrance. Inject new life into the back of a split-level home by replacing or enlarging an outdated deck or patio. Add built-in bench seats, decorative iron rails and colorful pots of blooming flowers to revamp a tired appearance.

How to remodel a split-level home

Given the fact that split-level and divided entry homes were a hit in the 1940s and 1950s, many of them are in need of remodeling today. However, remodeling must come with a fair amount of planning because floor plans are fairly unique and can offer some pretty big challenges unless they’re well thought over.

The best place to start is to consider what you want out of your home, which is often dictated by what your needs actually are. Sketch out on a notepad what you would like to see happen in your home and make a list of wants/needs, because you’ll want to share these with a designer who has the experience to tell you what’s possible, what’s impossible and what you can do on your budget.

Video

THE FRONT DOOR

Before, the front door was no screamin’ glory, as there was no roof over the front steps and no focal point to draw you in.

After, the front door creates a striking, welcoming invitation! They were SUPER smart to install a new sloped roof to give some cover, creating a more layered look for the home in the process.

I just LOOOVE the subtle mid-century modern vibe, and that is PROBABLY one of the most bad-ass exterior light fixtures…ever.

Split-level open floor plan remodel

If your split-level has a bunch of small, boxy rooms, you’re part of the club of many living in similarly designed homes. That’s why it’s quite common to see these projects involve taking down walls between two bedrooms and creating a master suite, complete with a walk-in closet.

Furthermore, if you’re enthralled by cathedral ceilings, or something close to it, achieving these things is a possibility in some split-level homes. You can also create more of an open floor plan by taking down your railings and replacing them with glass panels.

Expanding the kitchen area is also a popular project in remodeling a split-level. Also, if you decide to open up the rooms on the main floor, you can create a “great room,” which can provide that much-needed relief for an entertainment/gathering area where you can huddle with your family and entertain guests.

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Brighten

  1. Natural light can help to brighten a dark, split-level home. These homes were typically built without any windows on the ends. Adding windows to both sides of a corner brightens up the interior spaces. You can also remove small windows and modify the existing window openings to accommodate larger replacement windows. Bigger windows allow more natural light to stream inside, making an interior seem more open and cheery. Installing ceiling skylights and solar tubes also helps to brighten interior spaces with more natural light. Apply a fresh coat of paint in a light color — soft white, light gray, barely beige — to interior walls, resulting in updated rooms with a stylish, neutral background. Lighter paint colors tend to reflect more natural and artificial light to help brighten interior spaces.

Other Considerations

It’s important to note that a split level home may not be for everyone, and that’s ok! If you’re looking for a house with a lot of storage, a split level house isn’t going to be your best fit. Yes, you could always invest in a storage upgrade, put in more shelves, etc., but split level homes are notoriously short on storage. If you’re thinking about moving into a split level, you should definitely keep the question of storage in mind when weighing the pros and cons.

Additionally, split levels have a lot of stairs. This makes them great for getting your steps in, but of course it also means the house won’t be the best in terms of accessibility. If you’ve got beloved grandparents living with you or other family members who are disabled, a split level is likely not your best option.

But, if you’re not worried about those things, then a split level home may be the right fit! After all, the thought of a low-cost house with distinctive rooms and low noise levels is pretty exciting. And a conversation pit? They’re like a pillow fort for grown-ups!

In the case that you choose a split level home, we hope you enjoy the design process, and that you take full advantage of the opportunity to customize each space.

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