What are the Best Tips for a Split-Level Remodel?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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There will be many challenges when engaging in a split-level remodel, but there are also many prospects for updates and changes, which can make the home more inviting and comfortable. The best tips for a split-level remodel are to learn as much as possible about the specific pros and cons and then start out simple.

It is important to keep in mind that in many split-level floor plans, various amenities found in other homes may not exist, and may be difficult to replicate. This may be especially true of open, airy spaces and combined living areas found in more modern house plans. Home additions can also be tricky, due to the placement of load-bearing walls and exterior design elements. Stairways that connect the different levels must be taken into consideration as they generally cannot be removed.

Other conveniences may not be available in a split-level floor plan, such as a private bath upstairs or a guest bath on the main floor. These are two popular upgrades sought by many when considering a split-level remodel. Keep in mind that it is simpler and more cost-effective to hook into existing plumbing, so adding a bathroom above or below current plumbing is generally best if possible.


Space is another issue when considering a split-level remodel, as the existing space tends to be chopped up into many small rooms. The homeowner must decide where he or she is willing to sacrifice space in order to add improvements. If the convenience of a master bath is more important to the homeowner than a walk-in closet, using this space or at least some of it may be a good option. If there is a seldom-used guest room, using part of this space to add another bathroom may be a good idea.

Opening up the floor plan is another popular choice in split-level remodel. Due to the location of load-bearing walls, however, it may be impossible to remove certain walls entirely. A pass-through from the kitchen to the dining area or other seating area may be a more viable option, which will still open up the spaces to some degree. A counter with beams is sometimes used to replace a full wall as well.

While a split-level remodel may appear to be the only answer to updating a tired interior, many upgrades can actually be achieved through cosmetic changes alone. This is because split-level home designs were popular many years ago, which means many of the interior elements are quite dated. Updating color schemes goes a long way. New flooring and wall treatments can also have a big impact. Replacing dated carpeting and removing or revamping dark paneling can lighten, brighten, and update a home with less time, effort, and cost.


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Post 3

I've invested in many houses over the years and renovated them to resale. As home renovation goes, split level remodeling is the most difficult that I have run into. I would not recommend a split level house for your first major remodeling project.

Post 2

I have a friend who bought a split-level house that was once two different apartments. The house was divided into two living spaces. The owner lived in one side and he rented the other side to a tenant. I'm going to help him renovate and update the house.

The house was remodeled previously and an opening was made to connect the two separate living spaces when the split-level remodel was done the first time. The kitchen on one side was converted to an office space. Still, the house looks like two apartments rather than one flowing house.

Post 1

I know very little to nothing about actual construction and the specifics about how to build a house and not have it fall on top of me. When we started making plans to remodel the last home we lived in, I thought we could just knock down walls wherever we wanted.

That's when I first learned about supporting walls that actually hold up the roof or whatever else is above them. So if you take nothing else from this article pay close attention to the part about load bearing walls.

We spent a small fortune on those enormous beams when we remodeled our last home, and if I had known ahead of time what we were in for then I would have done the work differently or not done it at all.

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