A split level home is as quintessentially American as cheeseburgers and jazz. It was during the 1950s that split level homes gained popularity in North America. The suburbs were seeing an expansion in the years following WW2, and this is when they became popular.

Two decades later, a split-level home used to be the grooviest pad on the block. During this time, 12 percent of all new houses built in the USA were split-level. However, today, the percentage of split level homes is as low as 1 percent. A split level home is just not unpopular, people actively avoid them. People find them dark and outdated.

The good news is that there are plenty of remodeling ideas for a split-level home that can help to improve them making it lighter, brighter, airier and more spacious. Here, we will talk about what a split level home is, how it is built and various ideas to remodel it.

All about split level homes

The design of a split level home

With a split-level home, the land around the home is usually limited. If you have land that is too small for the large house you have in mind, the split-level can be an ideal choice. These kinds of homes made their appearance in the 1950s, but even though they went out of favor after a while, their merits have once again come to the fore and many people are wondering how to improve a split-level home to make it more liveable.

Layouts of the split level home have varied, but the most common design featured the kitchen, dining room and living room on the main level with a short stairway leading to an upper level with bedrooms while another short stairway leads down to the basement with a door that leads to the garages.

If you have a split level home there are no end to the ideas you have when it comes to finding ways on how to improve a split-level home and there are many architectural designs on how to improve a split-level home.

Split Level Ranch

The split-level ranch-style house is also known as a raised ranch home. It is a style of home with 2 levels or floors.  From the main entrance, a short stairway leads to the main living area on the upper level and a short stairway also leads to the lower story at ground level.

Split level means that the levels are staggered. Raised Ranch style houses have the same kinds of features as the split-level house and while there are people who use the term split-level to describe the raised ranch style, the real raised ranch style house has just the 2 levels while there are 3 or more for the  split-level home.

The ceilings are not high in these split-ranch homes and if you want plans, split level ranch house plans available online are designed to give you a little more space. The plans are good for pieces of ground that slope and can be found in configurations appropriate for these kinds of plots.

Split level house plans

How to improve a split-level home will require getting some split-level house plans that can be traditional or modern. People love looking at these plans when they want to upgrade their split level home and perhaps bring in an extra room. When you start looking at these plans, you see that typical split level house plans have the bedrooms at the highest level. The family room is usually at the bottom level while the kitchen is at the level below the bedrooms. Nothing is set in stone though and you can choose the plans that suit the way you want to live in your home.

How to modernize a split-level home exterior

If you have bought a split level house, how to improve a split-level home will require you having a plan for refining the exterior if you are not happy with it. You do not even have to make massive exterior alterations – a smaller makeover can do the trick too. Maybe fresh paint, new windows, a brand new  impressive front door – they can all turn your lackluster home into something more inviting.

How to improve a split-level home always starts with the front entranceway. It does wonders to your home to revamp your entrance. Maybe you have enough money to revamp your entire porch and entrance area and turn it from dark and uninspiring into something wider, more open, brighter, and more colorful.

Possibly you have allowed trees and shrubs to darken your place and hide some other beautiful plants. Possibly it is just a case of trimming back or removing some of the growth to give your place a brighter, sunnier, more open look. You can bring some magic to your front door area by installing a beautiful stone pathway that leads to your door with beautiful gardens and lanterns.

Split level remodel exterior

Many homeowners turn to improving what they have in a split level home as opposed to moving. They do not want to move and would prefer to know how to improve a split-level home to save costs.

They look at window shutters that are aesthetically pleasing and also come out in modern or antique styles for decorative or security purposes. Then again, if that works out to be too costly, the cheapest option to remodel the exterior of your home is to simply paint the outside of the house.

Some people want new windows to bring in more natural light as this promotes a brighter, cheerful atmosphere. Large windows suit the split level house and a lot of glass lets in light. Bay windows can be a wonderful addition to a home and provide additional seating with the window seats.

Bear in mind though that the split-level home’s original single-pane windows do not have to be replaced as that can be expensive, but if they are in decent shape they can be fixed up to work just as well as new ones. Original windows you have can possibly still last a long time with some repair work and maintenance.

There is nothing like a wooden deck to revamp the exterior of your home. How to improve a split-level home ca not go wrong with the idea of adding a beautiful wooden deck to the outside of your home.

It gives you the ultimate outdoor living space for outdoor entertaining. If you live in an area that has lots of sunshine, a deck will certainly increase the value of your home. There are a range of materials and finishes that can give your deck lots of different looks.

Then it may be time to open up your home to the garden with the installation of large glazed doors, whether you opt for sliding- or bi-fold doors, it can give your home a whole new exciting look.

Other ideas on how to improve a split-level home are possibly a vegetable garden, lawn and shrubbery arranged attractively, well-spaced trees that do not create overcrowding as they mature, some form of attractive shed for garden tools and attractive paths and fencing.

Split Level Homes for Sale

Split level homes for sale are harder to sell because of the so-called ‘unattractive’ interior details. How to improve a split-level home is something baby boomers are thinking about as they want to sell and get a good price.

They have pretty much grown up in these homes and have got used to the many stairs and the haphazard kind of floor plans. But as they age, they are starting to have difficulty with the stairs as they start with aching joints and other illnesses related to aging.

As baby boomers pass on, there is going to be an over supply of these split level houses for sale and how to improve a split-level home is going to be on the minds of many would-be buyers. They are going to have to be repaired or renovated to modernize them. It is thought that some of these older homes may even have asbestos in them.

Certainly, some of them are dark inside and if you are preparing one of these old homes to sell, you may want to add some recessed lighting to bring a modern touch in. In modern times there are all kinds of wonderful ways on how to improve a split-level home and one is always to bring natural light into an older, darker house. Recessed lighting is a good choice, maybe more specifically in a kitchen as it provides both focused illumination and ambient lighting. With recessed lighting, you are able to highlight the best features of a room while the lights are hidden.

If you have bought a split level home and you want to bring a modern, light, airy look to it, why not maximize the sun- and daylight by adding a skylight?  They are no big deal to install and in fact they can be installed fairly quickly and allow a flood of brightness into an old home.

Split-level house inside

If you want to upgrade or modernize your split level house inside, Find a talented contractor to help with the design of your place.  You will no doubt have a host of renovation ideas for the interior of your home but only a professional can help you bring them to reality. There are a lot of factors to consider when renovating the interiors of a split-level home, so make sure you enlist the expertise of a certified professional.

Split-level house remodel

Once you start doing research on the split level house remodel ideas you have in mind, you will be blown away by the many options you have, even for the DIYer. Bathroom renovations are always high on the list of remodels and there are lots of inexpensive yet quality products you can buy that can seriously change the way your bathroom looks and functions.

Maybe it is true to say that the split-level house can be more difficult to remodel than other homes. It is been oddly constructed and the rooms tend to be small too, but with modern remodeling plans these days, nothing is impossible and beyond what you dream of.

Right from the entrance-way there can be improvements because the entry to many of these split levels is made up of two lots of stairs – one going up and one down. While it adds a bit of mystery to a house, most people choose a remodeling plan where they do away with these stairs.

Certainly, the first remodel idea is to extend the porch or front porch and make it less cramped and more open and spacious while also providing it with some kind of roofing.

Some people, when looking at ways on how to improve a split-level home like the idea of just having open floor plans. They like the idea of the kitchen, family room and dining room all included in one large open space. There are plenty of opportunities to create a space in your home that appeals to your lifestyle and with clever ideas you can do it without tearing out all the walls,


How to improve a split-level home can be such an exciting project and the front entry that is too small can already make a world of difference to the way your place looks and functions. Maybe you are so impressed you do not feel the need to make any more changes. Maybe there is a lack of storage and closet space or issues with heating or maybe the house just lacks some kind of appeal. There are many ideas to improve and repair it to make it a place many people are waiting for.

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