NicF

2 storey or not 2 storey?

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    We've nearly completed on a block of land and have to start thinking about what we are going to build on it. It's a long thin block and we have been thinking we would get more floor space if we put a two storey house on rather than a single storey, but we are a bit worried about how hot the upstairs might get in summer. Does anyone have any experience of living in a two storey house in the summer and is it bearable or would you advise against it?

     

    Thanks

    Nicola

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    Guest willfam

    We have a 2 storey house and it does get much hotter upstairs than downstairs. We have 2 ducted a/c systems one for upstais and 1 for downstairs, when we are asleep we just have the upstairs one on so that we are not cooling all of downstairs as well. If it is within your budget I would really recommend that you have a/c, I couldn't survive the summer without it!

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    We have a 2 storey house and it does get much hotter upstairs than downstairs. We have 2 ducted a/c systems one for upstais and 1 for downstairs, when we are asleep we just have the upstairs one on so that we are not cooling all of downstairs as well. If it is within your budget I would really recommend that you have a/c, I couldn't survive the summer without it!

     

    Aircon is very much on our list of have to haves, although still deciding on which type. If the budget is tight then there are a lot of other things we would live without first. The budget may make the 2 storey decision for us but I want to be well researched in case we can afford it.

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    Guest Katangel

    Yep it definitely gets hotter upstairs but as long as you have good air con all should be fine. But there are a few other things you can do to insure it stays cooler and the benefit of you building is that you can make sure you have decent insulation put in the ceiling and wall cavities and also make sure you get proper blinds or curtains that block a lot of sun light out. Keeping the blinds or curtains closed during the day but leaving the window open a bit keeps the rooms quite cool and that way you don't always have to have the air con on full blast. Although when its in the 40.s there really is no choice lol not quite sure how i survived growing up in a house with no air con but then again the houses were made with proper double brick unlike the brick veneer of todays houses.

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    Yep it definitely gets hotter upstairs but as long as you have good air con all should be fine. But there are a few other things you can do to insure it stays cooler and the benefit of you building is that you can make sure you have decent insulation put in the ceiling and wall cavities and also make sure you get proper blinds or curtains that block a lot of sun light out. Keeping the blinds or curtains closed during the day but leaving the window open a bit keeps the rooms quite cool and that way you don't always have to have the air con on full blast. Although when its in the 40.s there really is no choice lol not quite sure how i survived growing up in a house with no air con but then again the houses were made with proper double brick unlike the brick veneer of todays houses.

     

    We wouldn't be in a single story for the world as struggle with all bedrooms off main living areas. Our kids could never get to sleep. I'd recommend double glazing (it's actually not that more expensive yet) and although relatively novel in Australia keeps heat in, air con in and noise in (you can fight WITHOUT the neigbours hearing.... :)

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    Agree whatever you do when you are building get extra insulation in there. It is easier to upgrade other fixtures and fittings things later if you have to keep to a budget. We increased the insulation and had double glazing fitted it was worth every cent. The bsic building requirements are really the absolute minimum.

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    2 storey. big patio door type windows one each side for blow through and aircon for when they are shut.

    Big glass dome on the roof for 360 deg telescope type thing wired to a computer and monitor for seeing all that beautiful landscape :-)

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    Hi Nic

     

    We have built 2 storey houses - one which we rent out and one that we live in. I would defo recommend a 2 storey home - we only had a small block of land and building a 2 storey home meant that we could still have large spacious house. We live upstairs with the master bedroom upstairs also.

     

    Yes, it is hotter during the really hot summer months.....Im not one for putting the air-con on all the time (we just had one split unit )...I open up the large patio doors upstairs and a door downstairs and the the breezes come through...lovely. Dont forget the pros....during the winter months, the upstairs is slightly warmer.

     

    We've been living in our 2 storey now for 2 years and dont really notice the difference...when its a 40 degree day, then you need the aircon on even if your in a single storey.

     

     

     

    Sarahx

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    I have just read through the posts so far and am puzzled.

     

    Can you please explain why the upstairs gets hotter in the summer?

     

    Do you mean hotter than downstairs or hotter than a single storey?

     

    The only reason I could give its nearer the sun....lol

     

    Cheers Rob and Mel

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    Basic science I'd have thought: Hot air rises... I even know people who found their kids couldn't sleep in the top bunk of bunkbeds on some summer nights here

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    Diane,

     

    Thank you for the Basic Science lesson.

     

    How many degrees difference could there be?

     

    Cheers Rob and Mel

     

    If our ducted heating system is anything to go by, depending on the height of the ceilings it could be 4 or 5 degrees difference (celcius). Certainly enough to actually notice the change in temperature.

     

    Thanks to everyone for their input. Our block actually slopes down slightly but if you are up a bit you can see the hills beyond the trees and we really want to be able to make something of the view. That and the fact that you can get more floor area in a smaller foot print so we can have more garden space as well. It's nice to hear that the extra heat upstairs can be bearable with air con. I guess if it gets really hot we could always go and sleep downstairs.

     

    Double glazing is a must on our block as there are a lot of trees with a lot of birds in them, couldn't face the noise with a single layer of glass. The extra insulation and air conditioning are non negotiables. As is heating, although I've learnt from our rental that ducted heating with ceiling vents is a waste of time so I think we'll go for underfloor heating or something similar.

     

    I'd also like solar panels and one of those covered verandas where the slats on the roof can be opened or closed, amd will close automatically if it rains. Think that might be pushing the budget a bit though. Just need to find a builder and a floor plan we like now....

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    Hi Nic

     

    Just to advise, we also have our master bedroom upstairs, and its never been unbearable...we have a fan in our room for when its too hot. I can also reccommend underfloor heating - we have used it downstairs and its a lovely heat...although it was expensive to install.

     

    Good luck with your house plans/build - its very exciting and I enjoyed every process

     

     

    Sarahx

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    Guest smit

    nothing wrong with gas ducted heating, not as good as central heating in uk but does the job adequately........providing you have a system that suits the house. Heating much more important than air con IMO....gets used a lot more!!!.

    Double glazed units are not cheap, and if they are in aluminium frames most systems are basic. You can get commercial and semi commercial but you have to know what you are looking at to see if they are worth the money. Most are not draughtproof....especially the doors. Residential windows are just shocking. You will not get any ally windows as thermal efficient than upvc because they just dont use the available gaskets and locking mechanisms .

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    Guest duicie

    Rob, its much hotter upstairs due to contruction. Most two stories are not box design, therefore brick outside on both levels, so upstairs is a hardiflex or timber external walls, with brick on the ground level. Also very few have sarkin, so the tin or tile roof stores the 40+ degree heat and radient heat. So you can find there are a few degrees difference between the levels. Remember that the ground level is insulated by the upper floor.

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    Single storey all the way... not just because of heat but cost also!

     

    Plus, who'd want to be paying all the money to cool the upstairs every summer??

     

    I never thought I'd like a single storey home, but wow, I'd never go back. Your bedrooms can be away from living areas when planned correctly so that's not an issue. I am just staying with my sister in Melbourne right now in a 2 storey - gosh, stairs are such a pain lol.

     

    So glad I will never vacuum stairs ever again. :wink:

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    Never thought about the vacuuming the stairs thing. Although we can only afford a two storey if I get a job and if I get a job I'm also getting a cleaner so I wouldn't have to vacuum the stairs anyway :biglaugh:.

     

    Our block of land isn't really big enough for us to get all the house space we want and still have the amount of garden space we want, hence going up a floor. I will miss having all the bedrooms on the ground floor though.

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    I prefer two story. Downstairs is cooler in the summer because upstairs acts as insulation. If your bedroom is upstairs you can leave windows open at night without having to worry about intruders. Climbing stairs is good for the heart! Sometimes I do a run up and down the stairs just for some exercise. To me, vacuuming stairs is not much more difficult than any vacuuming. And definitely go for underfloor heating! Also, if there is any view, it's better from upstairs!

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