3-storey houses with living space on the 1st floor(29 Posts)
Do you / have you live(d) in one?
We are viewing one tomorrow, with garage, utility and spare room / study on the ground floor, living, dining and kitchen on the first and bedrooms and family bathroom on the second. Wondering about the practicalities / impracticalities.
Yes, it is. No idea why I didn't day that in the title!
It's not ideal. There are some like that near us and friends live in them. The main disadvantage is that they don't have access from their living space to the garden, which if you like eating outside, entertaining, watching the children play or sleep outside, and generally having an indoor/outdoor lifestyle is a big minus. I think you lose a significant part of the advantages of having a garden - sort of half way between living in a house and a large flat. Nice views from the living space though!
We used to live in a house with kitchen/diner/garage on ground floor, living room/master on first, three more bedrooms on 2nd (but we used one as a study/family room). Not sure which is worse - at least we had access to the garden, but having the living space split was a nightmare with very young children.
But of course, it depends what the alternatives are - presumably you gain something whether it is location or space.
Yes me. But when we had our second child and wanted to utilise the spare room we realised it wasn't sensible to have a young child on the ground floor whilst we were on the top floor.
We reconfigured ours as couldn't afford to move to a bigger property in the same area by knocking through the garage/utility/spare room and making it a large lounge.
Then chopped the original lounge in the middle of the house in 2 and created bedroom and playroom/4th bed/dining room.
Only issue is having to bring food down from kitchen as we eat in the lounge. You get used to the stairs!
I haven't lived in one, but two good friends did and I was round a lot.
However this was in a hilly area so actually the 1st floor had access to the garden a the back in both of them. Both their houses, in different areas of the same hilly city were:
GF - ground level at front, basement at the back - garage/utility/study/WC
1st - kitchen, living, access to garden at the back. One via a little walkway the other by some steps. so like raised ground floor at the back and 1st floor at the front.
2nd - bedrooms/bthrrom
I don't think I would like it if there wasn't some kind of outse access (even if just a balcony or terrace) from the living room or kitchen.
We live in one right now although we are in the process of selling. We live the location where we live at the moment but the layout of the house doesn't really suit us now we have young children - it's not possible to be in the house with them playing out in the garden and it feels like a big effort for us all to troop down there. Having said that you do get a lot of house for your money relative to more traditional 2 storey houses and a lot of people on our road have converted their ground floor (large garage) to create extra living space since property prices have become bonkers it's a good way of getting extra space without moving.
I don't think many people set out to buy a town house but it can be the best option depending on the location you're looking. We are near a popular school which helps.
Where i grew up (not UK) all the houses were like that. No big deal and a fair number of them (not ours as it was a bit smaller) had a terrace on the first floor off the living area which had stairs into the garden. Ground floor was garage, utility, toilet, and 'spare room' with a sink. The spare room is used for visitors mostly. First floor kitchen and living /dining, top floor bathroom and bedrooms.
The layout of the house you're looking at OP is identical to our previous house we lived in for over three years. They have their positives and negatives, namely more privacy and an excuse not to answer the door to people you don't want to, plus less noise from the road, but it was difficult as our DD lived in ours from birth and so it was a challenge with two flights of stairs and can be a pain if you're in your downstairs office and need something from your bedroom for example. Ours was also a new build from a certain builder with an awful rep so we did suffer from insulation issues and poor quality floorboards so it seemed to progressively more noisy as you got up each floor. I hope mine isn't too negative but I personally wouldn't live in a house type like that again I don't think.
We don't have a town house, but we have an odd layout in that the kitchen/diner and two bedrooms are on the ground floor, plus a downstairs loo and utility room.
I'd very much echo what PPs have said about access to the outside. Ours is OK because we have patio doors in the kitchen, plus we get a v nice view from our upstairs living room. I think it would feel weird to have only 'utility' spaces on the ground floor, the garden would feel very disconnected.
The view from the living room would be a clincher for me, if it's a sea view or gorgeous countryside that might sway it.
Last house we lived in was a town house. The layout was different to what you describe as there was a kitchen with space for a table on the ground floor and living room on 1st floor which was even more awkward than the layout you describe but at least had some connection to the garden.
If you access the garden through the study/spare room that could be awkward if you have guests and you want to hang some washing out and it might end up a dumping ground for coats and stuff.
I always felt I was in the wrong place with the wrong things and couldn't really relax in it. We did convert most of the garage to a kitchen so we could get extra space to have a small living area on the ground floor and it made a difference but I don't think I would buy another townhouse now.
I'm on my 2nd townhouse, with different layouts. The most important thing, IMO, is to have the living room & kitchen on the same floor. It hasn't been an issue having young DC on separate floors to us. If you can use the ground floor spare room as a playroom which opens to the garden, that's a winner. As is having a toilet on each floor.
We viewed a house like this, except it was kitchen on ground floor with access to garden and living room in second floor with balcony. I think if you have pets or small children who wish to use the garden it could be a pain in the back side.
I live in a townhouse. My living room is on the first floor. I really like it because when people walk past they can't see straight in to my front room but I have a great perspective!!
My kitchen diner is downstairs along with an inbuilt garage. We are quite an unusual townhouse as it's a new build but has a lot of space (nice landing, space at the entrance not just a straight corridor).
I would put the link on to my house if it had gone up for sale yet! Should be this time next week.
I've never had any problems here. Even after 3 sections the stairs were never an issue.
What kind of issues were you worried about?
Oh I just read the kitchen is upstairs too.
That would put me off. For the pets/watching small kids in the garden.
Those of you who say you need the living room and kitchen diner on the same floor, can I ask why?
We looked at a house like this when buying last time, basically we only considered it because we could have rearranged the downstairs to have the kitchen diner living room as pp's have said.
Ultimately the reasons we didn't buy were that the top floor was like a sauna (we were looking late spring) and the garden didn't have a lot of sun due to the height of all the town houses.
Personally I'm not keen and wouldn't choose one however it all depends on the individual house and surrounding buildings.
All the people I know who lived in them have loved them before they've had kids and hated them afterwards. The spare room downstairs never gets used as a bedroom because it's so far away from the upstairs bedrooms and the family bathroom and barbecues are a complete ballache.
We lived in a town house with the kitchen/diner on the ground floor & the living room on the 1st floor. The living room was never cold, and the kitchen table was used for homework prior to eating. The living room looked onto the garden, which was secluded. Worked very well for us.
We did - ground floor was kitchen/diner, storeroom and a toilet, 1st was all lounge, 2nd was bedrooms and bathroom. There was a large balcony off the 1st floor but no other outside space, but we didn't have kids at the time so that was fine. I really liked the set-up. It meant lots of running up and down the stairs but that didn't bother me (and was great exercise!) and I felt like we kind of had 2 living spaces which we could use depending on the situation. We only moved because we wanted a garden when DD came along.
Those who wonder why having the kitchen and living space on different floors is a problem...
I lived in a townhouse like this with a new born and (non-walking) 17m year old, until they were just 3 and nearly 2. Every time I wanted to move from kitchen/garden level to living room level (or up again to their bedroom and playroom) I had to decide whether to take them with me, and how...
Complete pain (and stairgates galore)
I live in one but it is on a hill. On the gf there is a garage, cloakroom and utility room. First floor is living room, dining room and kitchen and crucially, access to the back garden. Top floor has bedrooms and bathroom.
I love the view from our first floor living room.
We live in a townhouse but ours is slightly different. Kitchen and toilet are downstairs, with an integrated garage with no internal access. First floor is living room and 3rd bedroom. Top floor is master with ensuite, 2nd bedroom and family bathroom.
I really like living here but people constantly tell me I must hate it with a baby etc. The only real issue we have is our baby's nursery is on the middle floor (6yo in 2nd bedroom opposite us) but as she goes to bed early it's helpful to have her on the same floor as the living room. It's also annoying not having a bathroom on the middle floor, but as we have three in total a fourth would obviously be overkill
The stairs don't really bother me unless I've left something on the top floor and have just gone downstairs without it. The one you describe sounds more convenient than my house however as the kitchen is still on the same floor as the living space.
I had one and when it came to move being over three storeys put off some people. Loved it when it was just me and dh, ok with one small child but not practical after that. We were lucky that ours was in a very sought after area so it sold but a friend who had exactly the same house on another area has had real problems selling on. Having said that it was huge and I do miss having a floor of just 'living space'
We have one and it's fine, I like the living room being higher. It gives it a light and airy feel. Probably not best with very small children, but we moved in when youngest dc was 5, so no problem. Teenage dc has a bedroom on the ground floor and really likes the fact that it feels more separate. The garden does feel a bit detached, but you get used to that.
Compared with other properties we could have got in the area, it is bigger and we can convert the internal garage on the ground floor into another bedroom and utiluty.
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