Split-level Home

A split-level home (also called a tri-level home) is a style of house in which the floor levels are staggered, so that the "main" level of the house (e.g. the level that usually contains the front entry), is halfway between the upper and lower floors. The main level typically contains common living areas (a living room, kitchen, dining room, and/or family room). There are typically two short sets of stairs, one running upward to a bedroom level, and one going downward toward a basement area. The basement level is usually finished off, and often contains additional living areas (most often, a family room, an office and/or a hobby or playroom), as well as frequently laundry facilities and other utilities. The basement level often also features a garage, and is usually level with the driveway. Beneath the main level (downward from the basement level) is usually crawl space, or sometimes additional basement space, which is frequently unfinished.

A sidesplit is where the split level is visible from the front elevation of the home.

A backsplit is where the split level is only visible from the side elevation. The front elevations shows only a single story and the two stories are in the back. A bi-level includes two short sets of stairs and two levels. The entry is between floors. The front door opens to a landing. One short flight of stairs leads up to the top floor; another short flight of stairs leads down. The top floor tends to be full height ceilings with the living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. The lower floor often has lower ceilings and is partially below ground. However, in many modern split foyer homes, the lower level is at grade, which necessitates an outdoor staircase to reach the front door. These homes often also have very high ceilings on the lower level to accommodate the home's HVAC ducting.

Read more about Split-level HomeRegional Variance in Usage, History

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