Compared to the ranch and one and one half story houses, the two story house is more economical to build. This may be built with or without a basement. It requires a smaller lot and has a small roof and foundation area compared to interior space of most other designs.
Heating and cooling the two story house is simple and comparatively economical. Heat from the first floor naturally rises to the second floor level. Even though the second floor is usually far from the furnace it is usually easy to heat. Cooling is facilitated due to the fact that the ceiling is not directly under the roof. Ventilation is easy and effective when ample windows are included in the design.
The two story, however, in many localities is not as popular today as in former years. This is probably a result of the turn to more contemporary styles. The two story home is usually traditional in style. The two story home, unless located among other similar styles may appear to be out of place.
General exterior maintenance is usually more difficult and costly because of the height. For some people the necessity of climbing stairs from level to level is considered a disadvantage. The two story does not lend itself to variations in style as well as some other designs, but architects have added a contemporary flair, and as a result, have improved their overall appearance and sale ability.