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Single Level vs Multilevel Living In a Yankee Barn

Single level vs multilevel living in a Yankee Barn home is an important topic to cover, as now and again clients suggest the desire to design a single level post and beam home.  Many times it’s because they feel a need to plan for the future. A major concern is “someday we may not want or be able to climb stairs”.  A very reasonable concern, but consider this: it’s a well known fact we stay in better shape as we age if we are exercising (this includes climbing stairs). A perfect example occurred in my family. My dad had serious heart disease. Three heart attacks and two by-pass surgeries later, his bedroom remained on the second floor because his cardiologist was adamant my father climb stairs as part of his daily exercise routine!

Yankee Barn

Stairs are a built-in exercise mechanism.

Barn Home

Stairways can be an architectural feature of the post & beam home.


If you are absolutely convinced you need to build a single level post & beam home, you should build one, but do so knowing all the advantages of a multilevel structure. A single level post and beam home is likely to include some or all of the following: a lofted great room and kitchen, a master bedroom wing with a master bath, two or three guest bedrooms, and other rooms such as a dining room and/or a media room. A large footprint will be created by the single level floor plan. Before the decision is finalized, please be aware of the advantages to building a multilevel post and beam home that, if need be, will still allow you to live on the first floor. With a multilevel timber frame home, the footprint will be  smaller, which means less cost for the overall structure. This will allow for more money to be spent on other important features (please see). These advantages are possible while still keeping the cost under the amount needed for a single level home.

Yankee Barn

A single level post and beam home, designed and built by Yankee Barn Homes.

Yankee Barn

A multilevel barn style home by Yankee Barn Homes.


Yet another benefit to multilevel living: the option exists to place guests quarters on the first floor while the master bedroom goes on the second floor, thus retaining all the benefits of privacy, plenty of light, the option for a cathedral ceiling, plus the good exercise provided by going up and down the stairs. The best part of multilevel living is the money saved due to the smaller foot print! Here’s a scale-tipping fact: You’ll still have first floor bedrooms should you ever be unable to climb stairs. When it comes to money well spent, considering all your options is always the best way to go!

Yankee Barn

Bedroom(s) on both floors allow options in the owners living style.


Yankee Barn

A rustically beautiful two story Yankee Barn.


Should you like further information or have questions, please call Yankee Barn Homes at 1-800-258-9786.


This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. When we built our YB home in Maine in 2007 we designed it with the master bedroom adjoining bath on the first floor with two guest rooms and a full bath on the second level. Apart from the convenience off one-level living, we think it’s simply safer to avoid a lot of stair climbing as we get older. We get our exercise working on our grounds and garden outside and walking the neighborhood.

  2. Thanks for providing a plus for starting with the master bed and bath on the first floor – yet another way to go when planning and designing a YBH. It sounds like you get plenty of exercise without using the stairs! BeamBabe

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