I really hate my 2-story house - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 17 Old 04-29-2008, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
stretchmark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: in my deepest intuition
Posts: 1,979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Really, I do. I never lived in one in my life and DH and I were attempting to build a small footprint house that was literally to be tiny so we could get it done quickly.
Being the builder that he is (and when he saw the view from the top of floor #1) he just had to have a 2nd floor. He argued that is is cheaper to build a second floor instead of a large first floor. It's true, you already need a roof, the floor is already there from the ceiling of the 1st and all that's left is walls and windows.

Our first floor isn't all the way done. Our living room floor still isn't finished and when it is, it will open up a lot more options for downstairs as far as bringing things out of our pantry that are in storage and finally having a living room. I want to bring the clothes downstairs so all the laundry is down here near the machine and the bath. I rarely ever go upstairs and loathe it. Right now I go up there is the baby gets dirty and needs new clothes and I feel like I rarely ever see my kids because they are up there playing.
I half-way want to close it off and turn it into a rental but know DH wouldn't go for that.

Are there any tricks for living in a multi-level house like this?
stretchmark is offline  
#2 of 17 Old 04-29-2008, 04:32 PM
 
SusannahM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can't help you. Both houses I've lived in in my adult life have been two stories. Both times, the second story was hardly used. So, I'm the same way. We owned the first house, and decided we wanted something *much* smaller if we bought again, but a series of circumstances landed us in one of my dad's rental houses which again is a big 2-story. So, we're in the same situation we were in when we owned our first house!
SusannahM is offline  
#3 of 17 Old 04-29-2008, 04:40 PM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,642
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First of all, I'm the opposite- I've always lived in two-storey houses apart from one year in a flat, couldn't imagine it any other way. They're cosy, intimate, and the privacy that you dislike now may prove invaluable as your children grow into teenagers.

I don't really know what you're looking for in terms of tips or tricks, because over here, everyone lives like this. If I'm reading your post right, though, it sounds like you've put the bathroom on the ground floor? I would really, really strongly recommend an upstairs bathroom. A lot of 1900s houses over here had the bathrooms built on to the back of the houses in the 60s and 70s, and it really is a PITA to deal with. Have the bathroom next to the bedroom, it makes bedtime easier.

I have duplicates of all my cleaning stuff- I keep a small cylinder vacuum under my bed which is only used for upstairs, and a basket of cleaning stuff in what used to be the airing cupboard, as well as the vacuum and cleaning stuff downstairs. My dirty laundry basket lives on the landing and I use the same basket to carry it downstairs then take it from the machine to the line. I keep a basket on the bottom step that I use to keep the crud tidy until it gets put away upstairs, and I use the stairwell wall as a photo album, covered in pictures of the kids as they grow.
Oh, I don't have a changing table (never seen the point) but I keep a supply of nappies and a changing mat on both floors as well.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
#4 of 17 Old 05-01-2008, 11:56 PM
 
flowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,350
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I wish for 2-storey living . Living all on one floor means that even if dh is taking care of the kids, I can never escape the chaos without leaving the house. We also have noise issues when someone is sleeping and others are awake.

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
flowmom is offline  
#5 of 17 Old 05-02-2008, 12:05 AM
 
fujiyama_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: PNW
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I thought I would prefer a two level larger house. Last year we got it, and the noise and chaos did not quite disappear like I thought it would LOL. It just meant more mess.
We're now living in a one level 700 sq foot house and I feels actually much better!!
fujiyama_mama is offline  
#6 of 17 Old 05-02-2008, 01:47 AM
 
lillydilly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We had 2 stories when our kids were growing up and I loved it. The bedrooms were upstairs and I used to try not to "leave" upstairs until the beds were made, bathrooms done and things tidy. It was so nice at the end of the day to go up there and find things still neat and tidy, after the chaos of the living areas downstairs.
Because it wasn't a general "traffic" area, things just stayed in control up there.
We had the play area and another bathroom downstairs so most of the living was on the lower level, and the top floor was like a retreat to me.
Like the OP I had 2 lots of cleaning supplies and also a basket that lived near the stairs, so that I didn't have to run up and down to put odd things away. I just took it down in the morning and up at night... or if I could escape up there through the day, which I did often.
I actually preferred our top level to the bottom, because it stayed so clean up there.
lillydilly is offline  
#7 of 17 Old 05-02-2008, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
stretchmark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: in my deepest intuition
Posts: 1,979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wish our upstairs stayed clean! The whole thing seems messy to me.

I do try to keep brooms and dustpans up there too so I'm not always getting up there and not having what I need.

I think I just got really used to my old house and in the end it really worked (once the construction was finished). I think we have our patterns and then the house forces us to have certain patterns, such as not going downstairs until the beds are made, etc. I'm not quite used to the patterns my house is forcing me to have.

I think I have a solution though. Once our floor is done in the living room, I am moving the play space/school area downstairs into a certain part of our living room. It's kind of in two parts because there is a traffic path through the middle dividing it into two distinct areas. One is defined nicely by a wall and the back of our breakfast nook bench and we were wondering what to do with it anyway. I really miss the kids downstairs lately and even though their messes in our space annoyed me before, I am ready to try it again. It's unfortunate that the upstairs will get used mostly for sleeping because I would have made it smaller (I originally wanted lofts with low ceilings but DH built it up). I can see how some people might really appreciate it but I am one of those efficiency people who likes things to be highly efficient and we could have built for less than 25,000, finished sooner, and had less space to clean and heat.

I dreamed of a tiny of for years and thought we were on the verge of building one ourselves and DH just kep adding sq. footage whcih really irritates me since he does not clean. I wonder if he's open to me trying to bring all our stuff downstairs and keeping the family down here and possibly making the upstairs into his office or guest space or even a rental for 1-2 people. We do have a door that closes it off to keep heat downstairs in winter. Noise would be an issue though because we don't have much between the floors. Anyhow, this is partly a rant on my DH and I do not like having so much house that is only used for sleeping. We really don't need much space to sleep.

OK, now I feel motivated to really think about changing it and maybe build a kitchen upstairs.
stretchmark is offline  
#8 of 17 Old 05-02-2008, 08:28 PM
 
karne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have a neat situation. Our house is fairly large (3700 sq. ft), because it is one of those rambling, added onto places. The original structure however has only a small upstairs-3 small bedrooms and a bath, plus walk in attic. At first I thought that the small bedrooms would be a bummer, but it's great, actually. We are upstairs for sleeping, or if someone needs some quiet space. Otherwise all of our living is done in our large downstairs space. A friend told me that when she was grwing up in Europe most of the bedrooms were small--the idea was only to use them at night, and the family shared communal space during the day. There wasn't any "my bedroom is my playroom and personal kingdom" that I see with newer large houses.
karne is offline  
#9 of 17 Old 05-03-2008, 01:15 PM
 
tjjazzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i'm not sure i understand the set-up of your house. i love 2-storey houses. i find one-storeys to feel small and like they're...missing something. here, 2-storeys normally have living spaces on the first floor and bedrooms on the 2nd, so most of the living happens on the first and sleeping on the 2nd.
how is your house set up?

wife to wonderful dh_malesling.GIF mama of three-DS1 born December 30, 2005 and DS2 born September 27, 2008 and one lovely little girl born September 7, 2011jumpers.gif

tjjazzy is offline  
#10 of 17 Old 05-03-2008, 01:19 PM
 
tjjazzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lillydilly View Post
The bedrooms were upstairs and I used to try not to "leave" upstairs until the beds were made, bathrooms done and things tidy. It was so nice at the end of the day to go up there and find things still neat and tidy, after the chaos of the living areas downstairs.
i LOVE this idea! i'm going to try to do this when we move into our big 2-storey (right now, we're living in a 1+1 storey but we've sold it and are moving soon.) it WILL be relaxing to know i'm going up to a nice clean floor at night (or to go to the washroom.)

wife to wonderful dh_malesling.GIF mama of three-DS1 born December 30, 2005 and DS2 born September 27, 2008 and one lovely little girl born September 7, 2011jumpers.gif

tjjazzy is offline  
#11 of 17 Old 05-04-2008, 05:37 AM
 
MorganRiley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: green green Oregon
Posts: 1,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
i am adjusting still from living on one level for the past 20 years to a 2 level house

i can relate to the struggle with trying to keep it all clean!!

finally told dh ...that he and my oldest son are in charge of the basement and i'll take care of the upper level with my dd

my house has the bedrooms and living room/dining room/kitchen upstairs
in the basement is the office and family room and laundry room and a pantry closet under the stairs

when i go to bed...my dh could be downstairs watching tv really loud and i cant hear it yaaaaaaaaaaaa
MorganRiley is offline  
#12 of 17 Old 05-04-2008, 09:12 AM
 
Maddy123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 135
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm like one of the posters above in that I don't understand your current layout.

The traditional two story has the living room, kitchen, etc. downstairs and the bedrooms upstairs. I love this classic layout because the bedrooms/sleeping quarters are upstairs and more private. I like the idea of going "up" to the private areas of the house at bedtime or naptime. It is more of a hassle in terms of putting things away because items end up migrating to another floor and then you have to carry them up or down the stairs. But I always look for a 2nd story in a house. I can see where "one story" people prefer it the other way.

You should do whatever you can to make it work for you.
Maddy123 is offline  
#13 of 17 Old 05-04-2008, 11:40 AM
 
UUMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9,767
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think you need to do what it takes to make it work. Whether that is coming to terms and finding peace, or changing the home or moving. My old house was a one story contemporary that was beautifually laid out in an open floor plan. My new home is a small 120 year old two story farmhouse that is not beautifully laid out. However, I adore the look of the staircase (white banisiter spindles and wood steps) leading up to the second floor. It's warm and cozy and I love the old-fashioned-ness of it.

I try to go up & down multiple times a day and have the pedometer click the steps.
UUMom is offline  
#14 of 17 Old 05-04-2008, 11:56 AM
 
mtiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've lived in 1, 1 1/2 and 2 level homes over the years. I really do prefer the 2 level. (Well, when you add the basement, I guess it's 3 level.) We have the option of quiet/private space upstairs, and living space downstairs. The basement gives the cats private space where the dogs can't get to them.

It's really just a matter of sorting out how to make the space you have work for you. It doesn't have to be "traditional".
mtiger is offline  
#15 of 17 Old 05-04-2008, 12:10 PM
 
ChetMC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 2,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We own and currently live in a ninety year old townhouse...
  • first floor has a combined kitchen / dining room and a living room.
  • second floor has two bedrooms and a bathroom.
  • top floor has an attic conversion.
  • laundry, utility and storage are in the basement, and we plan to dig out half the basement at some point and put in a window well to make a legal bedroom (though it will probably be more of a den for us).

However, we are moving and renting a single floor home (about 2200 square feet). I haven't seen the house yet, but DH says that it feels strange... like the house is sprawled out all over the place, and is a bit of a rat maze. This makes me think that it's mostly about what you're used. DH has only lived in multi level houses. I grew up in a small bungalow, but it had a basement, and everyone in the area finished their basement as living space. The rental house is on a slab, which we both find odd.

Anyway, this is what I can tell you:
  • I'm in good shape from walking up and down stairs all day, seriously, I believe it is healthier for us to live in this house and have that bit of exercise built into our day.
  • I like that the utility area is separate from the living space. I don't want to listen to the washing machine or the furnace, or have laundry piled up in the hall.
  • I also like having the bathroom and bedroom level separate from the main living area. I hate going to other people's houses and hearing people pee in the bathroom. Our guests have some privacy when they go upstairs, and people who are trying to sleep have some peace and quiet.
  • Same thing with the attic, it gives DH or me a more removed place to work when we need that.

You just find ways to live this way. We also have multiple brooms and dustpans. There is one phone on each floor. Each floor has some type of play area for the kids. We had two diaper pails, one in the bathroom and one in the basement (floors 0 and 3) so you could use the closest one.

I'll see if I can find the link, but there was some study recently about open concept houses contributing to obesity. The issue was that the design of the houses was such that you could always see and hear the TV, and it was easy to wonder to the kitchen for snacks. Although I think that the study also included something about these houses being built in suburban neighbourhoods that were less walkable.

Anyway, the screens that we have are in the attic. I also really like that this meant the TV or computer was not the central focus of the house at all. It was out of the way and played a much more low key role. And since you have to go down and up two flights of stairs to get to the kitchen you need to be highly motivated to eat in front of the tv or computer. With this set-up I really notice the difference now when we go to people's houses where the TV is in the main floor family room, which is open to the rest of the living space, visible from the eating area, and within earshot of the bedrooms.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
ChetMC is offline  
#16 of 17 Old 05-04-2008, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
stretchmark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: in my deepest intuition
Posts: 1,979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks everyone. Today I think I might enjoy my house if it were finished. It is really wearing on me as I've been doing this for 6 years now. The finish work is always the hardest and longest part and right now we don't have kitchen cabinets to put things away so things pile up quickly. I'm about to pull my hair out today.
stretchmark is offline  
#17 of 17 Old 05-05-2008, 10:27 AM
 
tjjazzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=ChetMC;11133235]

I also like having the bathroom and bedroom level separate from the main living area. I hate going to other people's houses and hearing people pee in the bathroom. Our guests have some privacy when they go upstairs, and people who are trying to sleep have some peace and quiet.

[QUOTE]


we can't wait to move and that's one of the reasons! our bathroom here in our current house is in the living/family room. it's not a great set-up when you have guests in there! our new house has the bathroom upstairs and the potential to put one in downstairs. it will be a much better set-up

wife to wonderful dh_malesling.GIF mama of three-DS1 born December 30, 2005 and DS2 born September 27, 2008 and one lovely little girl born September 7, 2011jumpers.gif

tjjazzy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off