A traditional two story farm house. A simple rectangular two story home like the one above is the most cost effective home you can build.
At Energy Smart Panel, we often receive the question, can a one story home be built for around the same cost as a two story house? The answer is probably not. If you were to compare the cost to construct a one story home that has the same square footage as a two story home, the cost to construct the one story home would likely be more. Also, building up rather than out is much more cost effective because you will need half the foundation and half the roofing of what you will need for a one story home.
If you are looking to get the most square footage for the best cost per square foot, consider a two story design. However, if you do decide that you do want a one story house and budget is a concern, you can build an affordable one story home but it's important to keep your design simple (especially the roof) and also important to keep the footprint as compact as possible. The larger your footprint, the more it will cost in the foundation and roofing, two big ticket construction budget items.