Two-Story Homes offer the most bang for your buck & provide greater flexibility. I always tell clients, "It's cheaper to build up than it is to build out." Less land is required making them ideal for small lot communities. The Two-Story Home is the most popular home style by a long shot.
Two-Story Homes first became popular in the US in the early 1700's. As production of rough sawn dimensional lumber began to rise, so did the production of the Two-Story. European Colonists brought the Colonial Style Two-Story with them to the Eastern Seaboard & the home style became the icon of American Residential Architecture. Two-Story Homes began as one room up (sleeping quarters) & one room down (kitchen & living). Slowly they evolved into 4 over 4 rooms with at least one fireplace at each end.
Today's Two-Story has evolved far beyond it's stacked room predecessor. With the introduction of laminated structural beams & pre-manufactured wood I-Joist, the Two-Story now has endless possibilities. Walls above & below no longer need to align. Large open spanned spaces now rival the Ranch. Two-story spaces with upper floor Lofts & Balconies create volume & can help spread natural light. When the budget allows, the most popular Two-Story plan today has a Master Suite on the Ground Floor.