Updating a 70 s split foyer

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Robert Gerloff Residential Architects solicited comments from homeowners about what they liked, disliked, and would change about their 1960’s or 70’s split-level or split-entry house.

Based on these comments, Gerloff developed remodeling plans that include expanding the entryway, creating storage areas on the first floor, opening up the main floor plan, and expanding the kitchen, among many others.

Small windows, a shallow-pitched roofline, and an “unsexy” exterior profile—sheathed in wood, brick, stone, or a combination—doesn’t do much for curb appeal, says Beth De Baker, project manager with Orren Pickell Designers & Builders in Lincolnshire, Ill.

Some home owners, such as the Geigers, also didn’t like constantly going up and down stairs, even if they were short flights.

When marketing the home, Pecorin says it’s smart to emphasize the split’s open floor plan, which many younger home owners like because it’s great for entertaining.

The Lower level can be easily fixed up as a as an in-law suite or teenage hang-out, says West.

Here’s a look at how the split-level came to be, and why it still deserves respect.

The split-level design is believed to have derived from the ranch, which, in turn, was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s low-profile, horizontal Prairie homes and no-frills Usonian houses.

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The book is full of ideas for remodeling, improving, and updating split-level homes.The proximity of the levels and rooms also meant minimal acoustical privacy. Yet, for all of the drawbacks, split-levels can sell well if they’re listed at the right price and shown in the right condition.As with any home, you can get the best response from buyers if sellers update appliances, wiring, plumbing, and paint, says West.Today, it’s a design rarely requested by home owners, says Cohen.“I’ve never had a buyer say, ‘please, show me a split,’” says Joe Russo, a broker with Docks Only Real Estate in Lake Norman/Charlotte, N.

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