Today I am sharing Jim’s split level house which sold 80K over asking price last September 2020. You guys, this isn’t your typical raised ranch or split level home and today, I am showing you how to modernize a split level home interior to create a modern open concept home.
If you have been following our Instagram page and stories, you know that we are currently renovating a different split level house (that will be for sale soon in Foxboro Ma – see that house here) and we are planning to do a very similar floor plan to this house that I am going to show you now.
Jim bought this house in the late 1990’s and sold it last summer just prior to moving in with me. In case you missed the marriage proposal , Jim selling his house and moving in together blog post, you can catch up on all that good stuff here.
What is a split level house?
A split level house is a style in which the two floor levels are staggered. Typically you walk in the front door and there is a small entry floor space with two sets of short staircases leading to the lower and the upper level.
The upper level is where the kitchen, living room and bedrooms are located.
This split level home was built in the 1960’s and over the years Jim updated the entire house.
One of the biggest complaints today about a split level home is that the rooms are small and boxy.
How to modernize a split level interior home
You can change that and modernize a split level interior home by taking down the walls between the kitchen, dining and living room. Which is exactly what Jim did.
In the picture above, there use to be a wall that separated the kitchen from the dining room and living room.
When removing the kitchen wall in a split level house (or any load bearing wall), you will need an architect to construct and engineered beam that will need to be installed across the entire kitchen and living room space in order to keep your house from falling down!
You would never know when inside this house, that it was a split level house.
Split Level House Vaulted Ceiling
One of the biggest features in this split level house are the vaulted ceilings with skylights that Jim installed in the kitchen living room area and the sunroom.
Removing the kitchen wall in a split level house and vaulting the ceiling creates an open concept space which is conducive to today’s style of living.
The installation of the skylights in the kitchen provide maximum natural light which also creates a more visually appealing space.
Split Level Addition Ideas
Down the hallway past the bedrooms, Jim decided a few years ago to open up one of the bedrooms and enclose an existing screen porch creating an open concept sunroom bar living space.
A split level home typically has 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom on the upper level so when Jim decided to open up the 3rd bedroom (above where the bar is) and add on a sunroom addition (below), he lost a bedroom.
I love the skylights in the vaulted ceiling along with the wood planks.
I love how Jim turned this bedroom into a bar area and opened up the back wall that leads to the sunroom addition creating an open concept space.
Heading back down the hallway towards the kitchen, are 2 bedrooms and a full bathroom.
This was Jim’s daughters bedroom below.
A few months after Jim and I started dating in June 2020, we decided to make a room for my son so he would have his own space on Friday nights when we would head to Jim’s house for the weekend.
My son typically goes to his dad’s house on Saturdays so it was nice once we made over the spare bedroom below, into a space for him.
You can see that entire makeover before and after here.
Split Level Basement Ideas
Jim lost the 3rd bedroom due to the sunroom and bar space addition, so he created a master suite in the lower level which was genius.
He created an open flow hallway at the bottom of the stairs and used french doors which added a feeling of openness to the space.
Finishing off the lower level (or basement) in a split level home is huge as it adds so much more square foot of living space.
The master cedar walk in closet (I don’t have a picture of it), office / 4th bedroom and laundry room are across the hallway and around towards the master bedroom bathroom.
Jim even built in a small beer refrigerator in the shower.
I remember when I first saw this when we starting dating and I was like, “you have a beer fridge in the shower?” -ha.
He stocked it with my favorite Truly’s and then I knew he was a keeper 😂.
The possibilities are endless with a split level house when you start taking down walls and opening up the ceiling.
Split Level House Backyard Ideas
The backyard is completely private surrounded by lush plantings, trees and vinyl fencing.
As you enter the backyard from the paver driveway, a pretty walkway led you to the pool and massive entertaining space.
Jim loves plants, shrubs and all things greenery which you can see, really made this outdoor space pop.
There were so many cool features in his backyard from the hot tub deck, to the full cabana, firepit space and movie cabana.
Looking at all of these pictures makes me miss this place!
At the time Jim decided to sell the house, the market was insanely hot and the fact that he could move in with me and not have to buy something else was even better. He was able to capitalize on all his hard work over the years and the work paid off, plus some.
Pool Cabana with Metal Roof
The Jimmy Buffet style pool cabana was such a great place to hang out, have some drinks and enjoy the pool.
Shortly before Jim had to move out, I asked him if he was sad about leaving.
He said, “yes definitely sad but time has run its course here and there isn’t anything else I can do to this place. I am ready for a new challenge – a new house to either build or renovate.”
Needless to say, Jim had the ultimate bachelor pad ever.
Jim’s Split Level House that sold 80K over asking price was absolutely beautiful and you would never know we were in the middle of a pandemic when this sold so far over asking price.
Who would have known!
Modernizing a split level home by removing kitchen walls, installing vaulted ceilings, add skylights and finish the basement will definitely add value to your home.
Stay tuned because we are doing something very similar in the same neighborhood with a 1970’s split level home that Jim bought last year (go to my instagram account, click follow and view the highlight area called “raised ranch.”