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Old 11-15-2010, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Superior
724 posts, read 1,686,014 times
Reputation: 372

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Anyone here remodel a tri-level? I ask because we've come across several homes around the Boulder suburbs and surrounding towns that, based on location, or size, or school, would be good choices...but then you find out they're tri-levels. And that crosses them off the list, because if you're paying 300K+ for the home, tearing it down seems awfully expensive.

What can you do besides gutting the building? They're like hamster habitats, little warrens of overlapping rooms. Why these were ever popular is beyond me, but I can't seem to think of a way to open them up and unify the spaces that doesn't involve tear downs. Just curious if you've seen solutions.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:46 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,377,376 times
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To each their own, I guess ...

I lived in several tri-levels in the region through the years, and enjoyed them all.

But if you don't like this type of a floor plan ... there's lots of bi-levels and ranch styles and two story houses in the area, too.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Superior
724 posts, read 1,686,014 times
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No offense if that's what you like - we like open, light, airy floorplans, so while it's almost a given that anything we're looking at in satellite cities around Boulder (around 350K) will need renovation of some kind or another, tri-levels are just particularly frustrating, especially if you find one in a good location - the cost of fixing them to modern trends/standards is just too prohibitive.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:31 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33051
I would recommend looking at these houses before discouonting them altogether. We've owned two tri-levels that are both fairly open. The one we're in now has a nice vaulted ceiling in the kitchen/family room (the part that doesn't have a second story over it) and a little "loft" area at the top of the stairs.

There are a lot of two story homes in Louisville if you absolutely abhor tris.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,277,518 times
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I think it all depends on the size of the tri-level. My grandparents had about the smallest type of tri-level when I was a kid, and the rooms were small and you were always running up and down stairs. But I've seen a couple tri-level remodels on TV that were larger tri-levels where the main living level was big, open, had high ceilings, etc. One I saw was in Denver and they did a remodel that respected the "mid century modern" style of the house and it came out looking very current and modern.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:08 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33051
Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
I think it all depends on the size of the tri-level. My grandparents had about the smallest type of tri-level when I was a kid, and the rooms were small and you were always running up and down stairs. But I've seen a couple tri-level remodels on TV that were larger tri-levels where the main living level was big, open, had high ceilings, etc. One I saw was in Denver and they did a remodel that respected the "mid century modern" style of the house and it came out looking very current and modern.
That is the type of house we had with our first tri. It was hard with the babies. I finally learned to keep diapers, etc on each level, b/c whatever you needed was always on a diferent floor.

The one we're in now isn't the typical 7steps up/7 down split (from the main level); it's 10 up to the bedrooms and 4 down to the family room. So we have a two story ceiling in the family room. It's kind of cool, if I do say so myself. The garage is under the bedrooms.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:43 AM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,761,753 times
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I don't usually mind tri levels here in Colorado -- usually there's actually four levels if you count the basement. I find that they can "flow" pretty nicely, and in fact in some ways are better than having a single long staircase going up and down to the upper floor or down to the basement. However, if they're small size to start with I can understand why they might feel claustrophobic, though there are larger tri-levels that definitely don't feel claustrophobic -- probably depends on the size of the rooms.

Split foyers and bi-levels are not as nice in my opinion, though I see why they did it that way -- they wanted to open up the basement and while at the same time being efficient in terms of space. In a traditional house to have a wide open stair to the basement like that it would take a large amount of floor space out of your main floor. In fact usually the basement stairs in a traditional two-story are usually kind of claustrophobic, tucked away under the main stair.

I don't think there's a practical way to modify a tri-level, bi-level or split foyer to be anything but what it is. You could, of course, build an addition that would allow more space, but it would still be the same basic layout.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Superior
724 posts, read 1,686,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post

I don't think there's a practical way to modify a tri-level, bi-level or split foyer to be anything but what it is. You could, of course, build an addition that would allow more space, but it would still be the same basic layout.
That's the conclusion I've come to - it's buy it, and knock it down, or pass. Perhaps I'd give them a second thought if I ever saw one that's big.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,742,531 times
Reputation: 1696
I have two things to say about buying a tri-level house:

First, if you do buy one, the seller's sigh of relief will be audible all the way to Beijing.

Second, if you ever have to sell it, you'll know why...
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,412,267 times
Reputation: 13004
I used to live in a tri-level with basement in Aurora and I loved it.

So many places to hide.
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