Its been really interesting to read all the responses. It seems if you like two story homes you can say they are less expensive to live in. If you like 1 story homes, then you feel they are cheaper to live in.
I have noticed that the homes with the best insulation are the cheapest to live in. Homes with small windows and good insulation are cheaper to live in than homes with big windows.
Some say two story homes are more difficult to clean. If you have 2000 sq ft to clean, what difference does it make if its 1000 sq ft on top of 1000 sq ft, or 1000 sq ft beside 1000 sq ft? Its the same 2000 sq ft.!
I liked 2 story homes better than the one story homes I lived in. My wife and I designed the one (2 story) home we built. We bought 2 home plan books of about 500 home designs each. We picked out one and two story homes and finally chose a 2 stroy home. We bought triple pane windows, R-30 in the walls and R45 in the ceiling/attic. Our ceilings were 9 feet and our entry way was 19 feet tall. We would cut a large tree and put it in the entry way and decorate it. We could see it from both the livingroom and up stairs den. (It was really nice having an upstairs den so if the kids got it messy, company could still come to a downstairs clean living room.
As far as keeping it cool inside, we installed a whole house fan and would bring in the cool air at night, then close it up and be comfortable during the day. We had ceiling fans in every room. The ceiling fans enabled us to have the temperature 4 to 5 degrees warmer for the same level of comfort.
We had our bedrooms up stairs. The only thing I woyuld have added was a laundry shoot from upstairs to the downstairs laundry room.
If you would like to ask any questions, feel free to e-mail me. Good luck to you and yours.
BTW, I'd rather have another 2 story than the one story I'm currently in.