Updating 1970s houses

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“Put together a budget to see if these are worthwhile investments, which depends on a street’s other houses, if teardowns are starting, and how long home owners plan to stay,” she says.

Cohen agrees that remodeling can make a big impact, but he warns against changing a split-level so much that it no longer resembles its original persona.

The design gained a bigger following after the TV sitcom, debuted in 1969.

America saw how a split-level house worked well for Mike and Carol Brady’s large blended family with six children, and housekeeper Alice.

“I never thought I’d live in one, and I didn’t like them, but now we’ve had this house for eight years, and I really like how compact it is,” Nixon says.

Upper-level bedrooms and bathrooms and lower-level family room and garage are just short flights away.

Home owners with young children also like the arrangement of clustered bedrooms.The exterior of the Brady’s home was modeled on one built in 1959 by Luther and Louise Carson in San Fernando Valley, Calif., according to David Brady’s Web site.In many communities, entire subdivisions were constructed in the 1960s with split-levels and “ramblers”—ranches with a basement, says Brett West, a salesman with Mc Enearney Associates in Washington, DC.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.The split levels divided public and private spaces through short half levels.

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