The ranch house places the primary living spaces on a single floor, although basements were common in this type. But in the 1950s another house type emerged, which placed rooms on different floors according to use--the split level. Although not as popular in Utah as the ranch when first introduced, the split level increased in popularity during the 1960s and 1970s.
The split level has three and sometimes four levels, with one side of the house comprised of a single-story portion and the other half comprised of two levels—one level a half-story above the main level, and the other level a half-story below. The main level contains the entrance, living room, and kitchen. The upper level contains the bedrooms, and the lower level contains the newly introduced family room/recreation room and bedrooms.
In some examples, the lower level contains a garage, which solves the problem of not having enough room on the property for an outbuilding. However, with larger lot sizes, the lower level added living space to the design. Some examples have a fourth level typically comprised of a basement below the first-story level.
The placement of various uses on different floors separates public and private areas are separated, giving more privacy to the bedroom areas and emphasizing the living and family rooms.
In a variation, the split entry type also implements a raised foundation but has two full floors rather than a staggered layout, essentially creating a two-story ranch house without placing the basement completely below ground level. The raised entryway enters onto a landing from which a stairway ascends a half level to the main living/kitchen/bedroom area or descends a half level to the family room/bedroom/basement area.