2024 Design & Build Guide for the 3 Types of Apartment Buildings

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
  • Choosing the right type of apartment building can define your lifestyle and comfort. This article outlines the types of apartment buildings, ensuring that you’re informed whether you’re considering the community feel of a low-rise or the panoramic views of a high-rise.

    Inside this blog:

    • Apartment Building Classifications
    • Unique Apartment Layouts
    • Specialized Apartment Types

    Apartment Building Classifications

    Each apartment building category presents a distinct living experience, amenities, and cost implications. The classification by height not only affects the views, but also practical considerations, such as fire safety. In most cases, low-rise apartment buildings are typically easier to manage when it comes to safety. Here’s a closer look at each option:

    1. Low-Rise Buildings

    Defined by their modest stature of four stories or fewer, low-rise buildings may lack the grandeur of their taller counterparts, but they make up for it with a cozier, more private atmosphere. In the U.S., low-rise buildings are sometimes perceived as less luxurious, though this doesn’t detract from their appeal to those who prioritize privacy and favorable rent terms.

    2. Mid-Rise Buildings

    Rising typically between five and eleven floors, mid-rise buildings harmoniously blend the accessibility of low-rises with the amenities common in high-rises. They strike a balance that appeals to many urban dwellers, providing enough elevation for a view without detaching residents from the street-level community.

    These apartment buildings also tend to provide a greater sense of privacy compared to the bustling high-rises, while still offering conveniences, such as in-house gyms and rooftop terraces.

    3. High-Rise Buildings

    Towering at least 12 stories, high-rise apartment buildings frequently represent the pinnacle of luxury urban living. They come equipped with a suite of upscale amenities, including swimming pools, fitness centers, and doormen, all while offering stunning views from above.

    The penthouses perched atop these structures are the crowning jewels, providing expansive living spaces, premium finishes, and panoramic vistas that are nothing short of spectacular.

    Unique Apartment Layouts

    Variety spices up life when it comes to the internal configurations of apartments. Those who revel in open-plan living might gravitate towards a studio or loft, while others may prefer the defined rooms of a one-bedroom unit.

    Whether it’s the adaptability of a convertible apartment or the compactness of efficiency apartments, there’s a layout, including an efficiency apartment, that suits every preference and lifestyle.

    Studio Apartments

    Embodying minimalist living, studio apartments merge the living area, kitchen, and bedroom into a single harmonious space. However, within this category, there are variations, like the alcove studio, offering a semi-private nook for a bed, or the convertible studio, spacious enough to transform with the addition of a temporary wall.

    To infuse a sense of separation in the open layout, residents often use creative strategies, such as distinct area rugs, to define the living and sleeping zones.

    Loft Apartments

    An urban artist’s dream, a loft apartment offers:

    • High ceilings
    • Exposed brickwork
    • Open floor plans
    • Large windows that flood the interiors with natural light

    These features create an airy and expansive feel. Typically, these units provide a multi-functional living space, while the bedroom remains a secluded sanctuary for rest.

    Garden Apartments

    Providing a unique blend of indoor and outdoor living, garden apartments are situated on the ground floor or basement and have access to personal green spaces. These units strike a chord with those who cherish a touch of nature and private outdoor space, despite being situated between the basement and first floor. However, they are not without their challenges; issues with natural light, pests, and security are common concerns that prospective residents should consider when looking for a garden apartment.

    a building

    Specialized Apartment Types

    Not all apartments conform to the conventional mold, with a range of different types of apartments catering to niche preferences or specific urban living demands. From duplexes that offer the feel of a single-family home to triplexes and accessory living units (ADUs), these configurations provide diverse residential options within an apartment complex.


    Embodying compact and efficient living, micro-apartments are often found in the bustling hearts of major cities, where space is limited. These tiny abodes are ideal for the solo urbanite who embraces a minimalist lifestyle, providing a cost-effective solution in locales where housing costs can be prohibitive.

    Railroad Apartments

    Characteristic of a bygone era with their linear layout, railroad apartments can often be found in the storied buildings of cities, like New York and Chicago. These railroad apartment units can be a quirky choice for singles or couples, though they may pose privacy challenges for those with roommates or families due to the need to traverse one room to enter another.

    Walk-Up Units

    Walk-up units, often found in smaller walk-up apartment buildings with fewer amenities, reminisce simpler times when elevators were absent. The trade-off for tackling a few flights of stairs is typically more affordable rent, making these units a sensible choice for those prioritizing budget over bells and whistles.

    What’s Your Favorite Apartment Type?

    In the mosaic of urban living, each apartment type offers its own unique charm and set of considerations. Remember, the key to successful apartment construction lies in understanding your options, setting clear priorities, and being prepared to act swiftly when the right opportunity presents itself.

    If you’re thinking about constructing a new apartment building, reach out to APX Construction Group. We’ll make sure that your new venture is a success. Don’t delay!

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