How Tall Is a Two Story House: Everything You Need to Know

For one reason or another, you might be wondering how tall is a two story house? It is confusing to determine the correct height of a building, especially when comparing the UK and US views. The two states have different ways of naming and telling the floor number, thereby making height assessment a daunting task.

You should understand that different region, states and governments have varying story height standards. It is possible to find houses with different measurements yet are in the same building. Therefore, to get an explicit knowledge of what qualifies to be a two-story house, you need to carry out extensive research. However, we’ve got covered with our detailed analysis.

So, How Tall Is a Two Story House?

This answer varies depending on the area the property is based and the construction style of the house. By calculating the ceiling height of each floor, the thickness of the floor, and the measurement of the space above the ceiling, you can find the exact total height of a two-story house.

A story or ‘storey’is any level part of a building that has a floor. It is the level that can be occupied by people and used to measure a building’s floor. Although it is a must for a story to have the floor, a floor is not automatically a story. The distance from the ground floor, to the highest point of the roof, is the height of a house.

Traditionally, people have constructed buildings with 8-12 feet high, 1-2 feet infrastructure thickness. This means that if a story is 8 feet tall, then the two-story house will stand at 16 feet high. Although there is no fixed figure for height, the minimum height is about 16 feet. Today, most two-story homes go up to 20-25 feet tall.

Purpose of Buildings

Some variances come with the height of the building. You may have noticed that the first floors are taller with a higher roof than other levels above it. The increase in the number of stories comes with a decrease in height. The use of a building determines the height of a story.

Residential house: Even though some new and old dwellings feature 8 feet height per story, most residential homes nowadays rock up to 9 feet design.

Office buildings: Their average story height is between 9-10 feet. Depending on the purpose of the building, they can go up to 12 feet high. Large offices require you to have more spaces for wiring, air conditioning and plumbing, which may increase the overall height of the building.

Wholesale and retail stores: This building has higher heights than residential and office buildings. They should be large enough to allow ample storage of goods for up to 18 wheelers high.

The thickness between the ceiling and the next floor requires a concrete floor slab of about 18-24 inches. Theatre buildings have very tall ceilings.

Factors Affecting the Height of a Story

Ceiling height is an essential aspect of the real estate industry. While the low ceiling might feel cozy and warm, they may also feel uncomfortable and cramped. Besides, you might not be able to fit all your property the way you desire. High ceilings, on the other hand, give you space and an elegant look.

There are a few factors that affect the general height of a two story house. Therefore, you need to consider the following factors:

Floor to Ceiling Height

The first factor that determines the height of a two story house is the height from the ground floor to the ceiling. The ceiling height on the first floor usually is higher than the one on the above story. In both office and residential houses, the first story is 9-foot-high, while the second story has a height of 8 feet. Assuming that the floor is one-foot-thick, the overall height of a two story house is about 19 feet.

Attic Space

Lack of attic or its presence combined with the ceiling height affects the answer on how tall is a two story house.  On average, an attic should have at least 7.5 feet ceiling height over half of the floor area when considering code requirements. With this in mind, you can estimate that a two-story house with an attic to be about 26.5 feet high.

Roof Pitch and Style

The type of roof definitely affects the height of a two story building. Steep roof increases the height of a house by several feet. Meanwhile, flat roofs mostly found in commercial buildings does not add any height at all. The types of roof that can add more footage to a two-story house include:

  • A frame roof
  • Saltbox roof
  • A gambrel roof
  • Gable roof
  • Mansard roof

When estimating the height of a two story house that you desire, be sure to meet the region’s code requirement. Furthermore, you should be aware that some codes do not include the highest roof peaks as a part of the overall building height.

Other Affecting Factors

Energy Factor

With high ceiling height, expect to use more energy for air conditioning and more money in purchasing a capable system. However, houses with low height consume less energy in heating and cooling purposes. Some homes also need insulation, which could affect the height of a building. Thick insulation layers are practical and efficient. Therefore, a two-story building with insulation might be higher than one without.

Climate Factors

Although the height of a story does not affect the ventilation of a house. It affects the convection flow. If you are in a tropical climate region, a single-story height should be 8-9 feet. With a proper window and air vents arrangement in a pleasant climate, you will be fine in a more than 10 feet per story.

Construction Budget

It is evident that with the high story comes more construction materials such as steel and concrete. The high ceilings increase the construction, maintenance and operation costs. Meaning that having a tall story house depends on your financial ability.

Final Thought

When it comes to the question of how tall is a two story house, there is no definite number. The height depends on several factors, including the owner’s preference and building codes guidelines. With our detailed guide, we hope to have answered your question or at least taken you closer to finding one.

Although getting the exact figure of the height of a two story house is hard. However, understanding the varying dimensions of a story and considering every factor could provide you with accurate estimates. For more information on the maximum and minimum height of a two-story house, consult with your area building governing departments.