How Tall Is A 2 Story House?

Determining the height of a 2-story house is quite difficult as you first need to know how high a 1-story structure is.  The standard height of a ceiling of a single story is usually measured at 8 ft. to 10 ft. high, but for commercial establishments, they are typically higher.  

The floor depth as well as the space intended for electrical wirings and vents also affects the height.  So, it is important to include their respective measurements in your calculations.  On average, a floor depth is placed at 1 foot and the ceiling space can be up to 2 ft.

So, let’s say, if the floor depth and the ceiling space measurement when added is 3 ft., therefore, the height of a 2-story house will then be between 22 ft. to 26 ft.  However, this is just an estimate for houses that follow the standard floor-to-ceiling height.  

Factors that affect the height of a 2 story house

House Design

Houses that are designed to have high ceilings will, of course, be taller, which is mostly true for modern-day designs.   So, some will only be 16 ft. tall while others can reach as high as 30 ft.        

Floor-to-ceiling Height

The floor-to-ceiling height of the ground floor can help determine the height of a 2-story structure.  Usually, architects and engineers add an extra height on the ceiling on the first floor and reduce it by about 1 foot on the second floor.  This is accurate for both commercial and residential buildings.    

Attic

Attic space has a great effect on the overall height of a 2-story house.  Attics generally have a height of at least 7 ft.  When estimating the height of a house with an attic, while following the standard height on the first and second floor, this will bring us to around 26.5 ft.  

Roof’s Style and Pitch

Another factor that directly affects the height of a 2-story house is the style as well as the pitch of the roof.  A roof that is steep increases the height of a structure by a number of feet.  On the other hand, a roof that is flat will not have an effect in any way.  

Types of roofs that can contribute to the overall height of a 2-story house:

Gable Roof

This is probably the type of roof that most of us are familiar with.  When kids are asked to draw a house, they instantly picture a house with a gable roof because it’s the easiest to illustrate.  

A gable roof is simply a 2-section roof that slopes in opposite directions.  It’s just basically an isosceles triangle placed above a square.  That’s how simple it is.  But do know that there are actually different styles of gable roofs aside from what most of us are familiar with?  Here they are:

Front gable: this style of the gable roof is basically positioned in front of a house just above the front door.  This design is common among houses that feature a Colonial design.

Cross gable: this gable roof style is composed of more than 2 rooflines that traverse at an angle.  More often than not, it has 2 ridges that are perpendicular to each other.  Having said this, this design is obviously more complicated due to the different gable roof shapes.  For instance, there may be a separate wing for your porch and another for your garage, apart from the gable roofs enclosing the main structure of your house.  

Box gable: this is quite similar to the gable roof that we know of.  It is a sloped triangle roof that fall on opposite sides.  The only difference is that the triangle is more characterized as compared to a normal gable roof that is just a plain triangle with open ends.  

Example of Roof Type Box Gable
Example of Roof Type Box Gable

Dutch gable: this style is a combination of hip and gable roofs wherein the gable roof is positioned above the hip roof.  This roof design makes the loft more spacious.  Furthermore, this gives a house additional visual appeal.

Example of Roof Type Dutch Gable
Example of Roof Type Dutch Gable

A-Frame Roof

An A-frame roof has a roofline that has steep angles.  It starts from the tip of the A shape or triangle down to the foundation part.  Here are the features of an A-frame roof: It is steep.  The bottom end of the roof almost touches the ground on both sides of the house, thus, forming an “A” shape.  

It is made of wood sidings.  Wood sidings offer a cozy ambiance, though many architects make use of other types of sidings.  Houses with A-frame roofs with wood sidings are ideal in places where trees are abundant.  

  • It has an open floor plan.  The floor plan of most A-frame houses has an open concept, which makes it look spacious and well-ventilated.  
  • It has high ceilings.  An A-frame house has a restricted shape.  It is composed mainly of a ground floor and a loft, which serves as the second story.  The design poses a high ceiling style that exudes elegance. 

Gambrel Roof

Example of Roof Type Gambrel
Example of Roof Type Gambrel

A gambrel roof is a 2-sided roof that is symmetrical in design with each side having 2 slopes – one is steep and the other is shallow.  This is quite similar to the stye of barn roofs and is evident in houses with Dutch colonial design.   

The first slope of a gambrel roof typically has an angle of 30 degrees while the second slope stands at a 60-degree angle.  However, the angles can be built differently according to the preference of the house owner. 

Features of a gambrel roof:

  • It is easy to build.
  • It offers wider storage space.
  • It requires lesser materials since it doesn’t need extra columns and beams.  

Mansard Roof

Example of Roof Type Mansard
Example of Roof Type Mansard

A mansard roof is a bit similar to a gambrel roof but only more stylish.  The roof slopes are mounted to the 4 sides of a structure.  

Now, it’s getting confusing, right?  Here are the things you need to keep in mind when differentiating a gambrel and hipped roofs from a mansard roof:

  • It’s a hipped roof if the roof drops in 4 directions but doesn’t bend;
  • It’s a gambrel roof if it bends but does not have 4 slanting sides; and,

You’re looking at a mansard roof if it has 4 sloping sides and all sides are bent.  

To further describe mansard roofs, they generally have dormers.  Dormers are windows that stick out from the roof.  The spaces behind the dormers are usually turned into attic rooms.  Moreover, the bent part of the roof can either be convex or concave. 

Saltbox Roof

Example of Roof Type Saltbox
Example of Roof Type Saltbox

The saltbox roof is the opposite of the gable roof because it is asymmetrical.  It has 2 slopes with the roofs dropping down from a ridge in the middle.  However, the length of the slope is not alike.  One slope stops merely at the height of the second floor’s ceiling, while the other extends all the way to the boundary of the first floor.  

Other factors that directly affect the height of a 2-story house

Energy

This factor applies to structures that have several sources of energy like air conditioning and heating system.  There are also houses that require thick insulation.  Considering these energy factors, there has to be enough space to accommodate them.  Once the house plan is set into place, it then automatically adjusts and elevates the height of a house.  

Climate

If you live in a tropical place, and you want to install air vents, there is a need for you to raise your floor-to-ceiling height to fulfill your plan.  If the standard height of a 1-story house is 8 ft. to 9 ft., then you should make yours 10 ft. or so.  

Budget

One’s financial capacity must also be taken into consideration when constructing a house.  High-ceiling houses mean a higher budget.  Construction cost, maintenance cost, and operation cost will surely be greater.  This means that if you want to have a taller 2-story house, make sure that you’re financially ready.  

Summary:

You see, the height of a 2-story house cannot be determined right away as there are various factors that need to be considered.  Take into account the house design, floor-to-ceiling height, attic, and roof style, and pitch. 

It is also important to think about other factors that can contribute to the tallness of a structure, such as energy, climate, and budget factors.  

If you want to know how tall a 2-story house is, go into details and scrutinize the factors.  Once these factors are determined, it will now be easier to come up with an estimate.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average height of a two-story house?

Generally, a two-story house has a minimum height of 16 feet, but it can vary. There are many two-story houses that are between 20 and 25 feet high. The variance is caused by the different ceiling heights in different homes.

How tall is a two-story house in meters?

Generally, a two-story house is 16 feet tall, which is approximately 5.25 meters.

What size ladder do I need for a two-story house?

The average two-story house is 16 feet tall, so your ladder needs to be slightly taller than the house because it will lean on it at an angle. Therefore, you should use a ladder that is 20 feet tall.

However, It may not be that straightforward. In fact, it’s somewhat challenging to find the right size ladder for 2 story house. Given the variance of ceiling heights, one size ladder may not be suitable for all 2 story houses. Having an extension ladder helps with the 2-story building, as if you are doing a roofing job, you can extend past the top.

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