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How Tall Is a Two Story House?

Whether you’re buying your first house or considering downsizing to something more manageable, these are important considerations. Let’s explore everything you need to know about how tall is a two-story house!


How Tall Is a Two Story House: Average Height

The average height of a two-story house is between 20 to 35 feet in height, depending on the pitch of the roof and the height of the ceilings.

However, it can be built higher or shorter depending on the design and materials used to build it.

Factors that determine the height of a house include the depth or thickness of the floor, approximately one foot to 14 inches on average, and space above ceilings (Source: SF Gate). Houses with high ceilings will naturally be taller than those with low or average-height ceilings; two-story homes are a minimum of 16 feet in height and can range up to nearly 35 feet depending on additional factors such as drop ceiling heights and pitch of the roof and attic space.

How Tall Is a Two Story House

How tall is a story?

Residential structures average 10 feet for one floor, while commercial buildings have an average of 14 feet (or more). The height of a single story in a building varies depending on whether it is a residential building or a commercial building. Ground floors can have higher ceilings than other floors in residential buildings and some hotels and other commercial buildings, depending on the look the architect is trying to achieve.


What Can Affects the Height of a Two-Story Home?

There are several factors that can affect the height of a 2 story home. The most common reasons for a two-story house being higher than the average are:

Pitch of the roof

The pitch of your roof has an important role in determining how tall is a two-story house.

How you frame the roof (the pitch) will determine how much room there is in your attic space or even your crawlspace and will affect the overall height of the house. If you want to maximize the living space in your two-story house, it’s time for a roof peak. A slope that peaks at or near the top of your second story can add up to six feet and change on average!

The style and pitch of the roof can affect whether a two-story house is taller or shorter. A steep roof peak will increase total height by several feet, whereas flat roofs (more common in commercial buildings) will only add a small amount to the building’s overall height. There are many different types of roofs and pitches.

All of them will affect the overall look and feel of the house and its curbside appeal; plus, there may be building restrictions in your area, so talk to a builder before you settle on a design and get plans drawn up.


Height of the foundation

two story house raised foundation

How far off ground level you build your home can also affect the height of a two-story home.

The foundation matters as the house must be built on top of it. The higher your foundation, the taller your house can be and still have enough room underneath for a basement or crawlspace, etc.

There are different types of foundations, each of which will have an impact on the overall height of the house.

All things equal, a slab foundation will sit lower than a raised basement, and a house on piles in areas that are prone to flooding will sit higher than both of them. All these will affect the overall height of the house.

If you want the maximum height possible, it is best to build your home with a basement.


First Floor Height

Depending on the way it was built, the height of a two-story house can change quite dramatically. Building codes in most areas are a minimum of 8-foot ceilings. However, many houses have a first-floor ceiling height of 9 feet to 12 feet, depending on what the original owner was trying to achieve with the house on the ground floor.

This height of the first floor can dramatically affect the second-floor height. If the second story height is the same as the first, then the overall height of the house is 16 feet without factoring in any other things on our list.

How high you build your second story is completely up to you, and this decision will determine how tall is a two-story house. The differences in height between each level must be less than 3 feet, or else it may not qualify for that classification (or minimum building code requirements for that area).

The average ceiling height on the ground floor is 8 feet. There are minimum and maximum heights that a house can have for each story, so you will need to see the building codes for residential houses in your area to know how high you can make your ceiling height.


Second Floor Height

The height of a typical second story is 8 feet high on average. How you decide to build it will affect the total height of your house. The convention has always been that the ceiling heights match or are very close in size, from ground to top floor, keeping in mind building codes and the limitations of your existing building site.

If you are using standard plans with the same height on each level, then your height will be 16 feet plus foundation and attic height. How high you decide to build the second floor is up to you and can affect how tall it is by as much as 3 feet or more. The difference in height between each level must be less than 3 feet.


Attic Ceiling Height

The attic is the next area that will affect the overall height of the house.

Attics can be a fantastic escape in residential buildings. They’re large enough to store any toy or piece of furniture you want, plus they have an amazing view! 

But before you get carried away and start building your dream lair up there, If a home has an attic, the height for at least half of that area should be 7 feet or more.

The height of the attic has to do with where you are going to put your ceiling joists and how you are going to attach them and on the roof pitch and rafters used in the design… How tall can an attic be? The average attic height is 7 feet.


Floor thickness

The construction of the floor can also contribute to how tall a two-story home can be. How thick your floor is will affect the total height of your house.

Floor thicknesses are established in building codes and vary more or less depending on your area’s climate and land conditions (like clay soil). Usually, the average thickness of a floor ranges from 12 inches to 16 inches.


What are the benefits of living in a two-story house

The benefits of living in a two-story house include being able to spread out your living space. If you are looking for a suburban home and have school-age children, then a two-story house is perfect for you. 

If you have a smaller lot, then building a two-story home can afford you more space on a smaller area of land.

You want to make sure that you research how big the square footage of the two-story house is, what the monthly mortgage will be and if you are capable of living in it.


Why You Need a Two Story House

If you have school-age children that need their own space to study and play, then a two-story house is perfect for you. Not only does this give them the privacy they deserve, but it allows you to have your own space at the same time. If you are wanting to upgrade read this about viewing a house with these 10 crucial things.


How Tall is a 2 story house? (by the numbers)

Overall there is a total of 25 feet for a minimum height of a two-story house, but they can easily be taller depending on the features of the specific home.

  • Foundation: 1 foot
  • First Floor: 8 feet
  • Floor Thickness: 1 foot
  • Second Floor: 8 feet
  • Attic Space: 7 feet


Two Story Home FAQ

How tall is a 2 story house with a roof?

The average height of most two-story houses, including the roof, is between 20 and 25 feet, depending on the pitch (slope) of the roof.

What size ladder do I need for a 2 story house?

You will need a 20-foot ladder for a two-story house if you want to get on the roof.

How high is a 2 story house in feet?

A house with 2 levels averages 20 to 25 feet. But it can be more depending on how the house was built.

How Tall Is a 2 Story House

How Tall Is a 2 Story House



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