How Tall Is A 2 Story House | An In-Depth Analysis

Confused about “how tall is a 2 story house?”

“What should be the actual heights of 2 story house?”- this asking confuses many people.

Finding the actual height of a two story house is extremely confusing if you’re torn between American and UK English.

To get a clear idea on the two-story house height, you need to do enough research.

So, you start to worry as finding the accurate figure for the average height of two story house seems difficult or time-consuming. Right?

But don’t give up right now!

This article is all about the two-story house heights!

Read the following sections to have your most accurate estimate.

Storey vs Story

For referring to a complete horizontal section or a level of a building that has the continuous floor, the term “Story” is used in the standard spelling in American English.

On the other hand, for referring the same “storey” is used in all the different varieties of English.

Plural form of “story” is “stories”.

Plural form of “storey” is “storeys”.

How Tall Is a 2 Story House – Everything You Need to Know

To figure out the height of a two-story house, first you need to know how tall is a 1 story house.

Let’s dig more to find different house heights.

The Traditional Height of a Story

In general, the height of a story of traditional building or house is roughly 10 feet that include 1 to 2 feet of infrastructure thickness and 8 to 9 feet of ceiling height.

Is it fixed?


There is no fixed measurement. Different areas have different story height definitions. Even the various stories within the same building may have a slightly different height. For example, building lobby may be taller than the rest.

With the increase of the number of building story, the upper levels or stories may have a bit less floor area than the one right beneath them.

What’s more, the loft or attic of the building tends to have a different height compared to other stories to match specific demands.

Due to the energy crisis, houses built in the 1970s to 1980s commonly featured 6 ft. to 8-ft for first –flat floor ceilings.

The Standard Height of Today’s Building

Nowadays, home cooling, heating and insulation systems have greatly improved and 8-ft. ceiling is now considered old-fashioned.

Although, traditional buildings have a ceiling height of 8-feet per story, nowadays the residential buildings use 9 feet design on the first floor.

The Height of Typical Office Buildings

For typical purpose-built buildings or commercial buildings, the average ceiling height ranges between 10 and 12 feet.

For insulation material, plumbing, wiring and air conditioning arrangements, office buildings require 18 to 24 inches more height between stories.

However, the local zoning code controls the minimum and maximum height of a building.

A Sloped Ceiling’s Height

Following the roofline, the sloped ceiling rises at an angle where the two sides of the sloped roof meet at the highest point of the peak.

The height of a sloped ceiling may vary depending on the room’s location and size. Bedroom, living room, closets may have sloped roofs.

Living room’s sloped ceiling typically has a low point of 7-ft that may rise to 10-ft. However, you should check the building codes to know how low a sloped ceiling can be.

Why Is Ceiling Height Important?

Ceiling height is significant for any structure. It must not get out of proportion with the rest of the place.

If the ceiling height is shorter than eight-feet, space could make you feel uncomfortable and cramped and even dated. On the other hand, if the ceiling is too high, the area would be unnecessarily exposed, which isn’t a good thing.

Factors That Influence Building Height

So, how tall is a two story house?

There are many determining factors to answer this question.

  • First Floor Ceiling Height
  • Presence or absence of attic space
  • Roof style and pitch
  • Cultural norms & Laws of the land

Related : What size ladder for 2 story house?

Ceiling Height of the First/ Ground Floor

How tall is the ceiling of the first level?

In general, for a two-story house there is some add-on the ceiling height of the first floor. Builders make the ceilings of each story above it one foot shorter than the first floor. And this is important for both domestic and commercial buildings.

For example, if the first-story ceiling height of a two-story house is 9 ft., the second story will have 8-ft. ceiling height. If the floor depth is 1-ft., then the two-story house height will be about 18-ft.

Attic Ceiling Height

Is your 2-story house going to have an attic?

If YES, how high above the ceiling level of the second floor?

The presence or absence of an attic affects the final height of the 2-story house.

According to most code requirements, an average attic requires a ceiling height of minimum 7.5 feet over 50% of the floor area.

So, considering this a 2-story house with attic space will be about 25.5 feet tall.

Roof Style and Pitch

How much of a pitch determines how tall the 2-story finished house will be?

Firstly, the style of a roof affects the height of a 2-story building. Flat roofs won’t add to the total height of the building. Whereas, the steep roof raises the overall height of the building by several feet.

Types of roofs that add some additional footage to the total height of a 2-story house are:

  • Saltbox roof
  • Gambrel roof
  • A-frame roof
  • Mansard roof
  • Gable roof

Cultural Norms &Laws Of The Land

Naturally, depending on different regions, states, and laws of lands affect the standards of story height.

How Tall Is A Two Story House Exactly?

In fact, it’s challenging to get the exact figure for the height of a two-story building.

However, by considering every possible factor discussed above, you can come up with an average estimation of the total height of a 2 story building.

To sum it up:

The Height of a Two Story House in the United States

In the USA, how tall is a 2 story house in feet?

In the USA, the minimum height of a residential two story building is 16 feet. The standard height is 18 to 20 feet. And the average height may vary from 20 to 25 feet.

As mentioned above, commercial buildings per floor height are approximately 10 to 12 feet. There is add on the supports between floors for the integration of extensive wiring, vents and air conditioning equipment. So, the total height of a 2-story commercial building will be about 26 to 30 feet.

In the USA, how tall is a two story house in meters?

If a residential two-story building height is 16 feet, it’ll be equal to 4.9 meters.

If a commercial or industrial two-story house height is 26 feet, it’ll be equal to 7.9 meters

The Height of a Two-Story Building in Europe

In Europe, a two-storied house consists of three floors which include the ground-, the first-, and the second floor.

So, the two-storied building height defers significantly in Europe compared to the USA.

In terms of floors, the height of each story of a two-storied house in Europe is similar to that of the USA.

With this in mind, the total height of a two-storied building in Europe is approximately 30 feet for residential building.

For a commercial building, the total height will be similar to that of the two story houses in the United States, i.e. 26 to 30 feet.

That’s all!

Hopefully, this post gives you a clear idea of how tall is a 2 story house in the United States and Europe.

Thanks for reading.

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