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


Many a time, the one question that confuses most people is, “How tall is a two story house?” it’s especially confusing if you are torn between the UK and U.S. English. The two have different ways of naming floors and telling which floor is number one can even be daunting which makes the collective height assessment even harder.

To get a clear cut as to what height qualifies a two story house, enough research needs to be done. If you are the property owner, consulting an architect or your project managers would work best. Also, you could go through the building authorities’ manuals and check out the most common 2 story house heights or check out with the local building contractors.

2 story house height

How tall is a 2 story building?

The term story is used to refer to a level part of any building that has a floor. Even though a floor is not necessarily a story, a story must have a floor. A story is usually a level that can be occupied or used by people, and they may also utilize it as a measuring unit in describing a particular building's floor.

It should be understood that a building can have its measurement vary from another one that has the same number of floors and stories. The variances are dependent on different factors including cultural norms, laws of the land, how tall is a house, type of the roof, and construction materials.

The traditional height of a story

For a long time, people have done structures with 8 – 12 feet high and 1 – 2 feet of infrastructure thickness. This means that there isn’t a set or fixed figure provided it falls within the 8 – 12 feet gap.

Naturally, different people, states, regions, and governments have varied story height standards. This gives rise to other variances. Also, it is much possible to find a house that is slightly taller than the others, yet they are in the same building. Other rooms could also be taller, an example being a building lobby which could be taller than the others yet in the same building.

Also, when the number of stories in a building increases, the heights for each might start decreasing too. This explains why the first floors have a taller structure, and the roof is slightly higher than the floors above it.

A good point to note is the differences realized when one has floors matching their preferences. The levels include the loft and attic which are usually of an entirely different height. This, in the end, may make the entire house appear taller or shorter compared to others in the neighborhood.

how tall is a 2 story building

The height of purpose-built houses

In recent years, we have witnessed changes in the structures of buildings and such ideas. As such, you’ll notice that most residential buildings could be featuring 9 feet ceiling height per story. However, the old ones and even some newer ones could still be sporting an 8 feet design.

Typical office buildings average between 9 – 10 feet. The first floors are usually taller than the rest and might go beyond the 10 feet mark up to 12 depending on the purposes.

If it’s a large office building, it may require extensive wiring, plumbing, air conditioning, and garbage chutes. This demands that they make reservations for such spaces which means they could have additional 18 - 24-inch spaces between the stories thereby increasing the height of the building.

As for retailing and wholesale stores, the heights are expected to be bigger than office buildings and residential houses. The same case applies to warehouses and large storage stores that can go up to heights enough to fit 18-wheelers.

There are houses and structures that need insulation. The insulation material to be used could also have considerable influence on the total intended height of the building. This is because the architects and contractors have to make space for such needs long before the house gets to the roofing level.

If one needs their insulation layers effective and efficient, it is important that they make them thicker. This would be a crucial aspect to consider while the foundation of the house is underway and will influence the total height of the house. However, the minimum and maximum height of the building in question must be within the set local and federal building codes.

Why the ceiling height is important

In the real estate industry, the height of a building’s ceiling is vital. Regardless of the laws of the land in place at that moment, getting the right proportion of one story with the rest is crucial.

If the height becomes too low, it may make the occupants uncomfortable. Their belongings might also not fit and might move out before they even settle down. It is, therefore, the role of the planners is to ensure the height will not make the room too cramped because the height is too low.

At the same time, it does not mean a tall ceiling height may be the best choice. It may also make the users uncomfortable and feel just too exposed. Imagine a situation where your house ceiling measures 15 feet and makes you feel like it’s an elevator shaft.  

So, how tall is a two story house exactly?

The average height of a two story house varies based on different aspects. For starters, the minimum height is often about 16 feet. However, most two story houses go up to between 20 and 25 feet high.

The reason why the heights vary is that the ceilings vary too. A house may have an 8-foot ceiling while another one may have a 10-foot one. Others may have 12-foot ceilings drawing the variances of the different 2 story house heights.

Also, the topmost floor makes a whole lot of difference in heights. This is because its ceiling is usually higher than the other floors below it. Also, it is crucial to note that not all rooftops are flat.

This means that a certain two story house may be taller than a neighboring one because its roof, for example, has a triangular shape. This is usually so in the case of houses with roofing sheets as slab roofs are usually flat.


As it stands, it can be difficult to tell how tall is a two story house. However, it’s not as hard to take in even though getting the exact figure is a hard one. Also, understanding the story dimension without considering every possible factor may turn out a daunting exercise and end up in vain.

However, with the help of housing experts, it can never be hard to get the right answer, or at least one closer to it. If you are looking forward to constructing a 2 story house, it would be ideal if you engage the experts beforehand. In addition, getting the necessary requirements from the local building and housing governing bodies’ offices may help you in getting the minimum and maximum heights you can go to.

Further Reading & References

  1. How Tall Is a Two-Story House? –
  2. “How Tall Is A Two Story House ?” A comprehensive Analysis - Homienjoy
  3. How Tall a 2-Story House Should Be? – i-deaHOUSE
  4. How Tall is a “Story”? – WE CAN
  5. The Legislative Process -
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