How Tall is a Two Story House in Several Parts of the Map

How Tall is a Two Story House

Have you ever wondered how tall a two-story house is? It might be confusing! And depending on which part of the world you are living in, it can have a bit of a difference. 

A story or storey refers to a floor of a building. As mentioned above, your location also plays a part in how you number the floors. In Europe for instance, the ground level of a building is not numbered and referred to as zero. In America, on the other hand, the ground floor is labeled as the first floor of the building. 

Confused already? In this article, we will tell you how tall exactly a two-story house is. We will not just depend on the labels alone, rather on the actual measurement itself. 

How Tall is a Two Story House in Different Parts of the World

Before we get to know how tall a 2 story house or 2 story building is, we have to know first how tall a one-story house is. That will help you make more sense out of the numbers.

How tall is a one story house

Let’s consider houses constructed during your grandma‘s time and the modern house that you are living in today. 

Traditional houses

The traditional height of a story or storey is 10 feet. And that includes 1-2 feet of infrastructure thickness and 8-9 feet of the ceiling. But keep in mind that this measurement is not exactly fixed. It changes depending on the style of building and the house. 

And different locations will have different story height definitions. And if the structure has an attic space, the more the numbers will vary. 

Fun fact, buildings that were constructed in the 1970s to the 1980’ have a standard 6 to 8 ft for the first floor. and that’s for a first-story house with a flat ceiling.

Modern houses

So we have discussed a bit of a history there, what about modern homes? How tall is one story house?

Modern houses are equipped with insulation material, attics, heating, and cooling systems. So the 8 ft measurement is outdated. Hence, modern houses are taller. The standard one-story modern house measures 9 feet. 

But as mentioned earlier, it can still be a bit higher depending on the design of the house.

A modern office building, on the other hand, usually rises higher than 9 feet. Because buildings require 18 to 24 inches more between height and stories, commercial buildings range from 10 to 12 feet.

How tall is a two story house in the USA

Now we get to the jeez of the article. Let’s do the math to see how we will come up with the figure. 

Let’s take, for instance, two-story houses in the United States. As mentioned above, a one-story house should have a minimum of 8 feet. Thus, a standard two-story house in the USA will have a height of 16 feet. Just double the height of the one-story house to come up with the answer.

And since most homes have their attics, the standard height of residential houses in the States is 18- 20 feet. But it can go as high as 25 feet depending on the style of the house.

A two-story building, on the other hand, will have a standard height of 26- 30 feet. There is a lot of additional height because office buildings will need more space for the integration in between floors, floor thickness, air conditioning equipment, and air vents. 

How tall is a two-story house in Europe

Now let’s take a lot at how high a two-story house is in Europe.

As we have mentioned earlier, the ground floor of a building in Europe is given the number zero. Thus, a two-story house or office buildings in Europe will literally consist of 3 levels or 3 floors.

In line with that, two-story houses in Europe tend to be taller than in the States.

For residential houses in Europe, a two-story house will measure 30 feet. 

Factors that Affect How Tall is a Two-Story House or Building

Several factors will contribute to the height of a home or a building. Let’s dabble a bit on it.

1. Ventilation

House and building wh larger and taller windows will ensure better ventilation. But this will also require more space for the fitting. Hence, the higher the structure will be.

2. Climate

And what affects the need to have more ventilation is the climate of the region. In tropical regions, a height of 8 to 9 feet per story is recommended. Though ventilation does not really need to affect the height of the ceiling level unless it will create a better convection flow.

3. Energy saving 

Higher floors or those that have taller ceiling height tend to consume energy more. Because you need more power to cool the entire floor, it can be more costly. Hence, increasing the ceiling height will also increase your utility expenses.

4. First-floor ceiling height

The height of the ceiling of the first floor can impact the height of a story. Normally, builders allot an extra  foot of the ceiling height of the first floor of a house or a building. The living room of a home often will have a higher ceiling.

Standard houses may have 8 foot ceilings to 10 foot ceilings. 

In terms of office buildings, the building lobby tends to be taller than the rest of the levels or the floors in the building. 

You may also like: How to Build a Loft Ladder

5. Attic height

The presence or the absence of an attic will affect the height of a two-story house. Attic normally has to have a ceiling height of a minimum of 7.5 ft over 50 percent of the entire floor area.

Thus, if a two-story house will have an attic, it will have a minimum height of 25.5 feet.

6. Roof pitch and style

Flat roofs will not affect the height of the house. But a pitched roof style can change that. The pitched style can increase the roof height to several feet. But how much will also depend on the style of the pitch roofs.

There are several types of pitch roofs. And the most commonly used as gable, mansard, gambrel, A-frame, and saltbox roof.

7. Floor depth and thickness

The story height may also be affected by the floor height. And the floor height will depend on how thick the floor is.

8. Cultural laws

Different regions may have different height requirements for the construction of homes and buildings. And this may affect the standard height of a two-story house in your location.

9. Construction budget

And of course, there is the construction budget to consider. If you have a more generous number, you can enjoy higher ceilings and a better flow of convection. Since you can afford the extra material and the added cost for cooling and heating the entire floor, you can go higher than the standard height. 

Storey vs Story

Do these two terms mean the same?

Yes, they are the same. It just depends on what type of English you are using. American English refers to the hospital level of a building as a story. And the word storey may be used in different forms of English.


What is the height of two story houses in the USA in meters?

When converted into meters, a two-story house in the USA will have a minimum height of 4.9 meters. For commercial buildings,  the height is approximately 7.9 meters.

Is ceiling height important?

Yes, it is. If it goes way too high, it will be disproportionate and the house will feel too exposed. If the ceiling height is too short, it will feel uncomfortable and cramped. 

Are higher ceilings better?

That depends. Higher ceilings are often constructed to give way for bigger windows. And bigger windows are often utilized to improve the flow of convection and ventilation. But this can cost you more on construction and utility bills. So if you have the budget, go for it. 

Final Say

So this article gives you an idea of how tall a two-story house and commercial building is in two different parts of the world. We also tossed in some factors that builders and homeowners consider before the construction. These factors will greatly affect the height of the building or the 2 story house.

Leave a Comment