A storey (British English) or story (American English) is any level part of a building with a floor that people could use (for living, work, storage, recreation, …).
The terms floor, level, or deck are used similarly, except that it is usual to talk of a “14-story building” but “the 14th floor“. The floor at ground or street level is called the “ground floor” (i.e., it has no number, the floor below it is called “basement,” and the floor above it is called “first”) in many places. In other areas, the ground floor and the first floor are synonymous. The words storey or story and floor exclude the building levels that are not covered by a roof, such as a terrace on the rooftops of many buildings.
Floor numbering is the numbering scheme used for a building’s floors. There are two major schemes in use across the world. In one system, used in most European countries, the ground floor is the floor literally at ground level, usually having no number and sometimes identified as “G” or “0”. The next floor up is assigned the number 1 and is the first floor, and so on. The other system, used primarily in the United States and Canada, counts the bottom floor as the first floor, the next floor up as the second floor, etc. In Sweden and Norway, this is also the standard. So determining the height of a two-story house may vary between regions.
This article will provide a clear answer about the height of a two-story house in European countries and the U.S.
The height of a two-story house in the United States
In the United States, the minimum height of a two-story residential building is 16 feet. The standard height is 18 to 20 feet. And the average height can vary from 20 to 25 feet.
For commercial buildings, each floor’s height is about 10 to 12 feet because it has additional supports between floors to integrate wiring, vents, and air conditioning equipment. So the total height of a two-story commercial building would be about 26 to 30 feet.
The height of a two-story house in Europe
Due to differences in the definition of floor numbering system, two-story houses in European countries have a total of 3 floors: the ground-, the first-, and the second floor. Therefore, calculating the height of a two-story house in Europe is different from the United States.
However, in terms of floors, the height of each story of a two-story house in Europe is similar to that in the United States.
In general, the height also falls between 20-25 feet for a 2-story residential house and around 30 feet for a two-story commercial building.
Factors affecting the height of a two-story building
Many factors affect the height of the house, including but not limited to:
1. How high is the ceiling on the first floor?
Typically, for a two-story house/building, the first floor’s ceiling height will usually be about 1 ft higher than the upper floors. And this is true for both residential houses and commercial buildings.
2. Is your two-story house going to have an attic? If YES, what is the height of the ceiling on the second floor?
Typically, as a standard, an average attic requires a minimum ceiling height of 7.5 feet per 50% of the floor area. So a two-story house with attic space would be about 25.5 feet tall.
3. What is the style of the roof?
The roof style is also one of the main factors that significantly determines a two-story house’s height. Specifically, a flat roof will not increase the overall height of the house. However, the sloping roof will increase the overall height of the building by several feet.
Here are some types of roofs that contribute to the total height of a two-story house:
- Saltbox roof
- Gambrel roof
- A-frame roof
- Mansard roof
- Gable roof
4. Construction law:
Laws can vary depending on the region or state, which can also affect the standard height of a building.
To sum up
For both Europe and the United States, the average height of a two-story house is between 20-25 feet for residential dwellings and 30 feet for commercial buildings.
I hope this article has given you some useful information about the height of a two-story house. However, please note that the height may vary depending on the circumstances. In such cases, all you need to do is consult your architects for perfect recommendations.