The majority of the people in developed nations have been living in two story houses. However, most of us don’t really know how tall is a two story house is. Oh, now you must be wondering about the height of your home. Well, hold on to your boots as we’ll get to the main question of “how tall is a two story house” in just a bit, however before that let’s look at the landscape of homes around us.
There are many different types of homes. As you walk across the street you might be living on, you’ll start to notice that along with modern houses you’ll find traditional homes. The UK is a classic example of where modern and tradition meet. So are many parts of the USA.
Due to the energy crisis in the late 60s which went on to the 70s, houses built during that period had to be built around the energy crisis. Meaning smaller homes with lower ceilings were preferred as that would heat up quickly in the colder seasons. Traditional homes had lower ceilings and would be around 6ft to 8ft for a single story. As time and technology progressed, better insulation resulted in grand homes, larger than before allowing people to get creative with architecture.
There is no particular height level since every area has houses made according to those areas. Some areas might be really hot so having a higher ceiling brings in a cooler breeze from outside. Then there are houses that have different heights for every floor. The ground floor might have higher ceilings but you may find lower ceilings on the floors above. The loft and attic have lower ceilings than the other floors in the house.
Let’s look at the current landscape in terms of modern living.
How tall is a two story house?
Over the years, heating and insulation have drastically improved which has allowed for the better architecture of homes. Many homes now have higher ceilings compared to the homes from the 60s and 70s. They’re not restricted to 8ft designs like traditional homes and start from 9ft all the way up.
As mentioned previously, there is no standard requirement or a number for what a standard height is. In today’s world, a 12 ft story building, meaning 6ft on each floor will not work well with the current population. In the United States, a standard two story house can be anywhere between 18ft to 20ft. That’s around 9 to 10 ft per story, an average of 3ft per story more than traditional houses. 18ft to 20ft is considered to be the perfect height as it is not only aesthetically pleasing but also is comfortably sufficient for a living space.
So, usually, people will have a 9ft high ground/first floor with the subsequent floor being at least 10ft. But then again, the measurements for each floor would be dependent on you and your architectural design.
Commercial buildings are a whole different story. 9ft to 10ft per story is increased a bit to accommodate air vents and also so that it doesn’t feel cramped with a lot of people in it. Expect heights to go up to 12ft per floor in commercial buildings. There is also a buffer height between the two stories in a commercial building for wiring and equipment. Yes, we’re talking about those false ceilings that you may see above you in a commercial building. Hence expect a two story commercial building to have a height of approximately 26 to 28ft.
Factors affecting the height of houses
Like we said before, the answer to how tall is a two story house depends on a lot of things. There are a few factors that determine the height of a house and they are:
- The landscape or the topography of the land
- Ventilation needs might lead to an increase in heights
- Colder areas with energy issues
- Cost or the available budget
- Personal preferences
Is it cheaper to build up or out?
Now that you know how tall is a two story house, would you consider building a multi story house or a house that spans across a single story? Well, If you’re super-rich and costs don’t matter, then either way you’re fine. However, if the cost is the main priority when it comes to deciding how you want your living space to be, then read on.
So, is it cheaper to build up or out? It all depends on your home requirements and the place where you’re building the house. Some areas might have cheap land so even with huge material costs you might consider expanding your home horizontally rather than going vertically.
However, generally speaking, the land is scarce in many areas hence the cost of land becomes high. Keeping that in mind, building up is cheaper than building out. More material and labor is required to build out. Flattening the land around the house or digging to adjust would cost more, hence many prefer to build upwards on the existing structure without touching the land area around the house.
With building out, more concrete, footer, rocks and other materials add to the cost. The excavation of the land as mentioned above adds to the already burgeoning construction cost. Even if you don’t take the cost of land into consideration, you might still face a higher cost for building outwards rather than upwards.
If you want to know more about what is cheaper, then click here where we discuss which one is cheaper in the finer details.