Building standards based on well-planned architectural engineering generally stipulate the height of a multi-story building. The proper height ensures safety, adequate ventilation, aesthetic appeal, and adequate lighting for all rooms. But how tall is a 3 story house?

A 3 story house averages between 33-40 feet (10-12 m) in height from the floor to the roof. While the exact height depends on design and height provisions, a regular floor is typically 3.04 m (9.8 feet high). So, if each level is about 3.04 m, a 3 story house would be around 12 m high.

The rest of this article will expound on a few aspects related to the levels of a house, including what a story is, and how height affects a storied house. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is a Story in a Building?

A story is a floor or level in a building. A building with several levels contains a floor or horizontal surface on each level to provide the necessary structural support. This constitutes a story.

The height of each story depends on its ceiling, floor thickness, and the material used to construct the building.

What Is Considered a 3 Story House?

A house with 3 floors, decks, or levels would be considered a 3 story house. These floors, or levels, can include the ground floor, first, second, and third floor; or the ground floor, first floor, and second floor, since the numbering systems can differ depending on the region.

What Affects the Height of a Storied House?

As mentioned earlier, a 3 story house is roughly 10 feet (3.04 m) per floor, then add the roof and subfloor.

A storied house’s height is affected by ceiling height, floor thickness, floor joists, and the space required for the supports between each floor. If the house sports a flat roof and stands on level ground, its height would be less than that of a 3-story with a higher ceiling plus a pitched roof.

Let’s take a look at some of these factors plus others that might impact the height of your 3 story house:

The Ceiling Height

The ceiling height in different rooms might vary because of practical or design factors. Ultimately, this affects the height of your story house. For instance, most living rooms boast higher ceilings than other rooms because this is a recreational area requiring extra space plus a perception of freedom.

Conversely, bedrooms contain lower ceilings as this helps maintain a cozy, intimate ambiance and keeps the room temperature consistent.

The Structure of the Roof

A house with 3 floors typically bears a 10-12 feet (3.04 -3.65 m) high roof depending on the roof’s slope and structure. Consequently, the roof adds to the overall height of the house. Note that the higher the house, the thicker and deeper the floor space. This is because the floor of an upper story doubles as a ceiling to the level beneath.

Still, even with a thick floor, the height of a given room may lessen as the stories go up to ensure that the entire structure remains safe. Builders often incorporate height differences in the building’s exterior design to add to its aesthetic appeal.

The Type of Construction

The type of construction can also impact the height of a 3-story house. For instance, a 3-story concrete house could stand at 7.8 m (25.6 feet) tall, while a 3-story timber-frame home containing a pitched roof might be 10.5 m (34.45 feet) high.

The type of building also matters.Commercial buildings usually sport a higher first level +/-12 feet  (+/- 3.65 m), while residential spaces have an average height of +/-10 feet (+/- 3.04 m) on each floor. The former are usually mid to high-rise commercial buildings whose lobbies are taller for more structural stability as well as aesthetic appeal. As such, upper-level stories often contain less height and floor area.

The Location of the House

In general, the average height of a house or residential building varies depending on its location. Local regulations and zoning laws may have specific requirements, but there are typically no particular rules regarding the height of a house.

Hence, so long as you build your house according to correct construction standards, covering all the structural basics, your design and space requirements can determine its height.

In certain locations, the first level is typically referred to as the ground floor rather than the first story. This technically makes the second-floor the first story or first floor. For instance, in the US and certain parts of Canada, the first floor is known as the first story.

In the UK, a 3-story house is about 40 feet (12 m), whereas it’s about 30 feet (9 m) in the US. This is because, in the UK, a 3-story house stands three floors above the ground floor. Conversely, in the US, the ground floor is typically the first story, as seen earlier.

Also, a typical wooden house or apartment in the US sports an 8 foot (2.43.04 m) floor to ceiling height. Additionally, there’s a 1-2 foot (0.3-0.6 m) structure between each floor and ceiling; thus, 9-10 feet (2.74-3.04 m) per floor. However, a sloped roof will usually add to this height.

Fun Fact: In the United States, a floor situated beneath the ground level is known as a basement. Here, you don’t count the basement when counting the number of stories in a building.

The Benefits of a Tall House

A tall house offers a sense of elegance that’s difficult to attain with a lower height. But aside from physical appeal, high height in a house is essential because it allows you to have a larger vertical space that creates a pleasant perception of spaciousness. Furthermore, it enables you to access more natural light and ventilation in your home, even with little square footage.

That said, a 3-story house with lower overall height and low ceilings evokes a sense of warmth and comfort. As such, the key is to find a comfortable balance when determining the height of your home. And since the average person is about 5 feet 8 inches (1.72 m), a standard ceiling height of 10 feet (3.04 m) is pretty ideal. Ultimately, it’s best to aim for proper balance and proportion.

You may also like to read: How Tall Is a Two Story House?

Final Thoughts

A 3-story house is great because it provides you with lots of living space even with limited land. Nevertheless, it’s essential to have the proper height to keep it safe and structurally sound.

The general rule of thumb is to allocate around 10 feet (3.04 m) per floor in addition to the roof’s height.

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