What Size Ladder For 2 Story House

What Size Ladder For 2 Story House- A Complete Guide

Can't decide on which size ladder is right and safe for your multiple story house to do a couple of jobs?

In fact, it's somewhat tricky to choose the right size ladder for 2 or 3-story house as everyone has different needs such as reaching the roof of the house, repairing or cleaning the gutters or window.

But no worry!

This is a post all about what size ladder for 2 story house. Here we've tried our best to explain how to figure out the ladder size for your 2 story house that will work best for you to do the job.

Hope, this will help you to get a good idea and decide on which 2 story ladder you should get.

How Tall Is a 2 Story House – Is There Any Standard?

Buildings have to obey guidelines or regulations of both the story limit and height limit. Design, styles as well as the uses of the building effect on the height of the stories. Importantly, the variances depend on various factors including laws of the land, cultural norms, construction materials and type of the roof.

Before choosing the right size ladder for two-story house, it's essential to learn about the height of the two-story house.

So, how high is a 2-story house? 

To have an idea on your most accurate estimate read the following section.

What Does The Height Of House Mean?

The height of a house refers to the distance of the ground floor to the highest point of the roof, excluding the basement.

The Height of Each Story of a Multi-story House

A story is any level part of a building that has a floor. The height of each story is the distance between two floors levels, from ground level to the upper one. It's calculated from the floor level that also includes its thickness to the ceiling.

But The Height Of The Story Of A House May Differ….

The height of a story varies due to the variations of the ceiling. Moreover, the rooftop of a building makes a lot of difference in its overall heights. Note that not all rooftops of the houses are flat.

The levels include the attic and loft which are of a different height. Consequently, due to the difference in loft and attic height, a house may appear taller or shorter if you compare it to others in the neighborhood.

In residential building, generally the floor structure often be about 1 foot thick, which with 9' ceilings would make a full story about 10 feet.

In the case of multi-story residential building, the standard height of a story is 10 feet (floor-to-floor height is 8 ft.).

The Height of Two-Story House

So, how tall is a two-story house exactly?

In fact, the height of a two-story house varies due to difference in ceiling height.  Each story has some height allocated for the space of actual ceiling, floor itself and for other infrastructure.

As mentioned above, the standard height is calculated 8 to 10 feet given for each floor. For a 10 ft. tall house it accounts for 8 ft. ceiling with 2 ft. space for the infrastructure of the roof.

Based on this calculation, two story house height in feet goes to between 16 to 20. Although, it’s the standard height of two story house, some may also be up to 25 feet high.

How to Figure Out the Right Ladder Size Required to Reaching a Certain Height

“What size ladder for 1 story house” and “What size ladder do I need for a 2 story house”- these are popular asking.

It’s not an easy or straightforward question to answer. In fact, it's somewhat challenging to find the right ladder size for 2 story house.

Obviously, the required length of a ladder depends on the height of the houses and your intended tasks.

However, if you know the height of your two story house, it's relatively easy to identify the correct size of the 2 story extension ladder.

In this section, we'll show how to work out the right size extension ladder for two-story house.


Finding the right size ladder for the two-story house is important to avoid slips, trips and falls.

It's a simple term!

You don’t need any ladder height calculator for this task…

For simple guesswork, drop a tape measure out of the window of your two-story house. You can also measure the ceilings of your home and add 1.6 to 3.2 feet (50 to 100cm) to allow for ladder pitch and depth of the ceiling.

However, we recommend measuring the height of your house correctly to ensure that the ladder you'll buy is right for the job. Most importantly, your ladder may cause a severe injury due to incorrect height and usage.

How to measure the length of a ladder for a standard 2-floor house


Pythagoras Theorem will help you a lot.

No worry! You don't need to learn this theory.

Let's explain.

What Size Ladder For 2 Story house?


a= the height of the house wall

b= distance from base to ladder feet

c= the pitch that the ladder will make

Note: Follow the correct angle rule of the ladder when setting it up.

If the pitch is too long, your ladder may slip causing severe risk of an accident. On the other hand, if it's too short, it may tip over or you won't be able to reach the job.


The right pitch of a ladder for 2 story house……

If the height of your 2-floor house is 20 ft. (6 meter), then the base of your ladder must be placed at 5 ft (1.5 meters) away from the base of the house wall according to 4: 1 ratio.

According to angle rule ladder needs to be at an angle of 75 degrees away from the wall. It's also known as 1 in 4 rule or 4:1 rule.

How Tall a Ladder for a Two Story House

The formula and estimation process of finding the right size straight and extension two story ladder:


Height of house wall (a) = 6 meter (20 ft.)

Distance from base to ladder feet (b) (4:1 ratio) =1.5 meter (5 ft.)

The pitch that the ladder will make (c) =?

Then, we need to use the Pythagoras Theorem (a2+b2=c2) to work out the ladder length for 2 story house. For this, we need to square (a) and (b) to obtain the value of c.


Or, c2= a2+b2

Or, c2= (6)2 + (1.5)2

Or, c2= 36+ 2.25

Or, c2= 38.25

c= 6.18 [square root of 2]

Hence, the pitch the ladder will make is 6.18 meter.

Note that the top end of the straight and extension ladder must extend beyond the roofline by approximate 1 meter (3 feet).

So, you need to add 1 meter (3 feet) for extension beyond the roofline. That means you need a straight ladder of over 7 meters (24 feet) in height.

But if it's an extension ladder note that extension ladders reach approximate 3' less than their described height due to overlapping of the two sections.

For example, a 16 feet extension ladder is only 13 feet long when it's fully extended. Hence, you can reach 13 feet height with a 16 feet long extension ladder.

In this case, your required extension ladder height will be= 24 ft.+ 3 ft.= 27 feet.

That means, if the height of your 2 story house is 20 feet (6 meter), the recommended ladder height for a straight ladder is 24 feet and extension ladder is 27 feet.

Louisville 28 feet Fiberglass Extension Ladder can be an excellent and safe option to reach the jobs of your story house safely, especially when it involves electrical tasks.

Need more height to reach? No worry. The Louisville AE2232 32 feet Extension Ladder is one of the best options on the market today to reach more height.

Tips and Tricks

While choosing the right size extension ladder for 2 story house, some common mistake people always make. Here are some tips for you to overcome these mistakes:

  • The ground where you'll place the feet of your ladder may have dips and bumps in it. However, you can use a spirit level to determine the difference in ground levels. It's safe to use a leveler to ensure your ladder is level on the ground.
  • Longer two sections extension ladder tends to be more wobbly when in a fully extended position. For this, a three-section extension ladder is recommended as it'll eliminate the wobble.
  • For maximum safety, check the ladder weight capacity before purchase.
  • Extension ladders range in sizes from 16 to 40 feet. To ensure you choose the right extension ladder sizes suited to your needs, follow the ladder sizing chart.


What is the height of a one story house in the USA?

10 feet or 3 meter is the height of a one-story house typical for housing in the USA. This height includes 9 feet or 2.75-meter high ceiling and 1 foot or 300mm floor thickness.

How tall of a ladder do I need for 1 story house?

If your one-story house is 10 feet high, you need a straight ladder of 13 feet long and an extension ladder of 16 feet long to reach the roofline

For multi-use purposes in your one-story house Little Giant Ladder Systems 15426-001 can be the best option for you.

What does floor to floor height mean?

The floor to floor height indicates the vertical distance between the floor finish levels of a two-story house.

FFL or Floor Finish Level = level at the finished floor ( including wood or tile or any finishing)

What are some different methods to find the height of a building?

There are many methods based on the accuracy you required.

You can determine the height of a building by using a GPS device, laser measuring device, tape measure (for short building). To get highly accurate results, surveying equipment is the best option.

What is the recommended extended ladder size for painting 1st floor windows?

Well, the typical height of the job (approximate) = 15.5 feet (4.7 in meter) (eaves)

The required length of an extended ladder = 19 feet (5.8 in meter)

What is the recommended extended ladder size for gutter maintenance & repair?

Good question!

The typical height of the job (approximate) = 15.5 feet (4.7 in meter) (eaves)

The required length of an extended ladder = 19 feet (5.8 in meter)

What is the best ladder size for painting exterior?

Approximate height of job is Up to 23 feet (7.05 in meter)

The required length of an extended ladder = 27 feet (8.15 in meter)

To pick the right ladder size, which is the most suited to your specific task, go to our review here.


Hope this post on what size ladder for 2 story house was helpful to you to find the right one.

Thanks for reading!

If you have any follow up questions, let us know in the comments section.

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