32ft. hight restriction - could we do 2 story?

rgrsNovember 19, 2010

We are looking at a lot with a 32 ft. height restriction - could we build a two story? We want to be able to take advange of a water view and have at least 9 ft. ceilings. Is that possible?

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I'm not sure what style house you're looking to do, or what you're used to, but you can definately do 2 stories and probably 9 foot ceilings

My area has a 30' height restriction with a lot of 2 story houses. our new second floor is 29'6" with 2 full stories of 8'6" ceilings and a decent height attic.

the water view is your only ???
my boss's house has a great waterview from the walkout basement and higher as they're right on the water.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 1:00PM
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We aren't sure about the style but like cottage/
craftsman/shingle/farmhouse -- We would have views on at least three sides but unable to do a walkout basement because the lot is fairly level. The water view would be on the second floor but mountain views on both.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 1:10PM
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We're at 2 stories and a walkout basement, and our height restriction is 33ft in total, and 27 above grade. We have 8' basement, 9' ceilings x 2. If you do the math, i think you could even have 10' ceilings, and not hit your height restrictions. If you don't do roof trusses, you could even build in a small attic.
We're building towards a view also, and the best views are from the bedrooms. I almost wish we'd built in a flat roof deck, but we have enough balconies that I don't mind so much.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 5:21PM
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The standard restriction in DFW in residential zones is 30ft and we've got a lot of two story houses.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 6:36PM
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We have a 29' restriction above grade and our main is 9' and upper is 8'...pseudo craftsman with pretty tall roof. YOu could probably do 10', 9'.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 6:45PM
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There are a number of different definitions of "height".

Look at the by-law to be sure exactly where you measure from and where you end. In some jurisdictions, height is measured from the crown of the road the house is on. Or it can be the grade at the house, averaging any variations. I have seen height defined as the midpoint of the roof slope or the top of the highest roof.

Before you can determine ceiling heights and styles, you need to know the parameters. For instance, when heights are restricted and you still want high ceilings, flat roof styles are preferred.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 8:10PM
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The usual purpose of a 32 ft height restriction is to allow a typical 2 story house but not a third story.

However, but as worthy points out there are many ways to measure the height of a building. Where I live that height limit could allow 2 stories with 9-0 ceilings and another story under the roof slope with dormers (2 1/2 stories).

A walk-out basement could cause a problem if the average grade is used as the base of the height measurement.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 10:25AM
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The restriction states: 32 feet in height measured from the highest base elevation immediately adjacent to the building prior to excavaction.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 11:12AM
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prior to excavation

To avoid problems with officialdom, have the surveyor mark those elevations beforehand.

Keep in mind that the deeper into the ground you place the house, the more room you have for higher ceilings on both floors. However, the downside is that the basement is left with window wells or very short windows--as little as six inches of glass.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 12:12PM
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If the 32 ft limit is to the ridge, it would allow the first floor to be 2 ft off the original grade, the ceiling height of both floors to be 9 ft, the second floor thickness to be 1 ft., the roof slope to be 9 in 12 and the house width to be 28 ft.

A steeper roof slope would force the house to be narrower and a lower slope would allow it to be wider. Placing the first floor higher or lower and the second floor ceiling height at 8 ft also affects the width of the house.

If you keep the width narrow enough for a steeper roof line I would recommend a Shingle Style since IMHO it is difficult to successfully adapt the Craftsman and Cottage forms to a 2 story house. Alternatively you could consider the Greek Revival style (very popular for farmhouses).

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 2:12PM
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This is very good information. We are in the process of purchasing the land and are now thinking about the house design. Would like a detached garage with guest quarters so we can visit during construction and later use for guests. A farm house style appeals to us but we are not good at visualizing. Once we get our thoughts together we will look for an architech. Basement is probably not an option with the high water table in the area. Would love to see photos of homes with views front and back. Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:53AM
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