Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Westchester Co., NY USA
    Posts
    567

    Default The "1/2" in a 1/2 story

    Hey gang. Actually back again with another post and it feels good to have time to skim through FH forums again. I'm hoping this question won't knock me down a peg or 2 in respect with my brothers but I honestly can't remember the answer and the coffee clutch at the station only became an argument.

    When talking about a building and we use a 1/2 story, for example: 2 and a 1/2 story wood frame. What exactly does the 1/2 story represent? The attic? When dealing with a flat roof we do not use a 1/2 story in the dimensions right? Any and all insight and where a "textbook" answer can be found is appreciated.


  2. #2
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default


  3. #3
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    I wouldn't count an "attic" as 1/2 in most cases...

    I wonder what the textbook definition is...I guess something like, "living space directly under a pitched roof." If there's no dormers, it's an round-number. If there's dormers, assume it's living space and make it a x-1/2 story.

    A Cape-style home is 1-1/2 stories.
    A Colonial typically is 2 stories.

    Generally when calculating usuable floor area for real estate ads and such, say you have a 20x30 footprint, the colonial is 20x30x2 = 1200 s.f. while the Cape would only be 20x30x1.5 = 900 s.f.

    From a firefighting perspective, the 2 story pitched roof you'd expect a fairly sizeable attic above the living space you could have a fire running in. A 1-1/2 that's largely living area, plus a lot of little voids you have to open up!
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  4. #4
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Northern, NJ
    Posts
    889

    Default

    I try and go with the window theory as well. If it has windows/dormers either on the end like the posted pic or dormers on the long side of the structure (i.e. the front) I consider it x and 1/2 and more importantly so does my department. I'm not sure if there is a textbook definition or not since it always seems to be a debate when it comes up.

    We have a couple of 'opinions' in my department but we sat down and said "listen, from this point forward a x story is this and an x and 1/2 is this"

  5. #5
    Forum Member stretch13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    79

    Default

    After framing houses on my days off for several years, the easiest way to remember is that a 2 story or even 3 three story house will have those walls visible from the outside, with the rafters sitting on those walls. The half story will have those walls built on the inside of the house... in what looks like the attic from the outside. From the outside it will look like a one story with a big attic, probably some dormers visible. Upstairs in the half story, you won't have a whole lot of attic above you, but you have to remember that the half story really is built where the attic was so you actually have attic behind the walls, and as you probably have seen, the fire will get behind them and run the whole lingth of the house and also get above you. In those voids behind the walls is where you will probably see most of the duct work run, and possibly heat/air units and maybe a water heater. Alot of people get upstairs and think "pull ceiling and check for fire in the attic" when it is running behind the walls....Open those walls up. We have at times, open just about the whole length of the wall.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Westchester Co., NY USA
    Posts
    567

    Default

    Thanks gang. Good to know I'm not losing it, and that the answers out there vary. I was always under the assumption that the 1/2 was an attic....space. The pic that resq77 posted, if I were to report that on a size up would be a 2 story building, but of course that falls under familiararity with that layout of building where I live. Now my colonial would be a 2 and a 1/2 being it has 2 full floors and an attic space by my size up on arrival.

    Thanks for the input so far gang.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,111

    Default

    Yup, window theory.

    I was taught that if that level has windows and has a living area, would be considered a story.

    I would call the house pictured here as a 3 story house. The top 2 floors on top of the garage. Each floor could have an occupant. Typically an attic would not have occupants so would not be considered a floor.

    That's how we do it up in the northwoods, ya dare hey!!
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    Ok, now here's the question:

    Is the garage in the basement or cellar?

    http://www.firenuggets.com/dunn10.htm

    Not quite sure which to classify this as...I'd say a 1-1/2 story with a graded cellar entrance...
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  9. #9
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas
    Posts
    2,386

    Default

    For us a 1Ĺ story is one that has the regular first story then on top is another story that only takes up half or so of the same floor space, such as the second story only being a bedroom or so.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  10. #10
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    For us, the 1/2 is an attic space, whether it is finished or not. The basement is not counted in that description, mainly because you can't tell if there is one or not. You can be pretty confident there is a void space of some kind on any pitched roof.

    A house or commercial structure with a flat roof would not have the "1/2" since there is no attic space.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  11. #11
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Talking Damifino...................... ....

    I've never met a Firefighter who could only tell a Half of a Story. I'll agree that if the walls, or more correctly, the interior partitions, are set back from the exterior load bearing walls, that defines the "Half" story. I'm not aware of any textbook that has a reference to this. Professor Brannigan would, in my opinion, be a good place to ask, along with Chief Don Loeb in upstate NY. These Gentlemen pretty much have created our definitions in Building Discussion.

    Cape Cods. We got 'em, and they make really neat Fires. Period. The multiple void spaces allow Fire to roam at will, and you need to be Fast and aggressive in opening up and applying water, or you'll have a flat top one story real quick.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  12. #12
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas
    Posts
    2,386

    Default

    here's a pic of a 1Ĺ story in the area where I currently reside.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  13. #13
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,511

    Default

    Ryan, we would call that a 2 story frame, being there is exterior vertical walls framing the 2nd floor.
    Mr. Woods is correct about the Cape Cods. Hundreds of them in St. Paul and they are all old. Add all the homeowner modifications, they can be a fairly busy fire. Getting to the seat and good truck ops are key to keep from chasing the fire through the voids behind the knee walls and that little space above your head, aka the "cape cod cockloft".
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    32

    Arrow

    We would call that a 2 story structure where I am from also.

  15. #15
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default I would say thats a 2 story.........

    we hashed this out over here ......... http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...ht=subdivision
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    Just seeing what I see in Ryan's pic...two story. Looks like an exterior, non-gable end wall to me

    Kind of funny how what seems simple ain't, eh?
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  17. #17
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas
    Posts
    2,386

    Default

    Guess that's what we get for having termialogy (sp) that is regional.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  18. #18
    Forum Member firefighter26's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Sooke, B.C.
    Posts
    945

    Default

    Here is an interesting one for everyone...

    We've got a new Hotel in our area. The Mountain Inn, and from "street" level it looks like a two story (or a 1-1/2 story depending on how your department works).


    This picture can also be found on the Malahat Mountain Inn website.

    However, that is just what you can see from street level on the Alpha Side.

    What you don't see is a below grade floor accessible from the Alpha and Delta Sides via stair cases, and one more floor under that one that is accessible from the Charlie Side.

    In all it is four distinctive floors; two "above grade" and two "below grade."

    ....at least the interior is all dry walled (though the exterior is mostly cedar).

    --------------

    Don't even get me started on the Aerie Resort.... That thing has more floors and corridors and levels, with sub-levels, half landings and areas and rooms that can only be accessed from certain levels.... it is a nightmare!

    This picture can also be found on the Aerie Resort Website

    I can't even begin to image where to start pre-planning those two buildings!
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts