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    Default what exactly is a "1/2 story"?

    OK here is a simple question for everyone. What is a "1/2 story"? Is it an unfinished attic type floor or a semi finished floor? Could it be whatever the first arriving unit thinks fits the description of a "1/2 story". Is there a rule as to what makes a "1/2 story"?

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    I see a half story as anything at less than 8ft. So arriving on scene to find a two full stories, with maybe a 5ft tall attic. That would make it a 2-1/2story.
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    In alot of the older construction around here, there is a 4' crawl space / attic space in the top of the building. We reference these as a 1/2 story.
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    I use it for the second story with a peaked roof (meaning the second story is only the peaked part), where you usually get the narrow middile with knee walls all around.

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    Mezzanine.

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    When the house has been built on a slope and half of one wall is bellow the ground. my house would be a good example, on one side its 2 stories, on the other its 1 1/2.

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    Attic space large enough to move around in but no windows. We have some peaked roofs around here that are only 1 or 2 feet so it's just dead space. More than that and it's a 1/2 story. If there are windows, we consider that a 3rd story.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF
    I use it for the second story with a peaked roof (meaning the second story is only the peaked part), where you usually get the narrow middile with knee walls all around.
    I tend to agree with that adding a 1/2 story is under the peak with dormers.

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    Default 1/2 story

    in our department 1/2 story is considered to be the floor where the roofline goes below the ceiling line(under the peak).since i personally live in an 'A'-frame house,i suppose they would say i live in a 1/2,1/2,1/2 story house.We had this same discussion a couple of years ago in a Fire Officer 1 class.it's surprising how many different definitions there are in just our neighboring departments.happy new year folks.

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    It is also commonly used around here for garden apts which have 3 floors, but the windows of the first floor are at ground level-garden apts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv
    It is also commonly used around here for garden apts which have 3 floors, but the windows of the first floor are at ground level-garden apts.
    We usually call those garden apartments.

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    Check this one out. This was discussed with some good info including photos a while back.

    1/2 story discussion

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    A 1/2 story is what you get when you read the paper.
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    Vincent Dunn just emailed me his answer. He feels that a 1/2 story is an attic not a living space. I feel that a half story is a story that doesn't have full height ceilings and totally living space thourghout the story.

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    Another take on the 1/2 story:

    I live in a 100 year old American foursquare house with 11' downstairs ceilings and 9' upstairs ceilings. The stairs in the central hallway go up to the back wall of the main section of the house to a landing, turn, and then continue up to the second floor. Just off of the landing is a bathroom with an 7.5' ceiling (with another bathroom right under the landing, also with a 7.5 foot ceiling). The landing bathroom is literally between the first and second floors and is known (in my area at least) as a 1/2 story.

    The bathrooms are partially incorporated into the kitchen ell, but project out of one side of the gable roof over the kitchen.
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    After framing houses for a while, we classed a Story and a half house as those with the entire upstairs being under the roof. A true two story will have the roof on top of second floor walls visible from the outside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PENNDEL
    Vincent Dunn just emailed me his answer. He feels that a 1/2 story is an attic not a living space. I feel that a half story is a story that doesn't have full height ceilings and totally living space thourghout the story.
    Eveyone can have their opinion, but a half story is whatever the hell you call them where you are. Here it's one thing, there it's another. I don't think this one has a definative answer.

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    We consider it an attic converted to a living area, usually an extra bedroom...which is something to keep in mind when responding to this type of structure. Also, many times in order to make it look more like a bedroom, the walls are squared up to get rid of the angled looks from the former attic ceiling...which creates a big void in the walls for fire spread. That's what we go by in my response area.

    FDIC has a classroom session titled "Killer in the Attic" that discusses fire in half stories. It's a great lecture if you get the opportunity to attend one of their conferences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeavilleFire
    We consider it an attic converted to a living area, usually an extra bedroom...which is something to keep in mind when responding to this type of structure. Also, many times in order to make it look more like a bedroom, the walls are squared up to get rid of the angled looks from the former attic ceiling...which creates a big void in the walls for fire spread. That's what we go by in my response area.
    Same here. We call them knee walls (the walls to square the peaked walls). I don't know if that is an official term or just something from here.

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    When I lived in Georgia, we had a split-level house. Here is a pic of what they consider 1/2 story there. I couldn't get it to upload horizontal. Just tilt your head a little.

    In case the pic doesn't work... you have a basement. Go up 7 stairs to the living area and kitchen. turn around and go up 10 stairs to the area over the basement to the rooms.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFTrainer
    Check this one out. This was discussed with some good info including photos a while back.

    1/2 story discussion
    With all due respect to Vincent Dunn.

    Dalmation90's post is the correct answer....the log home pictured in the

    post before it is a 1 1/2 story with basement.


    I used to live in one !

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