What is the Standard Ceiling Height and Why Does It Matter?
Published December 26, 2022
When you hire a contractor to build or install a new room or house, you’ll notice that they’re particularly meticulous about the ceiling height. Considering how there’s typically not much going on with the ceiling, it’s interesting why such a metric is vital. However, it actually has greater significance than you’d think.
That’s why it’s fairly crucial that you know whether your house’s ceiling height is higher or lower than usual. For that, you must learn more about its significance. Let’s start by discussing the average ceiling height.
What Is the Average Ceiling Height?
The average or standard ceiling height as of present is 9 feet. This wasn’t the case before since, at some point, the standard ceiling height was 10 feet. Nevertheless, now, most contractors have agreed on 9 feet.
Unfortunately, you may come across 8-feet ceilings since many boards come in eight-foot pieces. As such, it can be pretty inconvenient to you or the contractor as there needs to be an adjustment in the plans.
But why does it matter anyway? you may ask.
Why Does Ceiling Height Matter?
There are several reasons why contractors are pretty fickle when it comes to ceiling height.
Here are some of those reasons:
1. Certain Furniture Pieces Require Sufficient Height
Furniture pieces, particularly wardrobes, can be particularly tall. You may even find some that are over seven feet tall. Naturally, if your ceiling height is any less than eight feet, your options for furniture will be limited.
2. It Affects the Room’s Aesthetic
Even if the furniture isn’t particularly tall, having an excessively low ceiling can make the room feel cramped.
If you’ve ever been in a cramped room, you’d know that it can be pretty suffocating. No matter how stunning the designs are, there’s something about a cramped room that makes the atmosphere slightly unbearable.
On the other hand, if the ceiling is too high, the room may feel too spacious. After all, there’s too much room you’re not using. Either way, it’s not a good idea to decide on a ceiling height arbitrarily.
3. It Limits Your Lighting Options
A room’s lighting typically goes on the ceiling.
Hence, it makes sense that certain lighting options are suitable only for specific ceiling heights. Recessed lighting, for example, is most suitable for low ceilings. Similarly, chandeliers are most suitable for high ceilings.
The problem is if you want to install specific lighting, but it’s not suitable for your ceiling height, you have no choice but to settle for other options. That’s why you need to take your time deciding on your ceiling height.
4. Costs Vary According to the Ceiling Height
As one might expect, the ceiling height has an impact on the cost of installing a room or constructing a house.
The general rule of thumb is the farther your ceiling height is from eight feet or nine feet, the more expensive the project will be. That’s because, as stated earlier, materials or boards typically come in eight-foot pieces.
If you opt for a seven-foot-high ceiling, the contractor will have to cut the boards, which naturally increases the cost. Similarly, if you opt for a ten-foot high ceiling, they have to use two boards, which also increases the cost.
For that reason, the ceiling height that would incur the lowest cost is eight feet.
FAQs on the Standard Ceiling Height
Can I Raise My Ceiling?
Yes, you can raise a ceiling. However, the difficulty of doing so may vary according to your house’s current structure. There are cases where a minor renovation will do, which is usually the case when you have an attic.
There are also cases where you have to hire a structural engineer, and that’s when you don’t have an attic.
That’s because to raise the ceiling, you’ll have to change the roof structure, which is a difficult task.
How Much Does It Cost To Raise a Ceiling?
The average cost of raising a ceiling is $50 per square foot. Again, the cost may vary according to several factors. If you need to hire a structural engineer, then, of course, the cost will be higher than the average.
Can I Lower My Ceiling?
Yes, you can lower your ceiling. It’s typically a much easier task than raising the ceiling because you won’t have to alter the structure of the attic or roof. You simply have to install wooden boards a few inches below the existing ceiling. However, just like raising a ceiling, you’re best off relying on professionals to do the job.
How Much Does It Cost To Lower a Ceiling?
The average cost of lowering a ceiling is $11. Yes, it’s much lower than raising a ceiling, and it’s because the process is objectively easier and requires fewer materials.
How Low Can I Get My Ceiling?
Building regulations dictate the minimum ceiling height a residential home can legally have. Though regulations vary from state to state, the typical minimum legal ceiling height is seven feet. Any less than that will violate the regulations and may incur fees.
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About The Author
Lenard Arceo is an experienced writer who enjoys writing about home design and real estate topics. In his free time he enjoys learning to code. He has spent most of his life writing for reputable website blogs and has helped reach millions of people on the internet.