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#1
Old 12-27-2004, 11:42 PM
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9-foot ceilings in new home construction?

Hi!

What is your opinion on constructing 9-foot high ceilings on the first floor of a two-story house vs. the standard 8-foot high ceilings? Is this becoming a common practice with new home construction?

I originally dismissed the idea as a silly waste, but just about every other house in the development seems to be opting for higher first floor ceilings, and I don't want my house to be at a disadvantage on resale.

On the other hand, most of the other houses in the development have the "McMansion look" from the outside, while my home's front elevation is a simpler two-story farmhouse style.

In any event, the model home does look nice on the inside with the higher ceilings. The largest open area on the first floor is the 17' x 19' family room separated by a half wall from the 20' x 13.5' kitchen/breakfast nook. There’s also a 17' x 13.5' living room and a 12.5' x 13.5' dining room on the first floor.
#2
Old 12-28-2004, 02:13 AM
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All of the trade magazines I'm reading indicate it to be a trend in certain areas.

Go with the flow, bro.
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#3
Old 12-28-2004, 07:23 AM
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
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I've got an older house and our first floor ceiling range from 10 to 12 feet.

Other than costing a little more to heat I don't see any impact at all. I wouldn't sweat it.
#4
Old 12-28-2004, 07:34 AM
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We have a brand new house and 9' ceilings. You'll be surprised how much more open and airy the rooms are.
#5
Old 12-28-2004, 07:54 AM
lee lee is offline
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Go with the taller ceilings. It does make the room look more open and it gives you options for more ceiling treatments later on. My friend regretted getting shorter ceilings in his basement. Not much you can do to change it once the house is built, and if you don't like it, you can put in a dropped ceiling. Some of those look nice, as hard as it may be to believe.
#6
Old 12-28-2004, 08:46 AM
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Also, if you have a basement, spend the extra money to dig it a foot deeper for 9-foot ceilings down there. 8 foot basement ceiling suck, because ones you drywall over all the ducts and plumbing, you wind up with 6.5' ceilings or at least drops that low. It makes for a claustrophobic living space. In extreme situations, you can't even finish your basement without violating building codes if your ceiling winds up too low.
#7
Old 12-28-2004, 09:02 AM
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Thanks for the replies. My wife really wants the higher ceilings, but they're a $4,000 option. We need to make a decision soon, too.
#8
Old 12-28-2004, 09:35 AM
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The resale value of your home will suffer if you get 8 ft ceilings in a neighborhood where just about everyone has 9 ft ceilings. I also second the suggestion that if you have a basement you should also opt for the extra foot of head space.
#9
Old 12-28-2004, 10:05 AM
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
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Drop the dime. Think of it as an investment.
#10
Old 12-28-2004, 10:35 AM
lee lee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robby
Thanks for the replies. My wife really wants the higher ceilings, but they're a $4,000 option. We need to make a decision soon, too.
If you ever plan to resale, it is likely to pay off that much in either time or price. Houses that are tangibly less nice than neighboring houses will sell for less and be less desirable and may take more time to sell.

But, if your wife wants it, then really, if you can at all afford it, then do it to please her. You can get way more than $4K back on that investment. Does she spend more time in the house than you do? Does she do more to clean it than you do? It likely matters much more to her if either of those things are true. If she is like many people, she will think of the conversations leading up to deciding about the ceiling every time she looks at them. Would you rather have her thinking happy thoughts about you when she does? Also when making compromises in the future, well, you made $4K of them right there.
#11
Old 12-28-2004, 10:38 AM
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Get 10 foot ceilings. See if you can get the neighbors to escalate.



Seriously, I own a cleaning company. 9 foot ceilings are not too bad, but anything higher and it gets to be a bit of a pain to clean the cobwebs. Keep that in mind. Especially in the kitchen where the grease gets airborne and then settle. Then dust settles on that and it's a mess.
#12
Old 12-28-2004, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShibbOleth
Seriously, I own a cleaning company. 9 foot ceilings are not too bad, but anything higher and it gets to be a bit of a pain to clean the cobwebs. Keep that in mind. Especially in the kitchen where the grease gets airborne and then settle. Then dust settles on that and it's a mess.
I would put drop ceilings in the kitchen and higher ceilings in the rest of the house.
#13
Old 12-28-2004, 10:46 AM
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9' is okay, if you like low ceilings.

Spoken as the owner of a house with 10' ceilings on the ground floor...
#14
Old 12-28-2004, 11:57 AM
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Well, if you ever invite the Knicks and the Lakers over for drinks, you will be glad you spent the extra bucks.

We have a house where the kitchen and living room are upstairs, and the ceiling goes from 8' to 15' in sort of an A frame style. It really makes the room look much larger and feels comfortable with a lot of people in the room, or even when you are by yourself, you just feel like you have "more house"...if that makes any sense.

Go for it. You won't regret it and it will certainly help in re-sale value.
#15
Old 12-28-2004, 12:13 PM
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Also, if you have high ceilings, you have more room to play with radio-controlled blimps.
#16
Old 12-28-2004, 12:48 PM
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We just built a house (closed last Monday) with ten foot ceilings. Well, I tell a lie, the living room, dining room, and entryway are ten feet, the rest of the house is eight. Nine was the standard, and we paid a bit extra for the extra foot. It does make the rooms seem really large. And, it's cool to have a neat ceiling fan on a long downrod.
#17
Old 12-28-2004, 01:29 PM
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I'm an architectural designer in Tampa, Florida. It has become the standard here in the last 10 years to have a 10' first floor and a 9' second floor, for houses with over 2500 sq.ft. living area. Smaller one-story houses can have 9' flat ceilings. If you're a builder who chooses to remain with 8' ceilings, you better have vaulted or cathedral ceilings in the living room, family room and master bedroom if you want to sell the house.
#18
Old 12-28-2004, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robby
Thanks for the replies. My wife really wants the higher ceilings, but they're a $4,000 option. We need to make a decision soon, too.
Assuming you're financing over 30 years, that comes out to $133.33 a year, or $11.11 a month. Why wouldn't you do it?
#19
Old 12-28-2004, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Can Handle the Truth
I'm an architectural designer in Tampa, Florida. It has become the standard here in the last 10 years to have a 10' first floor and a 9' second floor, for houses with over 2500 sq.ft. living area. Smaller one-story houses can have 9' flat ceilings. If you're a builder who chooses to remain with 8' ceilings, you better have vaulted or cathedral ceilings in the living room, family room and master bedroom if you want to sell the house.
Wow, we sucked a new one in with this thread? Welcome, Can Handle the Truth, always good to have another Doper in the Bay area.


You're name's not 'Yogi' by any chance, is it?
#20
Old 12-28-2004, 04:14 PM
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[Quote: by ShibbOleth:You're name's not 'Yogi' by any chance, is it?]

Nope! But thanks for the welcome!
#21
Old 12-28-2004, 07:41 PM
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Wow--quite a definitive response from the SDMB community!

You folks have really got me rethinking this one. My wife and I had, I thought, decided that 8-foot ceilings were fine. We aren't really planning to sell anytime in the forseeable future, but you never can tell about such things.

For what it's worth, here's some exterior photos of my house style, some with 8-foot ceilings, and some with 9-foot ceilings on the first floor. With the optional bump-outs, my house will be about 2,700 square feet.
#22
Old 12-28-2004, 09:34 PM
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Looking at the photos, I like the proportions of the houses with nine foot ceilings.

There's a lot of second story and roof above the ground floor. Also, the second story looks from the front like an attic with a shed-roofed dormer. With eight foot ceilings, it looks like the first floor is squatting down under the weight of the rest of the house. The nine foot plan seems to balance things out.

Also, turn of the century farmhouses around here (Central Texas) tend to have high ceilings to allow the summer heat to rise. The higher ceiling just looks right.
#23
Old 12-29-2004, 01:00 AM
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My 150-year old farmhouse has 10' and 12' ceilings on the first floor. Given the size of the rooms (15X17 or bigger) I think they'd look squatty with lower ceilings. The house isn't air-conditioned (yet) but was relatively comfortable in the hot Tennessee summer.

StG
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