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Thinking Through Ceiling Heights

Builder's Brief

When building a new house, or renovating an existing home, ceiling height is a something worth taking time to consider.  Depending on the style of your home, and the function of a particular space, the height of the ceilings can really add to the overall feel of a room, or take away from it.  Here are a few things to consider about different height options, with both pros and cons for each.


8 feet a
8 feet b

Eight-foot ceilings are typically standard and many people dismiss “standard” as undesirable, however there is a reason for this standard measurement.  Timber most commonly comes in eight-foot measurements and this dictated the height of ceilings in most houses for decades.  Using standard timber sizes keeps costs down in a new build, or renovation and will be most efficient for heating and cooling.  Homeowners looking for a cozy, warm feeling to their home, may consider having eight-foot ceilings. However, if you are building on a property that has expansive views, window sizes are restricted by eight-foot ceilings and the view will be constricted.  Smaller spaces work well with this ceiling height, instead of larger areas as they begin to feel cave-like without the extra headroom. 


9 feet
9 feet a

Nine-foot ceilings are an option many people pass over, thinking the additional 12 inches will not make enough of a difference to the feel of their home.  This assumption is incorrect.  A relatively in expensive upgrade, nine-foot ceilings greatly increase the volume of a room, giving it a more open feel.  The home will still feel cozy and efficient, but with more headspace, it keeps the house from feeling cave-like in larger rooms. Door heights do not have to be raised, which saves money that can be allotted to other parts of the project.  This is an inexpensive upgrade from the eight-foot ceilings that is worth considering.


10 feet a
10 feet b

Ten-foot ceilings work best in very open concept homes, where the desired feel of a space is expansive, airy, and light.  In smaller spaces, this added height can make a room feel out of balance and top heavy.  If the property has beautiful views, this height is desirable, as windows can be much larger and allow for maximum views of the surrounding scenery.  Doors will all need to be eight-foot tall, which is an added expense to consider in planning your overall budget.  Efficiency takes a big hit as you go up to this height as well, so if long term costs for heating and cooling are a concern, keep that in mind.


12 feet b
12 feet c

Twelve-foot ceilings seem to have had a moment in the last ten years, and frankly, are overdone in the average home.  While they open-up a home dramatically, it can be difficult to decorate enormous walls with four feet of empty space above every door or window.  The best use of a twelve-foot ceiling would be in a very grand, very large home, where the size of the house doesn’t feel out of balance with the height of the ceilings.  In your typical family home, they feel more like wasted space and can cause problems.  Heating and cooling a home with twelve-foot ceilings can get very expensive and it is important to consider that every lightbulb or smoke detector battery will be difficult to reach to easily change out.  Thinking through each potential issue with this height is an important step in the planning process.

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Each of these ceiling heights has advantages and drawbacks, and each has its place in different home designs.  Depending on your style and preference, whether it be grand and expansive, or cozy and efficient, there is a ceiling height option that will fit your needs.  Careful consideration of each option and how they will fit into your home design will ensure that you are happy with the end product, whichever one you choose.

Our Passion Dream-Design-Build

At H&H, we love to take someone’s home dreams and bring them to life.   We focus on providing excellent customer service and work hand in hand with our clients to see that their desires are met throughout the design-build process.

Helping our clients to make informed decisions for their home builds or remodels is very important to us.  The more you know, the better prepared you will be to begin your construction journey.  Let us come alongside you and help you through the process.