Updated: Mar 18
Homeowners often visualize the floor plan of a remodel or addition but may not think about the height. Ceiling height affects the comfort, cost, and appeal of the room, so it is a factor to consider. Ceilings commonly run from 7–10 feet, with nine feet the current average. However, 10- to 12-foot ceilings and higher also appeal to many homeowners. Discover some things to consider when choosing a high ceiling.
Consider the Psychology
Ceiling heights, according to certain studies, can have some effect on how people think and feel. Homeowners may want lower ceilings in a home office because they can help people to stay more focused. An art studio or a playroom may be the ideal places for loftier ceilings because higher ceilings encourage freer thinking and creativity.
Ceiling height may play a role in comfort too, but it varies by individual. Some people prefer a low ceiling because it feels cozier and safer to them. Other people in the same room may think the space feels too claustrophobic. High ceilings can make a home feel airy and luxurious but may also seem too open and a little unwelcoming.
Sometimes, a high ceiling can boost moods. Taller walls make it easier to install larger windows that allow in more natural light. Skylights can increase the brightness level even more. Exposure to natural light may help reduce the effects of seasonal depression and enable people to sleep better at night.
Remember Utility Costs
Higher ceilings add more area to the home that heating and cooling systems need to address. A very tall ceiling could increase utility costs because of the addition. An inexpensive option that could help is to install ceiling fans. The fans can help air circulate better throughout the room and potentially reduce heating and cooling costs.
Fans can help, but they may not be able to make enough difference to keep the home comfortable. Anything that dramatically increases the overall size of the home may overwhelm existing heating and cooling systems. Remember to include system upgrades into the project budget to avoid discomfort later.
Consider Design Preferences
Ceilings play a role in the interior design of the home. A taller ceiling allows homeowners to choose a more architecturally exciting design. Tray and coffered ceilings and exposed beams may crowd a room with only 8-foot ceilings. Higher walls can also display larger art pieces or provide the background for a large and dramatic fireplace mantle and chimney.
Homeowners who choose vaulted and cathedral ceilings may want to consult with a design expert to help them decorate and finish the room. An expert can offer options for filling the wall space to accentuate the height and make the most of the expansive wall space. Items not to scale with the room height could appear too small and not provide the desired appearance.
Remember Maintenance Concerns
A ceiling raised to 10 feet or more can make basic maintenance tasks more difficult. Cleaning cobwebs, changing lightbulbs, or adding a fresh coat of paint becomes a balancing act. The homeowner needs to be okay with climbing a ladder or hiring someone to do it for them. If either option seems unacceptable, very tall walls could become a problem.
Ceiling height can affect the lighting, the design, and the feel of a room. It is one of the most important considerations when planning any interior project. At AKL Architectural Services, we want to help you have a home that meets your needs and gives you the comfort and pride you desire. Our team knows that every detail matters. Contact us for all your home design needs.