Is There a Standard Ceiling Height for New Homes?

Ceiling Height

If you are a home builder or just someone curious about the structure of homes, you might have wondered about the standard height of the ceiling. It is common for most builders to consider various heights.

The perfect distance upwards would make your abode seem spacious. Also, it would add to the overall beauty of the house and make it welcoming.

What Is the Standard Height Then?

Production, semi-custom, and custom houses all have varying standards. Also, you need to think of how many floors the flat or apartment consists of. Furthermore, mansions have a different requirement or standard altogether.

Before, 8 feet was considered the perfect length upwards. However, today, that is considered to be outdated, and for a good reason. An 8 feet height would make your residence seem small and not very accommodating. But keep in mind that several entry-level homes will still make use of 8 feet ceilings.

Most commercial builders go for 9 feet height for the first floor. If there is a second floor, they will go with 8 feet on that particular floor.

But it is wise to go for your desired height since a residence is a long-term investment, and you should get to decide how you wish for it to look. Lower ceilings will probably make your abode seem more outdated and bland.

Why Go for a High Ceiling?

The higher the roof, the more airy, spacious, and light the entire house would feel. There will be a grandeur look added to the staircases, windows, and entryways, automatically making your residence look like a million bucks.

It is true that the lower roofs make the home seem cozy to few. However, rooms could end up looking cramped and dark, especially if you have several furniture items to accommodate in your house.

Even if you are just remodeling your residence, or doing a new paint job, the lower roofs will not help with the final look. Therefore, it is best to start with a standard or a high ceiling.

Do All Rooms Have the Same Height?

No, it usually differs from room to room. In general, hallways, bathrooms, and even closets have lower ceilings than the living room and bedrooms. Often, the living room has the highest roofs to add to the overall aesthetics of the home. That could vary between 13′ and 18′, depending on the architect or the homeowner’s preference.

In custom made houses, the entryways also make use of a high ceiling. The more expensive custom made residences go for roofs that are about 10′ to 12′. If it is a residential building, the ground floor flats will have the lowest roof.

What Height Is Good for the Living Room?

These generally range from 9’ to 14’ for the average households. However, there have been instances where they went as high as 20’ to 24’. You have to keep the height of the neighboring rooms in mind when setting a height for the living room. A higher roof here will add to the overall beauty of the home.

The Plus Points of a High Roof

Although there could be added costs, there are a number of reasons why you should opt for this, such as:

  • It gives a spacious look and feel
  • Accommodates more furniture, even the large ones, without making the rooms look cluttered
  • Living rooms, entryways, and staircases look grand
  • Since you can have bigger windows, there will be more natural light in your residence
  • A lot of people associate higher ceilings with the higher social class and hence, wealth

The Downsides of a High Roof

Since you will probably be requiring more sheetrock, wood, paint, and other materials, there will be higher costs than when you opt for a lower roof. And because of the additional labor, naturally, the prices will be bumped up. You might require other features such as crown molding.

Since there will be more space, you will have to spend extra to keep your home warm and cool as per your requirements. During summer, the high-roof rooms will be warmer near the floor. Also, it will be colder during the winter season. Therefore, you will have to invest in a good thermostat to alter the temperature throughout the entire year.

When you scale up the walls and roofs, decoration could cost more too. For instance, if you want to add wall decorations to cover the taller walls, you will end up spending more than you planned. Shorter furniture will not look quite as nice as the taller ones. Also, window coverings will need to be longer, too, to cover up bigger windows.

Commercial Building Requirements

In multifamily and commercial buildings, the ceiling goes up to 7 feet and 6 inches. This standard was set by the IBC. It applies to all rooms of the flat or residence, including the hallways.

The GSA, which is probably one of the most active lessees in the United States, also has a standard of their own. They have specified that small offices should make use of 8’ roofs. And a regular office could go up to 9’.

However, conference and training rooms should go for 10-foot roofs. If the workplace is required to have a mechanical equipment room, that needs to have a roof that is at least 12’ high.

Will Builders Charge Extra for 9’ Roofs?

If you are just a homeowner and wish to get a builder to make the perfect home for you, you should consider a 9 feet roof. Most builders will not charge extra for this process. Keep in mind that 9’ is the new standard.

If you wish to make higher ceilings, you could discuss additional costs, because what is important is that you get your perfect dream house.


Across certain jurisdictions, the typical distance upwards of the roof is not specified. Most residences today make use of 9 to 10 feet walls, and that is pretty perfect, regardless of how you want to decorate your abode.

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