What is the benefit of building a home with 9ft ceilings vs. 10ft ceilings?
Is this the new trend for aesthetics, or is there some other benefit?
Does it cost more to cool/heat rooms with higher ceilings?
Through the ”70s and well into the ’80s, 8 foot tall ceilings were the rule, and bathroom ceilings were typically dropped to 7 feet. Today, 9 foot ceilings are the rule.
My home plan website, http://www.originalhome.com/, allows our customer to select between 8 and 9 foot ceilings. Most select the taller option. However, we haven’t seen enough interest in 10 foot ceilings to offer this as an option.
The primary reason to build higher ceilings is aesthetic. Taller spaces generally feel roomier and more comfortable and more luxurious.
There’s definitely a regional difference in ceiling height preferences. Southern climates generally have higher ceilings because warm air will rise to the ceiling while the lower, inhabited area of the room stays cooler. As you point out, this means that taller ceilings are more expensive to heat.
You’re also correct that it’s slightly more expensive to build taller ceilings; the walls are taller and require more material. Tall ceilings also require a larger budget for taller windows and doors which must be proportional to the room height.
For a further discussion of this issue, you may want to look at this NY Times article:
David Moore, AIA
Original Home Plan