Is there a Standard Ceiling Height for New Homes?

Is there a standard ceiling height for new homes in the Raleigh, North Carolina area?  Raleigh Custom Builder Questions

As a custom home builder in the Raleigh NC area, we are often asked what to look for when researching new home costs and features.  Below, you’ll find answers to common questions such as: “What ceiling height is considered standard in custom homes?” “What is the ideal height for a great room ceiling?” and “What does it cost to increase ceiling heights?

Looking for answers to questions about how to build a new home? Contact us directly, and we’ll help get you started.

Ceiling Height Raleigh New Homes

What is standard in new homes, 8′ or 9′ ceilings?

Custom, semi-custom, and production new home builders have different standards for ceiling height on the first and second floor of your home. An 8 ft ceiling on the first floor has become virtually outdated in today’s home market. It makes rooms feel smaller and less accommodating even in homes with a large footprint.

Although 8 foot ceilings can still be found in entry-level homes, most new custom home builders incorporate 9 ft ceilings on the first floor, and 8 ft ceilings on the second floor. Many popular floor plans also include at least one raised, vaulted or two story room.

Stanton Homes can include: trey ceilings in the Formal Dining room and Master Suite, barrel vaults in the Foyer, and a raised, vaulted or two story room, depending upon the floor plan you select and the custom modifications we can make to fit your lifestyle.

What is the best height for a great room or living room ceiling?

In custom homes we’ve completed most recently, living room and great room ceiling heights have ranged from 9′, 10′, 14′, and even 20′ to 24′. See our great room photo gallery, here.

The ideal height for your great room depends upon many factors, including the height of surrounding ceilings. Variation in ceiling height designed to fit the layout can define rooms and make an open plan even more appealing. A two story foyer and vaulted great room are a commonly requested pairing in new custom homes.

How tall are two story ceilings?

How tall are “two story ceilings”? Something to keep in mind when factoring the math of any custom home is the space inside the walls in addition to the room size. Inside Stanton Homes, a two story ceiling is generally going to be 18 feet tall. Here’s how that works: 9′ first floor + 8′ second floor + approx. 1′ of “floor” between the levels = 18′ floor to ceiling distance. 

Are vaulted living rooms considered “two story”?

Yes, according to many architects, floor plans with vaulted ceilings are considered to be two story rooms. If you are unsure how tall the ceilings are in a floor plan you’re considering building, go over the details with your builder during floor plan review meetings and designer appointments.

What key terms should I know, when asking about ceiling heights and features?

coffered ceiling is a specialty ceiling treatment, which divides a ceiling into a grid of recessed panels accented by dropped beams, usually in the form of multiple squares or rectangles.

The Cotswold | Two Story Great Room Ceilings

cathedral ceiling provides a high sloping line up to the top of the house. A vaulted ceiling extends a room upward. Both provide a spacious feeling and make rooms feel larger.

Two Story Windows

Ceilings can feature wood beams (stained or unstained) that are load bearing or decorative.

Stained Beams | Downstairs Bedroom Plan Chapel Hill NC

A tray ceiling (also called trey ceiling) is an artistic element added to “drop” or “raise” a ceiling depending on what is above the room, and what the ceiling height is.

Master suite with sitting room and balcony

barrel vault ceiling, also known as a tunnel vault or wagon vault, creates a curved surface.

Barrel Vault Ceilings

See samples of custom ceiling heights and design features available, such as a coffer ceiling, cathedral ceiling, double vault, reverse trey, and many others (click here to see our photo galleries).

Don’t Assume Ceiling Height – Ask For It – In Writing

Most custom home builders will create 9 ft ceilings on the first floor and 8 ft ceilings on the second floor, unless you request something else – but don’t take that for granted.

If you don’t see a height specified in your bid or build documentation, be sure to ask that it be included in the written information. You may be surprised to find out that some top custom home builders, such as Stanton Homes, don’t even charge extra. But other home builders may just give your home 8 foot ceilings because it’s less expensive – and if you don’t ask about the height, they may assume it does not matter to you.

full, written package of everything that’s included will help you compare custom home builders – and understand what exactly will be included in your new Raleigh custom home. Comparing line-by-line, you may find some gaps in what’s provided that you didn’t expect, as not all custom home builders offer the same amenities, processes and services.

It’s also a very good idea to walk through homes by the builder containing the same set of standards included in your quoted package before committing to a particular custom home builder.  Model homes usually have a tremendous amount of options that make the home look really spectacular – but very few of the special features in model homes are included in “standard” packages. It’s important to know just what you’re getting for that quote.

Contact Stanton Homes with your custom home builder questions, here. We’ll give you a cost breakdown on your favorite floor plan, when you’re ready to build.