RE: Re: ceiling heights
From: Prescott Nichols (
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2006 10:16:55 -0800 (PST)
James makes a good point about the economy of 8'-high ceilings. Everything
in the residential construction trade fits that by default. 

I would hesitate to equate higher ceilings with SUVs and McMansions,
however. A 10-foot ceiling permits transom windows which will bring daylight
deeper into the room than lower windows. Make those transoms operable and
now you can take advantage of the height to "stack ventilate" the high warm
air from the building at night. These qualities increase the livability and
energy efficiency of the home. 

Small rooms do fine with 8-foot ceilings, and can even seem distorted with
anything higher, but a typical cohousing living & dining space will benefit
from higher ceilings. That said, if heat loss, not cooling, is your biggest
concern, then the lower ceilings might make more sense for the bigger rooms,


-----Original Message-----
From: James Kacki [mailto:jimkacki [at]] 
Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 3:08 PM
To: jenny [at]; Cohousing-L
Subject: [C-L]_ Re: ceiling heights 

Jenny, -8' is very standard. Building materials come in 8' lengths 
economically.  It seems that the push for higher ceilings came about in 
the same way that the push for bigger cars, bigger garages, bigger 
houses etc. came about; i.e. material suppliers, developers, contractors 
etc. convincing people that they really need higher ceilings, bigger 
this, more of that, for a truly fulfilled life.
As an architect, my opinion is that if you have the money and want to 
spend it, go for 9' ceilings or 10' ceilings if it will make you happy. 
  However, my experience has been that 8' ceilings are perfectly fine 
and that spatial interplay, window/light manipulation, occasional high 
(even double height) spaces located for maximum effect will give you 
more 'bang for the buck' than an uninspired design with 9' ceilings. That's
just my opinion, others may disagree, -good luck with your home 
design, & keep dreaming!

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