RE: Re: ceiling heights
From: Jenny Williams (
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2006 11:43:21 -0800 (PST)
Cooling is slightly more of an issue here than heat.  But we'll also
have a whole house fan, that can suck the hot air out in the evening
during the summer.  My only real concern is the kitchen/eating/living
room portion of our house, which will be all open.  I'm not sure how
that would look with 8' ceilings, even with soffits strategically


-----Original Message-----
From: Prescott Nichols [mailto:pnichols [at]] 
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 11:21 AM
To: 'Cohousing-L'
Subject: RE: [C-L]_ Re: ceiling heights 

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, too.


-----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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