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Question DetailsAsked on 10/1/2017

I have a very short ceiling in my living room, about 7.5 ft, What are some ways to get more headroom?

I have no attic space

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Anything less than 7' is "very short" - normal is 7-7-1/2 feet from subfloor sheathing to ceiling - so actually normally a half inch to inch less than that with flooring. A full 8 feet in a house is considered taller than normal these days.


Anyway, unless you gain gain a significant amount by replacing thick flooring (especially if you have several layers - like carpet over laminate or hardwood or tile say), you are talking major cost to gain the half foot or foot you want, in most cases.


If a slab-on-grade foundation, you can dig down and put in a new lower concrete slab, but then you have a step-down into the room which many people want to eliminate, not cause - depressed floor living or rec rooms went out in popularity about the early 80's. Commonly $10,000-30,000 range when all is said and done.


To raise the ceiling, generally that would require raising the roof - occasionally in the $5000 range but probably more commonly $10,000 or more - more than most people want to spend to get a bit higher ceiling. People do sometimes do that - but in moist cases they also add another story at least over that room (or more commonly that end of the house) as long as the roof is being torn off - to actually get some more square footage out of the deal too - though of course more like $50,000-100,000 range for that sort of thing.


Another option, depending on room use and lot size and available funds and such, is converting that room in playroom or den or hobby/storage or such use, and build a new addition for living room use - either a true living room or perhaps a sunroom/observatory or such - many times that is a more desireable solution than raising the roof for instance because you get exactly the space you want (assuming this is your "forever" home) and get additional usable square footage (both for use and alos adding resale value).


Probably your best bet, if those numbers did not knock your socks off, is to get an architect into the picture to run a couple of conceptual plans and generate conceptual costs on them - and to advise on whether local zoning codes raise the roof or add another story or such in your specific location. He/she can also advise you on ceiling treatments that might give an impression of more height - for instance, plain glossy or semi-gloss painted flat ceilings visually give the impression of being lower than stippled or transition-painted ceilings. Ditto with darker paint and dark flooring, as well as poorly lit rooms. Flat (as opposed to peaked) ceilings with exposed beams (especially if running the length of the room) also tend to make the ceiling appear lower. High-mounted sconces and valence lighting can also be used to make the ceiling appear higher. So perhaps he/she can suggest some sort of nominal cost treatment to visually reduce the cave effect at a pretty minimal cost - then reconsider from there if that does not do the job.




Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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