I am building a modest priced house, which is only 1628 SF and I am wondering how much of a savings it might be to do 8 foot ceiling instead of the 9 foot.
I actually just talked to my builder about this very same thing! Well, in my case it was bringing my ceilings from 10' to 9' in about 1500 sq ft of my home.
I was trying to find $5000ish of savings, and he told me that there was no additional labour involved, just the extra cost of that 1' of wood and drywall. Though, he did say the difference is much great if you are talking about the ceilings below grade, in the basement.
You need to consider the ongoing cost of heating/cooling the extra cubic footage in addition to the materials cost. And IMO there is extra labor in that they have to cover more area so the work takes longer. (Think of it this way...if you were painting the rooms, which would you rather paint?) Also, if the 2x4s are longer they are each more expensive as you pay more for longer pieces of lumber. And will the higher ceilings affect your window sizes? Will they impact the height of the upper cabs in your kitchen? Will it affect the size of the crown molding you do in your rooms, if any?
That being said, we went with 9' ceilings and I love it.
You won't regret going with 9' ceilings, phoggie, especially in a house that size. It will help make the rooms feel larger. We were told that the cost went up only marginally for 9', but 10' was significantly more.
Your builder will be able to tell you the actual cost difference in the 8' vs 9' ceilings. Costs can vary so much depending on location.
But if at all possible, I'd go ahead with the 9' ceilings.
I think you'll love the feel of your rooms.
And if you plan to have ceiling fans, chandeliers, or any hanging light fixtures, it's so nice to have a little more room above your head.
I'd do 9' ceilings if you can afford to do so.
There are many people (myself included) who wouldn't consider buying a home with 8' ceilings. DH and my four sons are all over 6' 5" so it's like being in Lilliput land with them if they are in a home with "low" ceilings.
We got 9 ft ceilings downstairs and 8 ft upstairs, since that's the standard for new builds in this area and what our builder offered standard.
But I forgot that I've been living in old prewar apartments/houses for the last 10 years, and they all had high 9+ ft ceilings. So now the 8 ft feels a litle low to me. Too late for me, though!
Anyway, I think you should stick with the 9 ft.
Agreed, stick with 9ft. I would not buy a house with 8ft ceilings in the main rooms. The house we bought has mostly 9ft upstairs, but 2 of the bedrooms are 8ft ... it feels more closed-in in those bedrooms.
I grew up in an earth home with 8 foot ceilings throughout, and my parents still live there. It's always felt cozy and never cramped to me, but it helps that the entire south side of the house are windows facing a wide open prairie landscape, uninterrupted by other structures.
I live in an 8 ft ceiling house and it feels big to me. Of course, our foyer, it soars to 14-16 ft with the angle of the roof. I don't notice the extra foot that isn't there. I've never lived in a house with taller walls, though. My windows are huge. My dining room window alone is 120"x60". I have (4) 36x60" windows in my living room. The room feels rather large. The ONLY problem I have found is that when my dad and brother come over, they have to watch out for the ceiling fan. They are 6'2 and 6'4 respectively. My husband and I are both 5'7" so it doesn't bother us. When we build, we are going with 9 foot ceilings because I have a feeling my children are going to be tall boys. Maybe find a house with 8 foot ceilings and tour it to make sure that is the look you want in your home. Hope this helps you out.