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jrepp 10-02-2008 11:03 AM

Basement ceiling height?
I am in the design phase of my basement, I must be old school, I always thought basements had 8 foot ceilings, but now I hear 9 foot or more may be common. What is the latest recommendation for height?

DangerMouse 10-02-2008 11:14 AM

i think the ceiling should be low enough to touch the walls.... walls should be low enough to touch the floor. j/k it's a matter of taste i think, so design it as high as you want to! perhaps the 9 ft. preference is to allow more room for ducting, etc and still have an 8' ceiling if installed? but what do i know? i'm just a mouse.....


joed 10-02-2008 12:23 PM

Higher ceilings are becoming more common as people use their basements as regular living space in their homes. Previously basements were for storage or the work shop.

jogr 10-02-2008 01:22 PM

An 8 foot foundation wall doesn't get you an 8' ceiling. Subtract out the 4" slab, floor covering, beams, ductwork, plumbing, dropped ceiling and before you know it it's uncomfortable for daily living space.

Since you are in the planning stages definitely go with 9' it costs very little more if your contractor already has the formwork. I've even seen 10' and wow what a roomy place for a rec room or shop!

KHouse75 10-03-2008 03:20 AM

You can make it as deep as you want.

I'm building my house now with a fully inground basement. I had the basment company pour solid 10' high concrete walls.

The height from the concrete floor to the bottom of the I-Joists is 9' 8" due to the 4" floor.

I highly recommend adding egress window openings if fully inground even if unfinished. You don't want to go back after and install them. I also highly recommend an exterior staircase to get large things in and out if fully inground.

The first floor is 3,337 sq ft so the basement is probably 3,100 sq ft. We were going to do 9' but the extra 1' height added very little to the cost.

If you have the attic space, I'd put the HVAC up there and keep the basement ceiling free of duct work.

jogr 10-06-2008 08:57 AM

You will be very glad you paid a little extra for the 10' basement.

A note of caution about below grade egress windows and below grade exterior basement steps. It is very very important to design these for good drainage away from the house and frequently maintain the drains. They very often end up causing water problems from inadequate drainage or clogging of the drains from windblown leaves and debris.

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