How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Ceiling?

Scott Dylan Westerlund
Updated November 28, 2021
beautiful living room with high ceiling
neonshot – stock.adobe.com

The average cost to raise a ceiling is between $16,000 and $24,000

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Raising a ceiling makes a room feel grander, and it’s a design upgrade worth considering if you'd like to make a room feel bigger when you can't add space horizontally. While the average homeowner pays between $16,000 and $24,000 for a vertical expansion, it can also raise the roof on your home's value by an average of $19,200. Here’s a breakdown of the cost to raise a ceiling

How Much Does It Cost To Raise a Ceiling by Square Foot?

Most homeowners pay around $60 per square foot to raise a ceiling. The price range for this project—between $50 and $75 per square foot—varies by home type and location.

What Type of Raised Ceiling Can I Get on My Budget?

Curious to know just how grand you can go when raising your ceiling? Take a look at what it costs to have a show-stopping ceiling that floats to the high heavens.

$20,000

If you're willing to spend between $18,000 and $25,000, that puts you in the neighborhood for a vaulted ceiling. The term "vaulted" refers to ceilings beyond 10 feet. It typically means having the top of your ceiling reach 11 feet to 13 feet.

$25,000

If you're craving extreme height, opt for a cathedral ceiling. Any ceiling that's 13 feet or higher is considered a cathedral ceiling.

$50,000

If you want to give your basement more ceiling height, there's actually a way to raise the ceiling without leveling the house. Often referred to as "lowering the basement" by contractors, this upgrade creates more vertical height and costs between $50,000 and $90,000. With excavation costs ranging from $350 to $450 per linear foot, the total price tag depends on your basement's size.

$90,000

If you're ready to raise the ceiling in your attic, expect to pay $60 per square foot for an average cost of $90,000 for an attic covering 1,500 square feet. The reason why this high-ceiling project has the highest cost is that you'll need to alter your roof structure to get it done.

How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Ceiling Yourself?

Raising a ceiling is not a DIY project—one wrong move could quite literally cause the ceiling to come crashing down on you. It's important to have a contractor help determine the feasibility of safely raising your ceiling based on the structure of your home.

Here's a tip: If you're looking to cut costs on this project, there's one DIY aspect to consider doing on your own. It's often necessary to remove a drop ceiling before raising a ceiling. This is something that most homeowners can do if they have the time. However, removing a drop ceiling isn't typically a bank-breaking project, so if you don't have time to do it yourself, it costs around $1 and $2 per square foot.

Cost Breakdown for Raising a Ceiling

You're mostly paying for time and expertise when having a ceiling raised or vaulted. Here’s how the costs break down.

Engineer

A structural engineer is a key player in determining the viability of your project. This is often the first pro you'll talk to when planning your project; expect to pay $500 for this consultation.

Architect

A project architect is the person behind the magic of taking your ceiling to new heights. Expect to pay $5,300 to your architect for designing, planning, and overseeing the project.

Demolition and Disposal of Materials

The old ceiling must come down before the new one can go up. The total cost for demolishing the existing roof and disposing of the materials is around $4,000.

Roof Framing Reinforcement

The cost for ensuring stability between your new ceiling and roof is around $4,500. This cost also covers ceiling joist removal.

Electrician

An electrician charges around $3,000 to rewire a home to account for the raised ceiling.

Insulation

Insulation for your new ceiling will cost around $1,500 to install.

Drywall

The typical drywall cost to cover a newly raised ceiling is around $4,000.

Painting

Once your new ceiling is in place, you'll need to clean it up with a fresh coat of paint for a perfectly polished finishing touch. This usually costs $2,000.

Building Permit

Raising a ceiling is a project that will almost certainly require a permit regardless of where you live. Permits for a project of this scope typically range between $400 and $1,900.

Ceiling Fan

Your ceiling’s new height is perfect for creating some fresh airflow with the help of a ceiling fan. Consider this the cherry on top of a newly vaulted ceiling. A ceiling fan costs just $250 for professional installation.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Raise Your Ceiling?

Roof Type

What's on top matters when it comes to how much it will cost to raise your home’s ceiling. Expect some cost savings if you have a stick-framed roof because this roof style creates better accessibility for professionals. A truss roof can make this project more expensive because your contractor won’t have as much room for customization due to its pre-engineered style.

Wall Type

If the walls supporting the ceiling you want to raise are load-bearing, your project cost will need to be bumped up to account for changing structural components.

Age of Home

The time period when your home was built can impact the cost to raise a ceiling. If your home was built before the 1980s, you might need to consider asbestos remediation because many popcorn ceilings from the 1940s through the 1970s contain asbestos. According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost for asbestos removal is $2,021.

FAQs About Raising a Ceiling

How high should I raise my ceiling?

Vaulted ceilings can potentially increase a home's value by 25%. The minimum height required for a high ceiling is 11 feet. However, homeowners can enhance their home’s wow factor by going well above 13 feet for cathedral ceilings. With the price increase being relatively small when you go higher, it's usually worth it to raise your ceilings to 13 feet if your budget and house structure allow.

What other projects should I do at the same time?

Here are some other projects to consider as you're opening everything up in a room:

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