Real Estate

9 feet ceiling upgrade for basement/2nd floor worth it?

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[OP]
Newbie
Feb 1, 2010
60 posts
2 upvotes
ON

9 feet ceiling upgrade for basement/2nd floor worth it?

Hello, all,

We have a friend that bought a new build in Ottawa and need to decide the structure upgrade very soon. The builder has 9 feet main floor as standard and offered 9 feet ceiling upgrade for 2nd floor and basement as a structure upgrade, each cost around 12K + HST tax, no negotiation room. The house is a double garage SFH around 2500 sqft, basement is around 820 sqft if finished by the builder. The house is for owners, not an investment property, but resale in the future should still be a consideration. He is undecided for whether to go for either or both upgrade, especially whether the basement ceiling upgrade is worth the price? What do your guys think and how do you think the upgrade will affects the resale price?
37 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2011
1174 posts
583 upvotes
GTA
I would do both, but for sure basement.
Jr. Member
Nov 24, 2010
182 posts
297 upvotes
Toronto
For sure the basement. The 2nd floor I would do as well if I had the extra money. It’s really something you can’t do after it’s built (at least without lots of money).
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 2, 2008
1716 posts
685 upvotes
The Capital
I would 100% do it in the basement, but I'd think about the "necessity" on the second floor... I look at my 8ft ceilings on the upstairs and I don't see a need for higher than that.
Deal Addict
Dec 24, 2009
1143 posts
978 upvotes
The higher the better, especially for resale
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
19105 posts
17443 upvotes
Tarrana & The Ri…
Would do both and these are features you can add to a listing when you sell the house.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 1, 2010
60 posts
2 upvotes
ON
Thanks all, I understand this is feature you can't upgrade later. But can you really get most of the money back on resale? I thought buyer does not care basement that much, also the two upgrade is around $27K after 13% tax, with close to 30K difference, I assume buyer could be looking for a house with 200 more square foot instead of the higher ceilings?
Deal Addict
Oct 21, 2006
1053 posts
826 upvotes
yes the basement upgrade to 9ft would be a good deal, as for myself I'm only 5'8 so 8ft ceiling for the 2nd floor is good enough lol
Newbie
User avatar
Sep 21, 2009
61 posts
19 upvotes
GTA
I would personally get the 9 feet basement, as mentioned you can't add it later and it is also a differentiator between a new 2021+ home and a lot of older homes which have lower ceilings across the board imo
Moderator
User avatar
May 27, 2007
16029 posts
4433 upvotes
Toronto
I would do both. $12k is quite reasonable considering some builders charge $25k+/floor.
It is a good investment and a huge selling point - especially for the basement. You will definitely get more than you paid for the upgrade when it comes time to sell.
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Member
Jun 28, 2009
322 posts
135 upvotes
I would prioritize the second floor ceilings if had to choose cause it’s being immediately used versus basement where you could or could not choose to finish.

Plus most cieling on second floor is usually 8 feet so 9 feet already makes the house unique.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
19105 posts
17443 upvotes
Tarrana & The Ri…
rebelxt2010 wrote: Thanks all, I understand this is feature you can't upgrade later. But can you really get most of the money back on resale? I thought buyer does not care basement that much, also the two upgrade is around $27K after 13% tax, with close to 30K difference, I assume buyer could be looking for a house with 200 more square foot instead of the higher ceilings?
It is night and day difference between 8 and 9ft. For instance, I didn't consider any house that was below 9ft upstairs. Can live with 8ft basement but would prefer 9ft. Makes the place look much bigger. I think it's good for resale and I'd say you should get the money back when it comes time to sell.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 14, 2006
9468 posts
2316 upvotes
If you plan on finishing your basement, then do the basement height upgrade. If it is unlikely you would finish it, don't do the basement upgrade. It won't do much in terms of value if the basement isn't finished but you've upgraded it to 9 ft ceiling.

Do the second floor upgrade instead as it seriously gives people a sense of more space and luxury.

If you can do both, then I'd recommend doing it but then it comes back down to the initial question if you plan to finish the basement.

9' main and second floor is becoming more and more common so you're prepping yourself for the future as it becomes standard. I'm starting to see 10' main and 9' second floor now but that's more of a luxury standard for expensive houses.
TEAM CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!
Sr. Member
Dec 18, 2003
600 posts
131 upvotes
Don't cheap out on 9ft ceiling , the whole house will feel so much bigger! if you have large window, upstairs you may beable to get away with 8ft ceiling, but the basement pay for the 9ft ceiling for sure, any pay for the biggest windows you can put in for the basement!
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 1, 2010
60 posts
2 upvotes
ON
Thanks all, didn't expect such a one-sided preference over taken both upgrade. I can definitely see the benefits of 9ft ceiling, but the lot and square footage of the house is on the smaller side among the SFH of the neighbourhood. For basement, many house in the area has Walkout basement, so this one even with 9ft ceiling won't really be able to standout. For the 2nd floor, it is still not a common standard yet, so it can be consider a great feature, but only problems are that people willing to pay more for it are likely looking for a bigger house which is common in the neighbourhood. If this is the 3000+ sqft ultimate home, it will be a no brainer. With the current structure upgrade, if both upgrade is included, and consider future design centre upgrade, I can see easily 120K+ or much more on upgrade, which from most new builder's pricing, could easily push towards a larger lot and 3000 sqft size house without as much upgrade. Just several years ago, I was offered 3000$ from builder to upgrade for 9 feet ceiling on my 2nd floor for my current house, which I declined, that was a huge mistake. The market has changed then, but certainly, I don't feel the upgrade price offered for this one 12K+tax is cheap at all. I am still leaning toward upgrade both for its functioning, but has doubts on that you can get the money back in resale.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 30, 2005
1849 posts
1434 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
What is the height of the basement now? For a 2500sqft house, 8/9/8 is fine and most wouldn't really care come time for you to sell; it's definately not a deal break for most, especially if you're talking about a sub 1m home. I'm in a 3000+ home and honestly, it doesn't really matter that the 2nd floor is only 8'.

Having said that, if all things being equal, would I pay an extra 30k for a home having the extra foot? Probably.
Sr. Member
Jun 11, 2006
549 posts
567 upvotes
rebelxt2010 wrote: Thanks all, didn't expect such a one-sided preference over taken both upgrade. I can definitely see the benefits of 9ft ceiling, but the lot and square footage of the house is on the smaller side among the SFH of the neighbourhood. For basement, many house in the area has Walkout basement, so this one even with 9ft ceiling won't really be able to standout. For the 2nd floor, it is still not a common standard yet, so it can be consider a great feature, but only problems are that people willing to pay more for it are likely looking for a bigger house which is common in the neighbourhood. If this is the 3000+ sqft ultimate home, it will be a no brainer. With the current structure upgrade, if both upgrade is included, and consider future design centre upgrade, I can see easily 120K+ or much more on upgrade, which from most new builder's pricing, could easily push towards a larger lot and 3000 sqft size house without as much upgrade. Just several years ago, I was offered 3000$ from builder to upgrade for 9 feet ceiling on my 2nd floor for my current house, which I declined, that was a huge mistake. The market has changed then, but certainly, I don't feel the upgrade price offered for this one 12K+tax is cheap at all. I am still leaning toward upgrade both for its functioning, but has doubts on that you can get the money back in resale.

I agree with you. Not many homes in Ottawa have 9ft ceilings on the 2nd floor, and while I think it would stand out, I don’t think it would be a dealbreaker for most people looking to buy a home. Besides the upgrade price, there are additional costs if you want to enlarge to doors etc. I’d spend the money instead on something else like h/w on the 2nd floor.

I think 9 ft ceilings in the basement would be nice.

Anyway, isn’t the advice not to choose upgrades based on resale value but what you want personally? I would choose upgrades that make a practical difference in my enjoyment of the house (eg h/w floors make it easier to clean for example) — unless you have money to burn, and if that’s the case, go nuts! :)
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 1, 2010
60 posts
2 upvotes
ON
The standard from the builder without upgrade is 8/9/8

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