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Old 01-15-2012, 09:03 AM
 
33 posts, read 139,911 times
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We are in the middle of house-hunting, and debating whether or not we should consider houses with 2-storey living rooms (>20ft celings).

1. Pros and Cons.
2. Are they on their way out?
3. Are we better off looking at houses that have vaulted ceilings that are in the 12-14 ft range?
4. Would 2-storey living room be a plus or minus when it comes to selling the house, say 8-10 years down the road?
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
40,132 posts, read 69,445,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bounge View Post
We are in the middle of house-hunting, and debating whether or not we should consider houses with 2-storey living rooms (>20ft celings).

1. Pros and Cons.
2. Are they on their way out?
3. Are we better off looking at houses that have vaulted ceilings that are in the 12-14 ft range?
4. Would 2-storey living room be a plus or minus when it comes to selling the house, say 8-10 years down the road?
Sometimes your climate is a huge player in the consideration.

2 story is easier to cool.
1 story is easier to heat.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:12 AM
 
33 posts, read 139,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
Sometimes your climate is a huge player in the consideration.

2 story is easier to cool.
1 story is easier to heat.
Thanks Mike! So, is it safe to say that the extra heating bill during winters can be compensated by lower cooling costs in the summer?

Mike, in your experience, when should show houses, how do buyers feel about houses with 2-storey living rooms. Do they see it as a plus or something they prefer to avoid?
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:13 AM
 
Location: NC
1,873 posts, read 2,160,155 times
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I wouldn't want ceilings higher than 10 feet max, and the standard 8 feet is fine with me. Tall ceilings waste energy and beyond a comfortable minimum, the larger the volume in a room, the less cozy and personal it seems. A 2 story ceiling is unnecessarily showy IMO.

However, I suspect I'm in the minority so I don't think they've gone out of style and I don't know if they will or not.

FWIW http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...y-rooms-spaces

Last edited by Midpack; 01-15-2012 at 09:35 AM..
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
12,554 posts, read 23,813,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bounge View Post
4. Would 2-storey living room be a plus or minus when it comes to selling the house, say 8-10 years down the road?
IMHO, in 10 years, buyers will be more concerned about energy costs, and the 2-story living room will be seen as a big waste of space. I think the "green", not-so-big house is the wave of the future. If you are looking for volume, the 10-foot boxed or tray ceiling is nice and not too excessive.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:18 AM
 
Location: NC
1,873 posts, read 2,160,155 times
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Originally Posted by bounge View Post
So, is it safe to say that the extra heating bill during winters can be compensated by lower cooling costs in the summer?
No way, two rooms of the same size and insulation maintained at the same temps, the one with cathedral or taller ceilings will have higher net energy usage and cost. The airflow will be different but more volume will use more energy, whether you go sideways (more floor sf) or up...

Last edited by Midpack; 01-15-2012 at 09:38 AM..
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
40,132 posts, read 69,445,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bounge View Post
Thanks Mike! So, is it safe to say that the extra heating bill during winters can be compensated by lower cooling costs in the summer?

Mike, in your experience, when should show houses, how do buyers feel about houses with 2-storey living rooms. Do they see it as a plus or something they prefer to avoid?
We are in a heating/cooling zone where the energy savings and comfort during cooling season is certainly a consideration.

Convection stratifies hot and cold layers, so a 2nd level air return pulling warm air off the top, and delivery of cool air to the lower level can make for a very efficient system, particularly in terms of comfort delivered for the price. Heating is a little more difficult.


I would say I see a pendulum swing slightly away from high ceilings.
But, I have not worked with anyone who prefers 8 foot ceilings over 9 foot ceilings.
And I love our two story family room. It enhances home comfort more than a two story foyer, which generally is just for show.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
1,054 posts, read 1,870,688 times
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From a "Hmmm...I never thought about that until I had one" point of view:

Everytime I've had a 2 story family room, the acoustics are awful. It's really difficult to hear the TV. I can crank the volume up so high that the people in the rooms on the 2nd floor can hear the TV clearly, but I have trouble hearing it when I'm sitting 10 feet in front of it. You need to have a lot of soft material in the room to absorb the sound and keep it from bouncing all over.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:27 AM
 
33 posts, read 139,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
And I love our two story family room. It enhances home comfort more than a two story foyer, which generally is just for show.
What about the complaints on noise I read on forums?
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
12,475 posts, read 30,672,960 times
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In this area, we used to have 8 ft. ceilings. Then homes went to 9 ft. ceilings. It makes a difference.

Many of the brand new homes now have 10 ft. ceilings. Buyers seem to enjoy vaulted ceilings, tray ceilings, etc. The two story family rooms still get "wows" when you walk in; however, I have had a few buyers concerned about the heating and cooling. Sometimes I think it depends on the price range.

For example...if you are buying a $150,000 home, that 2 story family room means you'll have less sq. footage since there won't be a room above that 2 story family room.

If you are buying a $300,000 home and don't need that additional square footage, the 2 story family room or 2 story foyer give you an amazing amount of light (with extra windows) and lots of "wow" factor.

So...the answer is...it depends!

Vicki
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