If you have an older home with 8 foot ceilings, you might want to increase the ceiling height to a more modern 9 foot ceiling or even higher. Remodeling seems scary to most people, but there are ways to have a budget friendly remodel.
For a grand change in ceiling height, you can vault the ceiling. Vaulting requires removing the existing 8 foot ceiling and framing the attic space above at the highest point possible, resulting in a sloped ceiling. Vaulting a ceiling in a larger room often requires structural beams or supports to be added. Many homes have a vaulted living room ceiling that makes a small room appear much larger.
If you have room in your attic, you can raise the ceiling height in rooms with an 8 foot ceiling, however you will most likely need to angle the sheetrock starting at the top of the exterior wall towards the center of the room to follow the roof line. Once you get to the height desired, make the ceiling parallel to the floor.
A tray ceiling is a ceiling that steps up in the middle to a higher ceiling height. If you have an 8 foot ceiling with an attic above, you can do a minor remodel to the ceiling of one or more rooms of your home to increase the ceiling height in the middle of the room to 9 foot or more, depending on the available space in your attic. This remodel will require new framing, drywall, paint, and possible electric work. Tray ceilings often also include crown molding. The price of a remodel like this starts at $250 per room.
Not to be confused with a tray ceiling, a coffered ceiling uses multiple trays creating a grid pattern in the ceiling. A coffered ceiling does not make a ceiling height taller since the grid on the ceiling remains 8 foot tall and the many trays increase to 9 foot. Coffered ceilings are often added below ceilings in rooms with very high ceilings to make the ceiling feel lower and the room more cozy.