Jerry Thomas-Construction Loans, Construction Loans in MI, OH, VA, GA and FL. (Cranbrook Loans)

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Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

I am not sure if this is the answer you are looking for, but appraisers are guided by ANSI standard Z765-2003. You can look there for greater detail. But I was able to find the following Ceiling Height Requirement:


"To be included in finished square footage calculations, finished areas must have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet (2.13 meters) except under beams, ducts, and other obstructions where the height may be 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 meters); under stairs where there is no specified height requirement; or where the ceiling is sloped. If a room’s ceiling is sloped, at least one-half of the finished square footage in that room must have a vertical ceiling height of at least 7 feet (2.13 meters); no portion of the finished area that has a height of less than 5 feet (1.52 meters) maybe included in finished square footage."

Nov 21, 2019 11:22 AM
Caroline Gerardo
Sun West Mortgage Corporation - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady nmls 324982

here is a HUD guideline for lower than normal ceiling 

 lower than normal ceiling heights, etc. Eligibility of these properties depends on whether or not the property is structurally sound and readily marketable. If a property meets these criteria, the appraiser estimates market value. However, depending on the uniqueness of a property, the final determination to accept or reject the property is made by the lending institution's underwriter.   So the answer is - subjective for an existing home. VA will be the most strict as the appraiser must assure the health and safety of the veteran. Conventional - Fannie the most forgiving 

Do you have a specific problem with a low ceiling room not being included in the square footage?  County or city local planning  and building codes  prevail and appraiser should use planning department guideance.  


Marshall Swift guidelines: › pdf › SE_SEG_Occupancy_Reference_061
Nov 21, 2019 12:16 PM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

The Fannie Mae 5′ Rule: Fact of Myth

Interesting discussion here Jerry but dated 2012 so would like for more current data.

check out these sites


Nov 21, 2019 11:15 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Interesting question.  I know most rooms have a minimum height out here, but don't know if that's a code issue or built for the six-foot plus people.

Nov 21, 2019 10:43 AM
Jerry Thomas-Construction Loans
Cranbrook Loans - Farmington Hills, MI
Construction Loans in MI, OH, VA, GA and FL.

Thanks to Joseph Domino. I yeild to anything an appraiser has to say but the rule on a flat ceiling seems to be 7 feet. If the ceiling has a slope to it, at least half the room has to have a ceiling at least 7 feet high. In addition you can only count the square footage where the roof is at least 5 feet high.

Nov 21, 2019 12:14 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I'll be reading all the answers here..... I can remember when the building code had a minimum room dimension of 7'.... 

Nov 21, 2019 11:28 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

To convert an upstairs to a duplex in our city we need an average 7 foot ceiling height, based on the answers below it looks like other municipalities have different standards.

Nov 21, 2019 11:17 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Thank you for asking this question, we are looking forward to the answer.  A

Nov 21, 2019 11:14 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Jerry Thomas-Construction Loans I believe it varies by municipality.

Nov 21, 2019 11:14 AM
Susie Kay
Ultra Real Estate Dallas Fort Worth - Plano, TX
North Dallas Specialist

I'm all ears.  Thanks for the question!

Nov 21, 2019 11:05 AM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

When I did appraisal school many moons ago, I measured to my shoulder height, which is about 4.5 feet. How's that for scientific? 

Nov 21, 2019 10:59 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

I'd think you'd have to be able to stand up in the room unless you're 7 feet or taller

Nov 23, 2019 06:17 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

This can be very specific to individual jurisdictions. In NC, the Real Estate Commission tells us what constitutes heated living area for square footage calculations. I have no idea about impact on loan programs... the issue has never come up.

Nov 22, 2019 03:46 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Just dropped by to see the answer, now I know

Nov 22, 2019 02:05 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

This is dictated by state law in NC. I believe it is 7 feet. 

Nov 22, 2019 01:55 AM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL

Thank you, Jerry Thomas-Construction Loans for great question. 

And thank you, Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 for an answer. 


Nov 21, 2019 08:22 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Good question. I did not know the answer but learned a few things from the responses!

Nov 21, 2019 04:47 PM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

Interesting question, will wait for answers. 

Thank you!

Nov 21, 2019 10:42 AM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

You have many great answers here 

Nov 23, 2019 12:56 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Looks like Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 nailed this one for you!

Nov 22, 2019 08:44 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Locally it's 6 feet.  We have a lot of A-frames with lofts where it's important to know where to measure to.

Nov 22, 2019 08:12 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

great ans below

Nov 22, 2019 08:17 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Reading the answers

Nov 22, 2019 04:50 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 seems to have your answer. Thanks for the question. Now many of us know!

Nov 22, 2019 03:50 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

Interesting question, Jerry, and I learned something new today.

Nov 21, 2019 10:30 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Great question. I learned something today.

Nov 21, 2019 02:27 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Good question, nice to read the answers.

Dec 02, 2019 08:05 AM