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How High of a Ceiling Do I Need in My Shop?

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

When building a shop, one of the first design decisions you will have to make is how tall your ceiling needs to be. And, like all design questions, the answer is, “it depends.”

It depends largely on what you plan on using the shop for and what size of vehicles will be stored there.

12’ high ceilings are the lowest we recommend. But for most agricultural and commercial purposes our clients typically get 14’-20’ high ceilings.

The higher the ceiling, the more versatile it becomes. Shop owners rarely regret having too much space and going up is a way to do that.

Vehicle Clearances

The max legal road height for vehicles is 14’. If you have large trucks or RVs, you will need the ceiling to be at least 16’ to accommodate the 14’ door.

When working with large equipment such as dump trucks, semi’s, or agricultural equipment you will want a ceiling height that accommodates them. It is not uncommon to build agricultural and commercial buildings with 20’ or higher ceilings.

Mezzanines, Storage, & More

Tall ceilings also give you the ability to build to expand your usable space. Mezzanines are a great option for office, storage areas, or extra living space inside your shop.

Mezzanines require a minimum 16’ interior ceiling height. With a 16’ ceiling, you will have 8’ below the mezzanine and 7’ above the mezzanine as the floor is usually 1’ thick. If you want a taller ceiling in the mezzanine, the overall ceiling height will have to be taller.

Air filtration systems, ceiling fans, and most ventilation systems will require higher ceilings. Also, shelving and rack systems can utilize the vertical space created by higher ceilings.

Finally, if you are looking to add a crane, hoist, or car lift, you want to make sure there is enough vertical space to work in.

These are just a few things to consider when planning the ceiling height in your shop.

Leave a comment below to let us know what ceiling height is best for you!

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