Lowering ceiling costs

During a renovation, relocation or refurbishment of your home, it may be necessary to lower a ceiling. You may want to put up insulation for a better indoor climate, install lighting or conceal cables. A suspended ceiling can be the solution for this. If you have experience with renovations, you can decide to do it yourself. It is also possible to hire a handyman for the work. There are costs involved in both situations.

The costs

The price you pay for lowering your ceiling depends on a number of factors. There’s the finish, the surface and the cost for the professional. The total price is divided into materials and working hours. The following table gives an indication. If you want to know what it costs for you to lower a ceiling (or have it lowered), it is best to request quotations.

Lower ceiling cost item Average price
Materials (gypsum boards, raster) $13 – $22 per 11 ft2
Sealing tape $6,45 for 16 ft2
Rock wool $4,75 per 11 ft2
Stucco $13 – $17 per 11 ft2
Hourly rate handyman $13 – $30 per hour
Hourly rate painter $30 – $40 per hour


Lowering the ceiling yourself: the cheapest option you have is to buy the materials and carry out the work yourself. You’ll need the necessary tools and some do-it-yourself experience. It’s not that hard, you just need to have the time and energy to do it. By doing this yourself you’ll pay about $20 per 11 square foot.

Having the ceiling lowered: you can also choose to have the heavy work done by a professional, but doing the finishing yourself. A handyman can lower and insulate the ceiling, but you can install the sealing tape and paint the ceiling yourself. This way you can leave the difficult part to a professional and still save money on the final costs.

Outsourcing everything: if you don’t want to have to worry about the work and also want as little inconvenience as possible, you can hire a handyman for the job. He’ll lower and insulate the ceiling, install any lighting and lay the cables, install the sealing tape and, if necessary, plaster the ceiling. A painter can finish the job. This is the most expensive option, but it can be completed within one day.

The price structure

If you decide to lower your ceiling yourself, you only pay for the materials. You avoid all labor costs. In the case of a job where you outsource everything, the ratio is 54 percent labor costs to 44 percent materials. The remaining 2 percent are for any call-out costs, should these be charged. By doing the work yourself, you save 56 percent on the total costs. If you don’t have any tools yourself, such as a drilling machine, you’ll have to make an investment. This is not included in the calculation. The following diagram shows the price structure once again.

Choices that influence the price

Factors such as the size of the ceiling are beyond your control, but there are a number of choices you can make that may increase or decrease the total price. Here are a few of them.

Is there insulation or no insulation?

It’s not necessary to install insulation in your suspended ceiling. It may be unnecessary if your house is already well insulated. Otherwise, you can use insulation material to ensure that the heat in the room underneath is better preserved. This means that you’ll save on heating to keep the room at the right temperature. A lot of heat is lost through the ceiling and roof and insulation can be bought for as cheap as $6 per 11 square foot.

What about stucco or no stucco?

If you choose to have your ceiling finished by a plasterer, It’ll cost you more. However, this provides the tightest finish and can be followed by a lick of paint. Alternatively, you can also seal the seams and screws and paint them over.

Do it yourself or outsource it?

Lowering the ceiling yourself is the cheapest option; you only pay for the materials. If it is important that the work is done properly and professionally, then you’ll probably be willing to pay for it to be carried out by a professional. The price for a suspended ceiling of 10 inch x 16 inch is around $1225. Doing it yourself will get it done in just over $440.

Interesting savings tips

The price you will pay for your suspended ceiling therefore depends mainly on the size of the job. Here are a few tips to help you keep these costs as low as possible.

  • Local manpower: by looking for your professionals in your own area, you can sometimes avoid the call-out costs completely. These often start when a distance of more than 12 miles has to be covered. In addition, you will have all the regional knowledge and contacts of the professional at your fingertips.
  • No plastering: plastering the ceiling is nice, but not necessary. By neatly finishing the holes and cracks and then painting the ceiling, you should get the same result. If you have a limited budget, it might be better not to do any plastering at all.
  • Do part of it yourself: you can also have the difficult work done by the professionals and do the rest yourself. Paintwork and sealing, for example. This allows you to save on labor costs.

Compare quotations

Would you like to save even more and find out exactly what you will be paying for your lowered ceiling? If so, it is best to start by collecting quotations. Our comparison tool will do this for you. With no obligations, you can expect a number of quotations from companies in your region. This service is free and can save you up to 40 percent on the total price.