Q. My wife and I are planning to build a new home soon. We have been working with a draftsman on house plans. We have been checking out friends’ and neighbors’ houses, looking at details and. trying to decide what we like and do not like. One thing that bothers me is when a 9 foot ceiling is used (we like the taller ceilings) often an 8 foot door is used. If you have a 3 1/2 inch trim, things seem out of proportion especially with a crown molding around the ceiling. Are there other options for doors when the ceiling is 9 feet? — Gary of Auburn

A. As the popularity of 9 feet or taller ceilings has increased, issues of what to do with the added wall space to get a proportional great look that will stand the test of time have increased.

You mentioned that a draftsman was working on plans. Yes, some design programs have software that will layer, and problem solve standard home plan applications.

Basically, you are getting someone who is plugging in what your requests are. Professional architects will help problem solve individually from both an engineering and design point of view.

Since forever, the standard height of doors has been 6 feet, 8 inches. They are the most readily available and are the perfect height for most homeowners.

Several things can be done to make the space above the door unique but functional. Transoms are the first that come to mind. They usually are 10-12 inches tall and sit on top of a 6 feet, 8 inches door. Sometimes these can be custom made but the resulting look must be well planned.

I think the best result is for the transom to look like an operational window sash like in the old days. A glass transom can also let light into the room without the door being open. Sometimes on interior walls, like a pantry, an obscure glass panel can be a good look.

Also, a solid panel like a cabinet door above the 6 feet, 8 inches can add accent to trim casings.

Jeff Deahl is past president of the Builders Association of Northeast Indiana. Questions for the Square Corners column may be submitted to jeff@craftsman-design.com.

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