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Popcorn Ceilings – Are They Really So Bad?

Popcorn Ceiling

As I was suffering with allergies last month, praying the medicine would work, and wishing I could at least start to half-breath again, I took respite on my living room sofa and laid there for a while, like a zombie, staring at my ceiling, meditating and trying to will my sinuses into operation.

As I did so, I made an odd observation. “This is one of the nicest popcorn ceilings I’ve ever seen!”, I thought. I continued examining the ceiling, from corner to corner. Not a blemish, stain or evidence of previous repair or patchwork anywhere. No discoloration around the A/C vents. No defects at all. The popcorn ceilings in my house are, in a word, pristine. Not bad for a late-1970s ranch-style home that’s spent over half its life as a rental.

Many home owners scrape their popcorn ceilings (aka Acoustic Ceilings). If you hire someone to do it, it costs roughly $1.00 per square foot to remove and re-texture, depending on various factors such as the ceiling height, the type of paint that’s been applied to to ceilings, and whether it has asbestos (as much popcorn did up until the 1970s).

When we list homes in Austin with popcorn ceilings, and seek feedback from Realtors who show the home, we’ll often hear “the buyers didn’t like the popcorn ceilings”. Often, a listing in 1970s Austin neighborhoods will boast of the popcorn removal. In our Austin MLS right now, there are comments in listings that say (actual quotes):

… popcorn removal & paint 2007
… NO popcorn here
… ceiling popcorn removed
… owners have gone through the trouble to remove the popcorn ceilings
… NO POPCORN ceilings

People hate popcorn ceilings. But as I look at my own vintage 1978 popcorn ceilings, and how perfect they are, I wonder what all the fuss is about.

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Posted by Steve
7 years ago