Does Removing Popcorn Ceiling Increase Home Value?

does removing popcorn ceiling add value

As a homeowner, you want to make improvements that will increase the value of your home.

One of the most common pieces of advice we hear is that popcorn ceilings should be the first to go if you’re renovating, but making that decision can be a difficult one.

You have to consider your renovation budget, potential hazards, how fast you’re looking to sell, among other matters we’ll cover.

That’s why today we’re going to help you answer the question: “Is it really worth it to remove the popcorn ceilings in my home?”

Let’s dive in.

A common question people like to ask is what is the cheapest way to cover a popcorn ceiling? Covering with decorative ceiling tiles or shiplap boards is the way to go. For more info, be sure to swing by our detailed guide.

Does Removing Popcorn Ceiling Add Value?

Removing the popcorn ceilings in your home is guaranteed to add value and make it more visually appealing. With that being said, there are a couple of things you want to consider.

The Size and Value of Your Home
The value gained compared to the cost to remove the popcorn ceiling will depend on the house.

For homes under $300,000, it might not be worth it from a financial standpoint. The added value will likely come in close to the cost of having them removed by professionals.

If your popcorn ceilings are still in good shape, you may be better off painting them and spending your renovation money elsewhere.

The tables start to turn in larger homes priced above $300,000; you can expect a higher increase in value. Generally speaking, the larger and more expensive your home, the more we recommend getting your popcorn ceiling removed.

Also see: How Much & Long Does It Take To Remove Popcorn Ceiling?

The Market
If your goal is to sell your home ASAP, removing your popcorn ceilings is the right choice.

Popcorn ceilings can be a make-or-break situation for some buyers, especially in larger, more expensive homes. Buyers will be hesitant if a lot of work is needed on a house that already costs $700,000.

Even in smaller, less expensive homes in higher demand, popcorn ceilings can make a difference in how fast you’re able to sell.

How Much Value Does Removing Popcorn Ceiling Add?

Removing the popcorn ceiling in a large, executive home can add $25,000 to $35,000 in value. In comparison, you might only see a value increase of about $2,500 for a $200,000 home with less square footage.

The numbers will vary depending on where you live. We recommend getting the input of a realtor with experience in your location.

What’s Bad About Popcorn Ceilings?

There are quite a few drawbacks to popcorn ceilings that make them less than desirable today; you should factor these into your decision-making.

Visual Appeal
Popcorn ceilings are widely considered outdated and will make your home feel that way too. If you’re looking to make your home more modern, they are the first thing that should go.

Homes built before the mid-’80s have a chance of containing asbestos. If you plan on doing any work on them, you’ll have to get them tested first, and it can lead to costly renovations.

Dust & Cleaning
While popcorn ceilings won’t create dust, it sure does attract it. Particles will get caught in the texture, and any disturbance to it can cause pieces to crumble off, which makes it difficult to clean.

Hard to Work With

A popcorn ceiling is hard to work with when it comes to installing light fixtures, a smoke alarm or hang things from. The thought could be enough to put off a prospective buyer.

The Rough Removal Cost Per Square Foot

The cost to remove your popcorn ceiling is going to vary depending on a few circumstances:

  • The cost of renovations where you live
  • If your ceiling contains asbestos
  • If your ceiling is painted or unpainted
  • If it’s DIY or professionally done (Only take on the project yourself if your ceilings don’t contain asbestos. If they do, you’ll want to bring in a specialist)

Let’s look at a cost overview, including regular and asbestos popcorn ceilings.

No Asbestos

Removing your popcorn ceiling yourself can save you a lot of money, but it’s a messy job and requires time and patience not to wreck the surface underneath. On average, it will cost:

Unpainted – $.30-$.50 per square foot
Painted – $0.80-$1.00 per square foot

You can expect to pay between $50 -$200 on tools and materials in total.

Hiring a professional will be more costly, but it’ll save you the trouble, and you can be confident there won’t be any unnecessary damage. On average, hiring a professional will cost:

Unpainted – $1.00-$2.50 per square foot
Painted – $1.50-$3.00 per square foot

Most homeowners spend between $1,010-$2,260, with a national average of $1,710.


If you suspect your ceilings may contain asbestos, there are a couple of ways you can get them tested.

  • Take a sample to an EPA accredited lab: $70-$150
  • Have it tested by a professional: $250-$800

If your ceiling does end up containing asbestos, the cost to remove them will be much higher because of the hazard involved. Expect to pay:

  • $3.00-$7.00 per square foot
  • Up to an additional $2,750 in extra fees

Final Thoughts

There’s no argument that removing your popcorn ceilings will increase the value of your home and make it more appealing. But there’s no clear answer if it’s the right choice for you and your situation.

If you’re open to alternative methods, you can also cover up your popcorn ceiling instead of entirely removing it.

Weigh all your options carefully, and I’m confident you’ll make the right decision.

  • Gregory A Seely
  • Gregory A Seely

    Greg is a self taught home renovator and writer for RenoViso. His shares his experiences with Southern Living, Traditional Home and other publications.

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