Does It Cost More to Have Vaulted Ceilings in a House?

What’s a cathedral ceiling?

You could have guessed that cathedral ceilings originated from their namesake – cathedrals. A cathedral ceiling is outlined architecturally as a ceiling which slopes upward from the partitions, following the slope of the underside of the roof. The symmetry and the truth that it mirrors the pitch of the roof is the distinguishing distinction between a cathedral ceiling and a vaulted ceiling. Vaulted ceilings can have curved or straight sides and symmetrical or asymmetrical traces. Whereas these two architectural phrases are sometimes interchanged now, it’s vital to know the distinction.

Cathedral ceilings are well-liked for his or her potential to rework a bedroom, living room or any open area in your own home. They create a grand and ethereal really feel in addition to the phantasm of more room. Extra area permits for bigger home windows and due to this fact – extra pure mild. Win, win, win! The one draw back is that they are typically much less power environment friendly, which implies greater power prices. 


Professionals and Cons of Vaulted Ceilings

What’s to not love about these dramatically excessive ceilings? Usually a step up from even an 11-foot-tall partitions, the additional top afforded by the pitched ceiling makes even the average-sized room really feel grand and ethereal. Plus, the additional wall area created means extra room for prolonged home windows, transom windows, and even skylights—hey, pure mild.

And, whereas these options can mimic the grandeur of structure from centuries previous, vaulted ceilings mix with practically any model: uncovered wooden beams can look cottage-like or match for a log cabin, relying on the decor under, whereas arches and groin vaults can skew both conventional or uniquely fashionable.

For all of its magnificence, spaciousness, and worth that vaulted ceilings add to a house, it comes with some drawbacks that may make householders who wish to construct one into their residence assume twice.

For starters, constructing a vaulted ceiling will increase the sq. foot worth of residence development for numerous causes. Anytime a employee has to make use of a ladder or scaffolding to construct, trim, or paint, work slows down, which interprets into added labor prices. Within the case of vaults with arched and domed sides, even extra labor is required as a result of development supplies—that are usually straight and flat—should be tailored to suit the curved surfaces. Relying on the peak, design, and trim, a vaulted ceiling may add 5 to twenty p.c to the whole price. In instances the place an elaborately designed dome is desired, the added price might be even greater.


Nonetheless, vaulted ceilings have been all the fashion in mid-to-high-end customized and tract-built houses constructed within the Nineteen Eighties and early Nineties, to not say that the types aren’t nonetheless fascinating as we speak. As utility prices skyrocketed, although, householders started to think about the professionals and cons of getting such excessive ceilings. It prices extra to warmth and funky rooms with excessive ceilings utilizing typical compelled air methods, as warmth will shortly rise out of the residing space and into the unused ethereal area above. To counteract this, householders have thought-about radiant floor heating to heat objects inside the room and/or ceiling followers put in into the highest of the dome or vault, which might then assist flow into the recent air that rises again down into the room the place it’s a lot appreciated throughout chilly winter months. Alternately, putting in operable skylights with automated temperature sensors can rid your house of the recent air that tends to gather within the vault through the warmth of summer time.

Photo: Zillow Digs home in Edgartown, MA

Picture: Zillow Digs residence in Edgartown, MA

Are you able to flip a standard ceiling right into a vaulted ceiling?

If your house is a modest one-story residence with normal eight-foot ceilings, you’re the good candidate for a vaulted ceiling. Relying on how steep the roof slope is, the vault of a 20 by 20 foot room creates a brand new 3 to 12 foot tall ceiling on prime. Nevertheless, the worth just isn’t low.

Vaulted Ceiling Value by Kind of Building

Vaulted ceilings will be constructed with the home or construction, or they are often added later. Prices differ tremendously relying on when the ceiling is vaulted and the vault sort. The most typical sort is the cathedral model, which opens the ceiling to the roof deck. In new development, this implies modifying the roof to accommodate it, so you may have the costs to frame the roof plus 5% to twenty% for the modifications. In conversions, it’s worthwhile to open the prevailing ceiling to show the area above and make vital modifications, relying on whether or not you may have trusses 2 or rafters.

Beneath are the typical prices to create a cathedral-style vaulted ceiling in a mean residence for brand new development and conversion, taking into consideration the price of the framing, conversion, and each roof varieties.

Type of ConstructionAverage Costs (Labor Included)

Kind of BuildingCommon Prices (Labor Included)
New Building$16,000 – $21,000
Convert a Flat Ceiling to Vaulted$18,000 – $35,000

Value of a Vaulted Ceiling in New Building

The associated fee to create a vaulted ceiling in new development ranges from $16,000 to $21,000. These prices embody the typical price of framing a roof of $13,500 to $16,500. In addition they embody modifying the body and ending prices. Ending prices for vaulted ceilings are greater than flat ceilings. It is because you want extra drywall 3 to cowl the upper partitions and ceiling. You additionally pay the next fee for the work, together with the portray, due to the peak.

Convert a Flat Ceiling to Vaulted Value

Changing a flat ceiling to a vaulted ceiling prices $18,000 to $35,000. This contains eradicating the prevailing ceiling, modifying rafters or trusses, relocating pipes, ducts, and electrical wires, and the end work. Your prices are influenced by what number of utilities run by means of the area above, if that is an open “attic” area above the world, and the way your roof is constructed. In some instances, individuals depart present rafters and have them stay seen within the room, whereas they might have to be eliminated and modified for a extra open look in different cases. On the whole, your prices are $40 greater when you have trusses moderately than rafters.

Roof ConstructionAverage Modification Costs (Labor

Roof BuildingCommon Modification Prices (Labor Included)
Rafters$18,000 – $25,000
Trusses$25,200 – $35,000

Extra Concerns and Prices

  • Electrical wiring. You’ll want to reroute electrical wiring should you lengthen an ordinary ceiling to a vaulted ceiling. This will embody lengthening present cables to go across the space.
  • HVAC ducts. You may additionally must reroute ductwork positioned above the ceiling. There’s not sufficient room above the vaulted ceiling for the ducts.
  • Worth. Vaulted ceilings improve the price of constructing a brand new residence or addition. They don’t add worth to a house, nevertheless. They give the impression of being engaging and could also be a promoting characteristic of some properties.
  • Planning permission. You want a allow earlier than enterprise this mission. Nevertheless, you do not want planning permissions earlier than modifying the ceiling as a result of the house’s exterior is unaffected.
  • House. Vaulted ceilings improve the cubic toes of the room however not the house’s sq. footage.
  • Air flow. Vaulted ceilings don’t require the identical air flow as attics as a result of they aren’t enclosed areas. Nevertheless, this could be a drawback in damp areas like bogs.
  • Condensation. Damp areas, similar to bogs, can develop points with condensation. That is principally from the dearth of air flow since you can’t run ducts outdoor.
  • Ceiling followers. You may grasp a ceiling fan on the peak of a vaulted ceiling. This could cool the world and push warmth down from the vaulted space within the winter.

Is a vaulted ceiling value it?

Retrofitting a vaulted ceiling is a tougher prospect than together with one in a brand new residence, though you must also bear in mind that though it might be simpler to suit them into new builds, it does improve development prices. 

‘When retro becoming a vault into an present residence, the prevailing ceiling framing should be eliminated,’ explains Jeremy Hume, president & CEO of Phoenix CR Pro (opens in new tab). ‘Whereas this may increasingly appear to be no massive deal, which means drywall, insulation, roof bracing, and any electrical within the ceiling needs to be eliminated as effectively. This could be a main chore.

‘You may be restricted to vaulting the ceiling to the prevailing roof line; which means, in case your roof is a low pitch, and also you need a excessive vault, you’d then have to change the roof framing as effectively,’ he continues.

There could also be different penalties when a vaulted ceiling is retrofitted. ‘HVAC methods are designed to service a particular cubic footage within the residence, and including extra cubic footage by elevating the ceiling may trigger points with heating and cooling the area,’ says Jeremy. ‘An improve in HVAC gear could also be vital.’

Vaulted Ceiling Disadvantages


A vaulted ceiling in new development is usually no extra sophisticated than normal framing, although it does require particular roof trusses which are often constructed off-site and are dearer than normal trusses. The fundamental framing development price can improve by 5 p.c to twenty p.c so as to add a vaulted ceiling to a 20-by-20-foot nice room.

In the case of ending a house with a vaulted ceiling, there will be modest price financial savings as a result of it means a smaller second story. So the house would require much less in flooring, trim, and so on., to complete the second flooring. However on the flip aspect, the vaulted ceiling does price you some usable residing area in your second story, and which may in flip decrease your house worth. As an example, you may need to commerce an extra bed room in your house for the vaulted ceiling, however the bed room typically would add extra worth when it comes time to promote.

Moreover, if you wish to create a vaulted ceiling in an present residence, it may be a really costly reworking mission. Such a conversion requires enter from a structural engineer and an architect to establish the load-bearing partitions and decide whether or not (and the way) parts of the ceiling will be eliminated to open the area to the roofline. That is conceivably potential, however it could actually price as a lot as $18,000 to $25,000.

Tough to Set up in Current Construct

Making a vaulted ceiling is much past the ability stage of most DIYers. This can be a mission that requires you to usher in the professionals. It is vitally troublesome to retroactively create a vaulted ceiling in an present construction. The method requires knocking out the ground-floor ceiling after which chopping away flooring joists, which nearly at all times requires the set up of latest help beams and vertical posts—a significant engineering modification. Many houses use trusses to help the roof, and vaulted ceiling conversions require that the attic framing be altered to correctly help the roofline.

Upkeep and Restore Concerns

The one greatest downside of a vaulted ceiling turns into evident whenever you ask your self how you’ll clear or paint the ceiling (and clear or restore any home windows within the ceiling). You may even have to think about how you’ll change lightbulbs or restore lighting fixtures that soar 20 or 30 toes over your head. Many owners should usher in professionals for duties they might usually do with an ordinary ceiling top.

Power Inefficient

Vaulted ceilings are infamous power wasters as a result of room warmth naturally rises into the empty area the place it presents no profit to the occupants. Power loss will be extra pronounced with vaulted ceilings which are fitted with skylights or different home windows. Furthermore, rooms with vaulted ceilings are typically draftier merely due to the pure convection patterns brought on by heat air rising and funky air falling. A few of this may be mitigated by putting in additional insulation within the ceiling or installing ceiling fans to pressure heat air down into residing areas. However the actuality is these areas will typically really feel chilly and drafty in winter, particularly for houses inbuilt colder climates.

Current Posts