If you are looking at design options for your home, you might want to consider a vaulted ceiling. These ceilings can provide a boost to your home’s aesthetics by creating an open space that looks bigger. An airy space is just one benefit of a vaulted ceiling. However, before you are ready to add this option to a new home or renovate your existing house, you should know about the pros and cons of this type of ceiling.
Is a Vaulted Ceiling Right for You?
At one time, the vaulted ceiling was reserved for those who could afford a well-designed home. With modern building practices, these ceilings are readily available for those who want to include it in their next construction project. If you are willing to pay for this luxurious expense, you can even add it to your home’s remodeling project.
By drawing the eye up to the ceiling, you can create a sense of spaciousness and volume. Vaulted ceilings will add that element of drama to simple rooms. Like other architectural elements, these ceilings often go in and out of style. With more floor plans losing space, you can have the illusion of a bigger room.
Before you add a vaulted ceiling to your home, you should see if it is a structural fit. Any house with a sloped roof can support a vaulted ceiling. You will need attic space to construct the vault. Higher vaults will need a steeper pitched roof, but low pitched roofs can also accommodate a shallower vault. If you love vaults, there is good news. Almost any room can be vaulted, but most homeowners choose the great room or family room for a more dramatic flair.
Vaulted ceilings can be costly, and you will want to weigh the cost of the project against the illusion of space for your budget. You will have more room above your head, but it is not a usable space. Along with that, there is no extra square footage with this style. In simple terms, it is more a showpiece rather than a functional space in your home. However, don’t let that scare you off from adding a vaulted ceiling to your home. Here are some pros and cons that you will want to consider before adding a vaulted ceiling.
You Get Some Extra Space
The number one seller of vaulted ceilings is the extra space. If you are starting out with a new construction, vaulted ceilings allow you to add more windows in your design. You can even add taller window options for more natural light to enter throughout the room. For those windows that face north, you will experience a warmer place in the winter and cooler spaces during the summer. In addition to that, the room will just feel more light and airy throughout the year.
Better Air Flow
Along with the extra space, you will have more places for hot air to move around with a vaulted ceiling. As the warm air begins to rise, it needs a place to escape. With the installation of ceiling fans, that air can be blown back down in the winter or sucked up in the summertime. Since the air is always on the move, you will never notice any staleness or air quality issues with these ceilings.
No More Wasted Attics
With a vaulted ceiling, you can eliminate any idea of having a functioning attic. Depending on your point of view, that can be a good thing. You will not have to worry about a space that your family will not use. On the flip side, you will lose a place for storage. However, storing items in the attic can leave them vulnerable to the elements. Your home will have a small space for venting or insulation, but the loss of the attic should not be a dealbreaker for you. In place of the attic, you will have a more attractive design element that will not impact the liveability of your living space.
Add More Dramatic Flair
With any high-vaulted ceiling, the eye tends to draw upward. That extra space gives you the chance to add something exciting to the area. Many homeowners choose to place artwork, wood elements, or a skylight into the design. You can even use warmer tones for a cozier feel to the room. When you add those elements, everyone will want to gather into this space. Vaulted ceilings are far more appealing than an 8-foot plain white ceiling.
Multiple Design Options
With a vaulted ceiling, you can choose from many different design elements. For many people, they want to keep the area as a blank slate with a few hints of natural tones. You can even paint the ceiling a darker color to keep your eye drawn downward. In contrast to that, a light color will encourage your guests to look up.
Vaulted ceilings give you the opportunity to add more design features, such as rough-hewn rafters. These elements will provide your room with additional support as it offers a unique look to the room. If you want to add even more luxury to the room, you should consider adding a fireplace for extra charm. While it might seem costly for the initial investment, those features can go a long way to add value to your home for any future sales.
If you love the idea of having impressive features, then you cannot go wrong with a vaulted ceiling. These design options are second-to-none, and you can add them without too much effort on your part. You add more elegance to your home with other design features, but the vaulted ceiling will give an extra boost that is missing from a majority of the houses. Like most luxuries, there is a cost with these elements, but you can transform your space in a personalized and unique way.
While vaulted ceilings do have their benefits, there are some drawbacks to these styles of ceilings.
Rooms Are Too Open
One of the benefits of vaulted ceilings are the open spaces, but you need to add them to the right rooms. If you have a big space, like a living room or entertainment room, you will want something that feels more open for the family to gather. For those bedrooms, a vaulted ceiling can make your room feel like an empty cavern. You want the bedroom to feel intimate and cozy. With a vaulted ceiling, there are more windows in the room. You might not want to have several windows in your room as you are going to sleep at night.
Care Can Be a Challenge
If you add a lighting fixture or ceiling fan in the vaulted ceiling, you might have trouble trying to clean it. That extra height can cause a headache when it comes to your household chores. Without the right equipment, it can be a challenge to change a lightbulb or dust off the fan blades. Many people don’t want to take a ladder every time to deal with those issues. Before you decide on a vaulted ceiling, you need to know if you are ready to handle the maintenance issues that come along with them.
Problems With Heating
When it is dark and gloomy outside, that extra space in the ceiling can add additional costs to your cooling and heating bills. The heat will rise to the top of the ceiling, especially during the wintertime. As you turn on the heat, it might use more energy to heat up the room. You can combat this issue in two ways. Many homeowners install a ceiling fan to push down the air and keep your energy bills low. You might also want to think about installing double-glazed windows. However, that is another expense on top of the already costly vaulted ceilings.
Energy Efficiency Can Go Down
In many homes with vaulted ceilings, there will be a decrease in energy efficiency levels. This problem is the hot air has no place to escape in the room. During the summertime, hot air might not seem like a significant concern. When winter rolls around, that air will keep the ceiling warm as the rest of the room can remain chilly. For many people, they are combating this issue with skylights to release some of that trapped air. If you are concerned about the energy-efficiency in your home, then a vaulted ceiling might not be the best option for you.
Moisture Buildup Issues
Another maintenance concern for a vaulted ceiling is the buildup of moisture. If you live in an area with a high level of humidity, then this could be a problem on a daily basis. Kitchens and bathrooms require exhaust fans to remove extra moisture from the ceilings and rooms. For those in an area with high humidity rates, you could be facing issues with mold and mildew in hard-to-reach places near or at the ceiling level. Once again, if you want vaulted ceilings in your home, you should be ready to have the right equipment to properly clean and care for all areas of the ceiling.
Expensive Options for Completed Homes
Many people add vaulted ceilings during the initial planning stage of the home. You can always include this option with a remodeling project, but the cost can be high for many homeowners. You will need to complete several steps to find out if a vaulted ceiling is right for you. A structural engineer is required to determine the structural integrity of your home. The architect will have to design plans to remodel your home’s design. Depending on your city or town, you might even have to submit new project plans for approval. In some cases, a vaulted ceiling can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars.
Shipping Parts for Construction
For most vaulted ceiling projects, you will need specialized parts for the finished project. Many vaulted ceilings require a scissor truss. While some builders can create them on-site, many contractors will ship them to your location from another company. With this option, you will have to wait longer for the project to be completed. However, when the part arrives on-site, you might save on labor costs. The crews will just have to swing them in place and attach them to your home’s structure.
Might Look Outdated
Vaulted ceilings can go in and out of fashion in the design world. However, this can be subjective. Vaulted ceilings were trendy in the 1980s and early ’90s. They were a way to add a design element that showcased a sense of luxury and excessiveness. For some homeowners, these ceilings can turn them away as people want to choose more practical aspects in their homes.
The Final Word
Vaulted ceilings are a great way to add an exciting design element to your home by increasing the visual space in a room. However, these ceilings might not work for every home or budget. If you are thinking about a remodel project, you should weigh out all your ceiling options. For those with a new construction project, it might be feasible to add a vaulted ceiling to your home.
At the end of the day, the choice is strictly up to you. With your budget and preferences in mind, you need to select the ceiling that will meet all your home’s needs. Vaulted ceilings can make a home look fantastic, but they also require a lot of upkeep and maintenance. Before you rush to add this design element to your home, you should consider the pros and cons of the vaulted ceiling. Make sure it is a design that will revolve around your lifestyle.
At RGB Construction, we can help you find the perfect ceiling design for your home. Our team will help you choose the right element that will work with a preexisting home or new construction. We will help you design a home that you will love for many years. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation, please feel free to fill out the contact form.