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

Vaulted ceilings entail designs that rise up in an incline and exceed the standard 8 foot height. Cathedral ceilings angle upward and meet in the center, while cove ceilings ascend upward in a curve. You may like vaulted ceilings because they add a sense of space and light to a room, turning an ordinary space into something more impressive. By extension, rooms with this design also convey a sense of wealth. Because vaulted ceilings are more expensive, they provide a corresponding sense of extravagance.

Spacious upscale bedroom with dog lounging
credit: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Vaulted ceilings add a sense of space to a room, by adding height.

Building Cost

Vaulted ceilings cost more to build because they require more building materials and more labor. Larger ceilings can create a steeper roof line. This increases the square footage of your roof and translates to a more expensive roof. Vaulted ceilings can also require special insulation, more beams and non-standard framing material -- all of which are more costly. The actual amount you can plan to pay for vaulted ceilings depends on your building location and contractors.

Resale Cost

In a two-story home with vaulted ceilings on the first floor, the square footage of the second floor is reduced by the added ceiling space on the first floor. Meaning, your house will have less living space, even if it is not actually smaller. In addition, sometimes the layout of a home with vaulted ceilings can cause that home to take up more space on the lot, even though the end result is less living space than a home without vaulted ceilings. This reduces the amount of usable yard on the lot. These factors may deter some buyers or may be reflected in the resale cost of your home. A reduced resale cost may be avoided by targeting homebuyers who want vaulted ceilings. Many homebuyers consider vaulted ceilings to be an amenity. By advertising vaulted ceilings in your home listing, you have a greater likelihood of drawing buyers who seek out vaulted ceilings and would pay for the benefit.

Heating and Cooling

Heating a home with vaulted ceilings can be a challenge. Heating these homes can be inefficient because heat rises. In the winter, the spaces that heat up first are in the ceiling area, leaving the lower parts of the room to warm up only after the heating system has run for longer than it would have otherwise. Cooling a house with high ceilings may be less of a challenge because the floor space of a room will cool off first. The actual additional cost of heating a home with vaulted ceilings will depend on your heating system, how well your house is insulated and the climate where you live.

Painting

Painting a vaulted ceiling, depending on the rise and the height of the ceiling, costs. Even just painting the walls without the ceiling costs more because the walls are higher. Painting the room yourself saves you some money. You still need more paint to cover a vaulted ceiling than you would need in a room with flat ceilings, and you need special painting tools to cover the higher, hard-to-reach areas. Painting a steep ceiling also takes more time. If you wish to pay professionals to do this job for you, the actual cost will vary. Call contractors in your area for quotes.

Maintenance

Cleaning, changing a light bulb and even just getting down a stray helium balloon -- all these activities become more challenging when the ceilings of a room are vaulted. You may need to buy special equipment such as taller ladders and special cleaning tools to help you maintain your ceilings.