Soaring ceilings with interesting architectural detail can hold allure for many people looking to buy or build a house. There’s no doubt that vaulted ceilings — also known as cathedral ceilings — can create a light and airy space and make a room look bigger than it really is, but know what you’re getting yourself into before falling head over heels in love. You can weigh the pros and cons here.
The positive: They let the sun shine in.
On the flip side: On cold and cloudy days, the vast spaces created by vaulted ceilings can be difficult to heat. Double glazing is the way to go to trap any natural winter warmth inside.
The positive: They make a room far more interesting.
On the flip side: If you like your bedroom to feel as cozy as a cocoon, the light and airy vibe a vaulted ceiling creates may make it not the right choice for you.
The positive: They give hot air somewhere to go.
On the flip side: High ceilings can make a home less energy efficient in the cooler months, with heat tending to sit uncomfortably out of reach. The best passive solar designs will bring in enough sun from the south (from the north, in Australia) to counter this, however.
The positive: They can give a home serious rustic appeal.
On the flip side: Dusting fans and changing lightbulbs are more challenging chores when vaulted ceilings come into play.
The positive: They make the most of the roof space.
On the flip side: Ceiling detail like this is commonly created at the time of building. If you like the idea of adding a vaulted ceiling to your existing home, employing the services of a structural engineer and an architect is a must. Insulation options will need to be carefully considered, too.
The positive: Exposed rafters can add real character.
On the flip side: Soaring ceilings can make living spaces feel less warm and intimate.
The positive: They can give you room to move. A small space like this could feel cramped without the help of a vaulted ceiling. The extra lift lets in the light and makes this kitchen feel much larger than it actually is.
On the flip side: Small spaces are not necessarily a bad thing. Go easy on clutter, and tighter quarters can be cottage cozy.
The positive: They’re a practical option for bathrooms.
On the flip side: If you have an effective exhaust fan and heated flooring, drying out a bathroom with a normal ceiling height post-shower can be done in a flash.
The positive: They add a sense of grandeur.
On the flip side: Less grand designs can be just as appealing as those on a larger scale, especially if they’re a better fit for your lifestyle and personality.
The positive: They’re a great backdrop for dramatic lighting.
On the flip side: Big lighting may not be your thing, but without it vaulted ceilings can appear too high for comfort.