How much does it cost to vault a ceiling?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to vault a ceiling?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to vault a ceiling?

$40 – $70vaulted ceiling cost per square foot
$16,000 – $28,000average total cost to raise a ceiling (20'x20')

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$40 – $70 vaulted ceiling cost per square foot

$16,000 – $28,000 average total cost to raise a ceiling (20'x20')


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Jennifer Carlson
Written by
Jennifer Carlson
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Kristen Cramer
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Cost to vault a ceiling

The cost to vault a ceiling is $40 to $70 per square foot, depending on the room size and structural work required. Raising a ceiling in a house costs $16,000 to $28,000 and removes attic space. A vaulted ceiling is higher than average and curved or sloped instead of flat.

Vaulted ceiling cost by project
Project Average cost
Tray ceiling (10’x10’) $300 – $700
Vault bedroom ceiling (15’x15’) $9,000 – $15,800
Vault living room ceiling (20'x20') $16,000 – $28,000
Raise garage ceiling (24'x24') $23,000 – $40,300
Increase basement height (30'x30') $10,000 – $40,000
Raise entire ceiling into attic (40'x40') $64,000 – $112,000

Get free estimates from ceiling contractors near you.

Average cost of vaulting a ceiling

The following table shows the average cost of vaulting a ceiling.

Average cost of a vaulted ceiling - Chart
Average cost of a vaulted ceiling - Chart
Average cost of a vaulted ceiling
National Average Cost $20,600
Minimum Cost $10,000
Maximum Cost $35,000
Average Range $14,000 to $27,000

*Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

Cost to raise a ceiling

Raising a ceiling is simpler and costs less during new construction than for an existing ceiling. Raising an existing ceiling often requires using attic space, modifying the roof support trusses, or raising the roof. Raising a basement ceiling may require lifting the entire house.

Cost to raise a ceiling
Type of construction Average total cost
New construction $10,000 – $21,000
Vaulting or raising existing ceiling $16,000 – $30,000

Cost to vault living room ceiling

Vaulting a living room ceiling costs $16,000 to $28,000 total with installation, depending on the ceiling size. The living room is the most common room for vaulted ceilings.

Raising ceiling into attic cost

Raising an entire ceiling into the attic costs $64,000 to $112,000, depending on the size. An attic built with rafters is simpler and cheaper to modify than one with trusses, which have more complicated webbing.

Attic trusses cost $5 to $14 per square foot installed, depending on the material and type. A scissor truss costs $120 to $500 for the material alone and is typically used in vaulted ceilings.

Cost to increase basement height

Increasing the basement height may require raising the entire house to provide enough extra space. Lifting a house costs $10,000 to $40,000 total on average.

  • Adding a new unfinished basement under the lifted home costs an additional $25,000 to $70,000, while building a finished basement costs $40,000 to $150,000.

  • Digging out a basement costs $10 to $20 per square foot or $12,000 to $36,000 total on average.

  • Building a foundation costs $33 per square foot or $26,800 to $50,300 total for a basement.

Cost to raise a garage ceiling

Raising a garage ceiling costs $23,000 to $40,300 total on average, depending on whether the garage is attached or detached and if the roof will be replaced. Raising the garage ceiling to 10' or higher makes it easier to park a vehicle with a roof rack, kayak, or other equipment on top.

Tray ceiling installation

A tray ceiling costs $3 to $7 per square foot with installation on average. A tray ceiling has a drop-down border and a raised section in the middle. This ceiling style adds character to a room and is an affordable alternative to vaulted ceilings.

Vaulted ceiling cost breakdown

Vaulted ceiling cost factors
Factor Average cost
Demolition & disposal $4.00 – $10.00 per square foot
Insulation $1.00 – $4.00 per square foot
Drywall $1.50 – $3.50 per square foot
Painting $1.00 – $2.00 per square foot
Framing $xx – $xx per square foot
Architect $100 – $250 per hour
Structural engineer $100 – $220 per hour
Electrician $40 – $100 per hour
Plumber $45 – $150 per hour
Permits $500 – $2,000 total

A living room with a vaulted ceiling.
A living room with a vaulted ceiling.

Cost factors to convert a flat ceiling to vaulted

The following factors affect the cost of a vaulted ceiling:

  • Location in home – Large living rooms cost more to vault than small bedrooms or kitchens.

  • Ceiling size & type – Coffered, tray, drop, beam, or larger than average ceilings may cost more to remove than a conventional ceiling.

  • Design – Dome, barrel, groin, and rib vault ceilings cost $5,000 to $20,000 on average. These vault types are curved or arched and have more shallow angles than a cathedral ceiling.

  • Structural engineer – A structural engineer charges $100 to $220 per hour on average and works with an architect to make sure the house is structurally sound.

  • Architect – An architect charges $100 to $250 per hour or $2 to $15 per square foot on average to draw plans for remodeling and building.

  • Permits – A building permit costs $500 to $2,000 for major construction projects.

  • Chimney considerationsChimney removal costs $3,000 to $6,000.

  • Demolition – Partial home demolition costs $4 to $10 per square foot, or $1,600 to $4,000 for a 20’x20’ room, including material disposal.

  • Ceiling repairs / remove drop ceilingCeiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot or $400 to $1,200 for extensive repairs. Removing a drop ceiling costs $4 to $20 per square foot.

  • Attic / roof modificationsA roof vent costs $7 to $15 per linear foot or $200 to $700 per vent with installation and ensures proper airflow.

  • Installing new finishesA skylight costs $1,600 to $4,200 with installation. Other add-ons increase the final cost.

Structural modification costs to raise a ceiling

Structural modifications may be necessary when raising a ceiling, such as adding new roof trusses, framing, or steel support beams:

  • Roof framing – Replacing roof framing costs $5 to $14 per square foot for trusses or $7 to $30 per square foot for rafters, including labor and materials.

  • Wall framingWall framing costs $7 to $16 per square foot.

  • Steel beams – A steel beam costs $100 to $400 per linear foot installed or $1,200 to $4,200 total and may be necessary for structural support.

  • Roof raisingRaising a roof costs $15,000 to $50,000 on average.

  • Roof replacementRoof replacement costs $400 to $550 per roofing square or $3 to $6 per square foot. Old roof removal costs $1 to $5 per square foot.

Other vaulted ceiling installation costs

Vaulting a ceiling may affect plumbing, wiring, insulation, and HVAC systems. Some or all of the following additional costs may apply after the structural work is complete:

  • Plumber – A plumber charges $45 to $150 per hour to reroute or replace pipes during renovations.

  • Electrician – An electrician charges $40 to $100 per hour to repair, install, or replace wiring and fixtures.

  • Insulation Insulation costs $1.00 to $4.50 per square foot installed, depending on the material and R-value.

  • Drywall Drywall costs $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot installed for walls and $2.00 to $4.00 per square foot for ceilings.

  • Interior painting – The new ceiling and new taller wall sections will require painting:

  • HVAC replacementHVAC installation costs $5,000 to $11,000. Vaulting a ceiling increases the size of the conditioned area, affecting the heating and cooling system, and may require a larger HVAC unit.

  • Duct replacement Duct replacement costs $25 to $55 per linear foot. Vaulting the ceiling may require rerouting ductwork from inside the old ceiling space to a new location.

  • Skylights – A skylight costs $1,600 to $4,200 with installation.

  • Ceiling fans – A ceiling fan costs $350 per fan installed.

  • Other ceiling alternatives – Adding a coffered ceiling costs $10 to $40 per square foot. Other types of ceiling installation cost $2 to $20 per square foot on average.

Vaulted ceiling vs. flat ceiling cost

Get free estimates from ceiling contractors near you.

A vaulted ceiling can be converted into a flat ceiling by adding horizontal joists and drywall to the existing structure. However, converting a vaulted ceiling to a flat ceiling may also require roof work and is often cost-prohibitive.

Frequently asked questions

What is a vaulted ceiling?

A vaulted ceiling is any ceiling that is higher than average and angles upward toward the room's center. Most vaulted ceilings are cathedral ceilings, which eliminate the attic and follow the slope of the roof. Arched, domed, barrel, groin, and rib ceilings are also vaulted but are less common.

Can you raise a ceiling’s height?

Yes, you can raise a ceiling’s height if there is unused attic space above the ceiling.

Are vaulted ceilings worth it?

Vaulted ceilings add space, light, and resale value to a home but are less marketable in some areas than others. Consult a real estate agent to determine how valuable vaulted ceilings are in the local market.

Vaulted ceiling pros and cons

Vaulted ceilings make a home feel bright, roomy, and modern. However, vaulting is a costly and time-consuming project that often results in higher heating bills.

Vaulted ceiling pros and cons
Pros Cons
  • Increases home value
  • Home feels bigger
  • Adds more light
  • Removes unused attic space
  • Costs more to heat and cool
  • Expensive
  • Time-consuming
  • Difficult to change lightbulbs or paint

Do you need a permit to vault a ceiling?

Yes, you need a permit to vault a ceiling. A building permit costs $500 to $2,000, depending on the scope of the project, and is required for any roofing, construction, or structural change.

Getting quotes from a vaulted ceiling contractor

Before hiring a ceiling contractors year you, be sure to:

  • Get at least three estimates to compare.

  • Read reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Choose licensed, bonded, insured companies with 5+ years of experience.

  • Ask for references from recent jobs.

  • Avoid selecting the lowest estimate as quality may suffer.

  • Get a detailed written estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before paying a deposit.

  • Never pay in full upfront. Follow a payment plan instead.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Have you worked on similar ceiling projects?

  • Are you licensed and insured?

  • Can you provide references from recent projects?

  • How should I prepare the space for the project?

  • Do you charge extra to move furniture?

  • Does the estimate include prepping and cleanup?

  • Does the estimate include cleanup and disposal?

  • How long will the job take?