How much does it cost to vault a ceiling?
$40 – $70 vaulted ceiling cost per square foot
$16,000 – $28,000 average total cost to raise a ceiling (20'x20')
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.
|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|
Average cost of vaulting a ceiling
The following table shows the average cost of vaulting a ceiling.
|National Average Cost||$20,600|
|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.
|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
|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|
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 considerations – Chimney 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.
Attic / roof modifications – A roof vent costs $7 to $15 per linear foot or $200 to $700 per vent with installation and ensures proper airflow.
Installing new finishes – A 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 framing – Wall 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 raising – Raising a roof costs $15,000 to $50,000 on average.
Roof replacement – Roof 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 replacement – HVAC 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.
Vaulted ceiling vs. flat ceiling cost
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.
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?