...because home doesn't happen overnight.

vaulted ceiling 1

That’s a little before-and-after action of our living room. So, so, so many things have happened in between those two pictures. (Like, two years, kiddo #3, lots of hard work and not a lot of sleep.) I don’t consider the room “finished” but we’re awfully close. One of our biggest undertakings in this space was vaulting the ceiling and it’s something I want to share in more detail now that we’re living on the other (cleaner, less stressful) side of it.

wall removal

If you have been following along, you already know we removed the walls separating the original kitchen, dining and living rooms. When the walls came down, part of the plaster ceiling came down, too, and it gave us an idea – a wonderful, awful idea. Why not rip out the 8′ ceiling in the future kitchen-living space and vault it? We knew it would be a major renovation but we also knew it would totally make the space.

Steve did a bunch of research online (he found finehomebuilding.com especially helpful) and in person with several contractors and a professional engineer at a local lumber yard. We went back and forth between the options of installing collar ties or a structural ridge beam. In the end, we were advised to install a structural ridge beam. (You can read more about these events as they occurred in real time here and here.)

We hired a contractor as this project was way beyond our DIY skill set. Our contractor worked closely with an engineer at a local lumber yard to create an LVL (laminated veneer lumber) beam specific to our roof pitch, room dimensions and length of span. Like I said, waaaayyyy-haaay-haaay beyond our skill set.

An LVL beam is constructed of multiple layers of thin wood held together by adhesive. This allows for a smaller yet stronger structural support when compared to a solid wood beam. The compact size allowed us to run electrical along the beam (for track lighting + two ceiling fans) and box it in without taking up too much space at the peak. The LVL beam was manufactured off site, signed off on by a professional engineer and installed by our contractor.

looking up 2

no scaffolding mantel

These photos were taken after the structural ridge beam was installed. The fireplace wall is a block wall. A support was installed for the beam to rest on the block wall.

looking up 4

no scaffolding opposite mantel

At the other end of the beam is an interior wall – no block wall. To support the beam properly, the slab on either side of the doorway shown above was jackhammered and dug out. Footers were poured and the corner studs were replaced with glued and nailed 2 x 4 posts. The header above the doorway was beefed up as well to support the structural ridge beam. On a side note, the boys look so little!

no scaffolding

With the ridge beam installed, we were finally able to envision how the space might look someday. It felt so much bigger yet we hadn’t touched the house’s original footprint.

How much did all of this cost? To have the LVL beam manufactured and installed, we shelled out $5,600. That was with us demo’ing the walls, the drop ceiling and most of the rafters. That price does not include insulation or drywall around the beam or affected walls. It does not include the cost of installing tongue and groove on the vaulted ceiling either. (You can read about that DIY project here and here.) That’s no drop in the bucket, for sure. But we bought the worst house on the street for well below $100,000 so it was within our budget and the result was a game-changer.

vaulted ceiling

vaulted ceiling 3

And a slew more because the boys were behaving and Mabrey took the longest. nap. ever…

vaulted ceiling 4

vaulted ceiling 5

vaulted kitchen 1

vaulted kitchen

vaulted kitchen 3

vaulted kitchen 4

vaulted kitchen 5

vaulted kitchen 7

vaulted kitchen 6

…then my camera battery died which explains the somewhat grainy shots. Damn.


We bought a crappy house for not a lot of money and vaulted the ceilings to make it less crappy. We like it here. The end.

Pssst! – We made it to The Homies finals! Whaaaaat?!

Click here to find out who won the epic Barcelona chair giveaway.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Totally worth every single penny you spent. It completely changed the look and feel of the home. It was a seriously wise decision to open the space and vault the ceilings since the home is so small. Did you ever consider incorporating the dining area into the space (like maybe where your office is) and make the other room a mud room/laundry room/workspace?

Angela @ Number Fifty-Three


Not really. We knew that we would do most of our casual family dining at the kitchen island and thought a 9′ island + another dining surface in one room might be overkill. Having the more formal dining area (even though it’s really not that formal) separate from the kitchen works for us. Admittedly, sometimes I do take my laptop to the dining table in the mudroom to work while tackling laundry at the same time.


Absolutely stunning!! $5,600 seems pretty reasonable for the impact it had on your house and the increase you’ll see in appraised value. Good work finding a home with such great potential!


Great post! I’ve always wondered about the specifics of how you decided and went about vaulting the ceilings. And a big thank you for mentioning the $$ aspect. Too often bloggers gloss over big purchases/changes like this and aren’t forthcoming about the actual cost of major renovation projects.


Looks so good!! Well worth every penny spent!! I’m anxiously awaiting your kids/guest bath project – that room is next our our list, too, and I am very inspired by all your projects as your home has a very similar layout to ours. Would also love to see you add these pics to your “See Our Home” link on the side – amazing to see how much your design process has evolved from house to house! Keep up the good work – you are by far one of my faves!!


That ceiling makes all the difference. But in your space full of textured neutrals (100% my style), I keep looking at the textiles–the pillows and rugs and that lovely something draped across the back of the chair. What is it?


Hi there! Beautiful room! Beautiful makeover of your home! You have accomplished so much in such a short time period! Its so different than your previous home! I prefer this home’s style! :) What color is your paint in the kitchen and living room? What color did you paint the awesome vaulted ceiling?

Thank you!! Ali


I feel like a new ceiling is one of those things someone might not ever think of changing about their space (usually wayyyyy beyond the changes one easily imagines), but your house is definitely going to keep it in the front of my mind when I’m house shopping. It’s a game changer for those rooms and well worth the money and time you put into it. I also love that you’re renewing a house that was not in great shape to begin with… it’s as if your house deserved to be well loved and beautiful and now it is reaching its (absolutely stunning) potential! Thanks for letting us tag along on your journey.


What color is the stain on your wood island counter tops!?!

How do you like having wood counter on the island!?!

Is it hard to maintain having wood counter tops on your island!?!

Was it expensive!?! It’s beautiful choice!!

~ Ali


Seriously beautiful, what a dramatic difference!


I agree with everyone else — it’s totally gorgeous, and vaulting the ceiling does indeed make the space. And all other aesthetics aside, the skylights you added make the whole space so bright and cheerful. (I covet those skylights.)

I loved getting to see some new angles, like the living room from the kitchen. Your whole space is so classy without being fussy. I really love not only the style of your home but also its whole vibe — and I love that you left your kids’ artwork on the side of the fridge in these shots. I like to know people actually live in the spaces they share with the interwebs. ^_^


Thanks for sharing the specifics (especially cost). A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I looked at a 1960’s ranch that had never been updated. It had some interesting floor plan issues and I remember thinking about what you were able to do with your house and I wondered what might be possible for this house.

It turns out we’re happy where we are and the house was by no means a steal, but nonetheless I’m glad that you had this vision for your house. I think it may help a lot of people see the potential for their own homes.


Thank you, thank you for this post. My husband and I are in the process of looking for a new house. We want a ranch that needs some work – and vaulting the ceiling is something we’d definitely like to do. We had no clue how much a renovation like that would cost. I’m sure it varies by region, the space and the amount of DIY work, but this at least gives us a ballpark to keep in mind. Your house looks beautiful – so open and airy!


Oh wow! I always wanted to know the cost, but felt it was so rude to ask! We have a ranch and would LOVE to vault our main living areas, instead of going through all the trouble to tear down one load-bearing wall.
P.S. Always love refrigerators adorned with children’s artwork – it’s almost as if they were made just for that reason because anything else always looks dumb on there : )

Ever since I saw the transformation the vaulted ceiling did for your house, Chris and I have been trying to figure out a way to vault ours. But the way the ceiling is structured, we aren’t getting any estimates under the $30,000 mark! Looks like we’ll be working with our 8 footers. Haha!


Amazing transformation and worth every penny. I am jealous that you were able to find a house for under $100,000! In my city ( Vancouver BC) you couldn’t buy a tear down for under $500,000. And even that is a reach. Your home is inspiring and I look forward to reading your blog every day.


I absolutely love the transformation and it was worth every penny! I just verbally exclaimed ” I want to marry this renovation” and my husband says he now feels rejected because he can’t compete with it!


Ha–you made it way less crappy, and so beautiful. The end. Fun to see the before/afters and also cool to see price points.


AMAZING. Simply amazing!! Totally changed the space. Love it!


Very good to know. I always wondered how much something like that would cost. We thought about doing the same thing in our own home, but ruled it out considering we don’t intend to live here for too long.

Totally unrelated, the succulent planter on your island is very pretty. I tried my hand at making one a few months back but almost everything in it is dead now, which is probably because of the lack of adequate drainage. I think I’m going to try putting together another one, and blog about it if I do. I’ll credit you, of course. Thanks for the inspiration.


I actually found your blog when it was featured on Apartment Therapy and I was incredulous about your claim of saving money (vs your last home) with all these renovations. It’s been really fun watching this all come together.


The island top is walnut. We didn’t stain it – just sealed it with Waterlox. See that here along with details on the cost…(We had the top custom made but saved money by finishing and installing it ourselves.)


I really like the wood topped island mixed in with the solid surface perimeter counters. We eat most of our meals at the island and the wood feels more home-y than, say, granite. Everyone that visits ends up at the island eventually saying they feel like they’re at a local bar a la Cheer’s. I like that.

I wipe down the island top with a wet cloth after meals. For extra sticky situations, I add a little soap, wipe and rinse. We don’t baby the walnut countertop. We use it daily for meal prep, dining, homework, crafts, etc. There are scratches in the Waterlox topcoat and maybe 2-3 deeper scratches in the wood itself (We do have kids after all.) but they really aren’t noticeable. It looks much like a rich wood bar top you would find at a restaurant. Take a closer look next time you’re out! The scratches could be sanded out and the top resealed which we might do several years down the road if it starts losing its luster. But, as is, we LOVE it and wouldn’t change a thing about it.


The wall color is Benjamin Moore tapestry beige. The ceiling, trim and fireplace are Benjamin Moore white dove. I love the look of bright white rooms online but found I couldn’t live with them in real life. We live in Ohio which tends to have cooler, northern light so I like having the walls and white details a little warmer than a stark, bright white.


It’s a vintage kantha that I found on ebay. That chair doesn’t sit against a wall and I thought tossing a throw over the back was a good opportunity for bringing in some color and pattern. Plus, there’s always a blanket nearby on cold evenings!


It’s beautiful !!!

~ Ali


Such a beautiful room! Great decision about the ceiling- worth every penny.


I’m a newish follower so I’m liking when you go back through the renovation posts. I love the vaulted ceiling!

Oh Dana you read my mind girl, you read my mind! I’ve been contemplating shooting you an email asking if you’d mind sharing how you went about this project, but I was hesitant because I didn’t want it to seem as if Im prying. Thank you so much for this. In my city this project would have costs DOUBLE what you guys paid, and that being conservative. The change looks spectacular. The amount of light your house gets is amazing and its no doubt attributed to your choice to vault the ceilings. Its just so so good:)


Even though I documented our renovation in real time, those posts are buried. I think it’s fun (and hopefully helpful) to go back and see what exactly went down to get to where we are now. It’s been a long haul!


I’ve been waiting on this post forever! The vaulted ceiling totally rocks. Our ranch house is nearly identical to your home’s original layout and from the same time period. If we had it all to do over again, we would have done the exact same thing, but we renovated the kitchen 5 years before I found your blog so vaulting the ceiling won’t work for us now. Anyways, love, love, love it!

Off topic, but with all the bedrooms in your ranch being close together off the main hall, are there any plans to add on? Maybe a master suite? We have 2 young children and our 3bed ranch works for us now, but as our little boy and girl hit those older/awkward years, I’m thinking more privacy will be needed for hubby, myself and the kids. We are considering a master suite addition to give everyone a bit more space and distance. Just curious if you have any thoughts on this in your home. :)


Thank you so much for this post! My husband and I are looking for a house to buy and are specifically looking for houses with smaller footprints. I’ve fallen in love with your home and am so inspired by the idea of vaulting the ceiling; it makes those smaller spaces feel so much bigger and brighter. Beautiful! Thanks especially for sharing the cost; while I do love some dreaming inspiration, I also like knowing what’s practical for us to do and what might be a wee out of budget.


it caught my eye instantly as well. do you remember the seller’s name on eBay if you had a good experience? i’d love to score one of my own for a similar area of my house (currently a sea of brown….)


wow amazing and your style has definitely evolved. cleaner lines and more modern.


incredible! it completely transformed your home, it was meant to look this way! How much in total do you think you spent on the ceiling reno?


The seller was arteindiana. I searched for months on etsy and ebay until I found one that I liked that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. This one was ~$35.


We’ve never had any plans to add on…even after we found out we were unexpectedly expecting #3 during renovations. We’re all for making this house with this square footage work for us as long as possible. We have financial goals which include being mortgage free within 3 years. This house is a means to that end. We haven’t thought too much beyond that point.


I love this part of your remodel! We have a very similar Ranch built in 1964.
What size LVLs did the contractor use? double 14″?

I love this space and completely believe that vaulting the ceilings was the best bet. We also bought the ugliest house on the block by way under $100k. We are slowly but surely making it worth our investment. I’ve always believed in buying the ugliest house in the best location. This investment is making a fab home for your family and an even better looking house for all of us to inspire to!


I love all the information and beautiful pictures. Your house looks gorgeous! This is hands down my favorite House Tweaking post ever.


This post is amazing, the work you have done to that ranch is very beautiful…. Well done, I bet you love it. I am shocked.


I just love the new angle you’ve take photos of your living room from – the corner of the island, I’m guessing?


Brilliant!! I admire this kind of design ingenuity the most. I’m always looking to simplify, down-size, and not be hampered by a mortgage so this story is quite inspiring. We have three kids (ages 24, 18, and 14) and have always lived in small houses that required ingenuity and creativity. This allowed me to stay home with the kids and it also kept us close in the house which I highly recommend as it encourages conversation and togetherness : ) Our current ranch does have one feature that I love – a door between the living space and hallway which leads to the bedroom. If I want I can close this off when we have company or I need some quiet alone time. Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!


Wow! That looks so great. Your house is really similar to ours (we have vaulted ceilings as well) Only we have this terrible off centered brick fireplace I have no idea what to do with. I can’t believe what you paid for your place. We got a steal of a deal on our house (similar size needs updating plus new windows and roof and paid close to 350 k for it. I can’t belive what houses go for in our city.


Thanks for revisiting this – it’s definitely the aspect of your renovation that fascinates me the most. Do you know, is the LVL beam all one continuous length? In one of the photos it looks like there might be a seam in the middle. If it is all one length, how did they manage to get it into the house?


Steve and I have talked about adding a door there too! Not sure if we’ll actually do it but the purpose sounds great.


Thank you so much for this post!! That was very helpful for me- I followed along throughout the renovation process (by which I mean I went all the way back to when you bought The Underdog and read every since post since then), but the ceiling is my favorite part. I definitely want to try something like this in our next home, and you’ve given us lots of great information to go off of. Thank you!


looks awesome. what is the size of the room?


Roughly 25′ x 21′. Almost a square.


Yay, you answered my question! And a cost breakdown too! I would’ve thought it was so much more, but you guys did a LOT of your own work (demo PLUS that amazing ceiling). Just an amazing transformation.

Now over to vote for you on the homies… good luck!


Our ranch house has a pocket door between the living room and hallway. It was a welcomed surprise.


That’s an amazing change! It looks beautiful.

Random question — what kind of high chair is that in the background??


It’s Ikea’s BLAMES high chair in red.


Dana, wahooo i’m so excited to have discovered your site! Vaulting that ceiling really was a game changer, huh? Adding space at the top totally invigorated the space, like i’d NEVER want to leave that kitchen!

[…] at House*Tweaking shares the story of what it took to vault their ceiling, a huge undertaking but just look at the […]


Love your vaulted ceilings! We too bought a ranch which we are remodeling and we would love to do something similar, but our air handler is up in the attic and would have to be moved to another location ($$$) and HVAC ducts would have to run across the ceiling somewhere. Maybe I overlooked it in your post, but how did you heat/cool this room? Where are your HVAC ducts? Thanks!


Our ductwork runs through our slab (no basement here). All we had to do was run a return air duct and install a vent up near the apex (it’s just above our DIY shelves). My dad is retired from sheet metal and HVAC work, so he actually made the new ductwork for us. So grateful!


Gorgeous! Quite the transformation! I am wondering if you can tell me where you got your family room rug? Thanks in advance!


Rugs USA!


The vaulted ceiling, and indeed the whole room, are fabulous! My son bought an “ordinary” ranch bungalow that had been refurbished, and the kitchen/dining room ceiling had been vaulted. The effect was remarkable and made a small square footage home into one that feels airy and spacious.

I’m certainly going to look at doing this if we can find the right house to rehab, and have bookmarked your blog for inspiration. Thank you!


Thanks for the summary! I really love your west elm pendants. Do you think they give enough light in the evenings on their own? Considering 3 of them over our dining room table, which is a pretty dark room. Thanks!


Each pendant has a max wattage of 60W. We find the three of them to be more than enough to light the island in the evening. Our pendants are on a dimmer and we hardly ever turn them all the way up because they’re so bright. They don’t really have a shade to diffuse the light so everything comes through. Maybe try plugging in three 60W bulbs into various lamps minus shades in your dining room and see what result you get?? It might give you a good idea of what to expect from the pendants. I always suggest dimmers in dining rooms, too.


Changes that took this space from “eh” to “oh, WOW.” I am lovin it!

[…] house tweaking […]


This is so swoon worthy! I love it! What a great way to create an open and airy feeling! It’s beautiful! Nice work!

I’m new to reading your blog, so I apologize if you’ve stated this already but #1 where is your sofa from?? and #2 what brand is the high chair you have?


#1. Sofa is Soho Fine Elements in leather. Try googling for the best price. #2. High chair is the BLAMES in red from Ikea.

[…] que hoy, una casa que me tiene enamorada… Con techos altos (que no siempre fueron así), muros blancos (o negros), luz que entra por todos lados, un estilo increíble e inclusive una […]


Looks sweet! I wish I had seen this pic prior to renovating my living room/ kitchen. I just installed central air Last summer. Is it still possible to vault my ceiling like yours? I have cinderblock walls and ranch style like yours. My biggest issue would be the central air considering the blower sits in the attic directly above where I would want to vault. I could have the blower moved to the other side of the house however I have no idea how the duct work would run.


Love what you,ve done. My husband and I not so handy as your family bought a very similar style ranch. We are planning something similar but will likely go with pros all the way. Any ideas on what costs would have been if you had gone with pros? Where did you order your kitchen cabinets and island? Unfortunately we were in a multiple offer situation, so we had to bump up our price so we are hoping to be as frugal as possible, while making sure to not cut important things out!

Thank you for posting!


All kitchen cabinets are from Ikea. You can read more here…


We installed it ourselves but Ikea offers installation and there are handymen / contractors in our area who install Ikea kitchens as well. Check with Ikea for pricing. I have no idea as we always planned on DIYing it.


I thought they might be IKEA. They look great! And your post is super helpful. I hope we will be able to go the same route in our space. I imagine we will be able to at least assemble the kitchen ourselves which should save some $$ Thank you for the help and pointing me to the right post!


I see where you said the rug is from Rugs USA–do you remember the name? It is gorgeous…has it held up well for you? Thanks!


It all looks great! Thanks for posting all of it! What are the dimensions of your main living space? Trying to figure out if we can vault our ceiling like yours, and I think our rooms may be pretty similar in size–Thanks!


It’s roughly 22′ x 26′.


Did the $5600 include the HVAC and electrical rework? It sounds like this was just for beam? Curious costs involved to rework the electrical and HVAC. thanks!


That total doesn’t include HVAC and electrical.

Our ductwork runs through the slab so there wasn’t that much HVAC to rework. We were able to run a new return on the wall just above the DIY shelves. Luckily, my dad is a retired sheet metal fabricator so he was able to make a few new fittings for us.

My cousin-in-law (an electrician) and Steve did all the electrical work in the house. We paid our electrician-in-law but it was for the entire house, inside and out. The nice thing about the ridge beam is that we were able to run electrical along it. We have track lighting on either side of the beam (seven spotlights total) and two ceiling fans.


What all DID the 5600 include? We have a 1960’s ranch with finished walls and ceilings, no can lights, but HVAC and a ceiling fan in the ceiling. Obviously you can’t give me a quote, but looking to know what you got for the 5600! Thanks so much for the helpful post; your room looks amazing.


The new look is indeed amazing! We are so thankful to have stumbled upon your post as we are about to embark on a similar project. Given that we don’t have the building/engineering expertise that you have, what would you advise our first step to be? We have the vision but need professional advice on structure and get plans drawn up. How do we go about doing this? Thanks for the advice!


Interview a few contractors!


This is an absolutely beautiful renovation! I am curious about the fireplace insert with the TV on top. We are looking to do a similar set up in our living room and I’m wondering if you could offer any advice. I like how they both look “built in” and just wondered if you built out from the original fireplace to create it and in general any advice. Thank you!


Yes, we just built out the center wall above the mantel. Steve ran all the audio / visual wires to a connection panel on another wall (behind the media cabinet) before we closed it up so they’re hidden. We also rigged the bottom plank below the TV so that it’s removable for repairs if necessary.


With the new interior vaulted ceilings did you have to change the roof line pitch on the exterior of the home or were you able to take attic space to complete this project?


We did not change the pitch of the roof. We tapped into unused, inaccessible attic space and added access to the attic space left over for storage.


Thanks for your reply! Have you had any problem with the TV being above the gas insert fireplace – does the TV get too hot??


No, not at all! I think it helps that our gas insert has a blower that blows the hot air out into the room instead of the heat immediately rising up to the TV.


I am buying my first condo, so I have a while before I’m knocking down walls in a house. But I really appreciate you sharing (and everything you share). It gets me excited for the future and eases my worries about not even knowing where to start or how any of these projects come together. I read everything you post, please keep them coming!



Thinking about a darker hardwood floor. Where did you get yours? What color, material and size of planks is it?


Hey there! We are planning to vault our living room/kitchen this year. Is the track lighting you installed on the center beam enough for the room? If you did it again, would you install halogen recessed lights instead? We’re trying to figure out the lighting needs for our space. :) Thanks!

(Our room is a similar size and layout as well…only difference is that our fireplace is in the middle of the room.)


It’s enough with the island pendants, sink sconce, (over and under) cabinet lighting and various lamps. I don’t think it would be enough on its own!


Thank you so much! Quite helpful! And your room is an inspiration :)


This is awesome. I’d love to know what your total budget was, as this is very similar to what we want to do, including opening up the kitchen and redoing it. Thank you.


Could you share with me the center height of the vaulted ceiling? I have almost the exact same layout in my 50s ranch (only difference is fireplace) and I’m not sure if our roof is the same height as yours. I’d like to measure the attic and add that to our 8′ ceilings to compare. Thanks! You did an absolutely fabulous job, and opened my eyes to the true potential of my house! Now onto convincing my husband to rip down all the crown he so lovingly installed in favor of vaulting…


I think it’s ~12′ to the ridge beam…~13′ to the actual apex.

[…] but no further.   Going for the full vault (like this house) is rather pricey because you have to re-engineer the support system for the roof.  Our […]

[…] {House Tweaking – if you haven’t checked out this post you need to!  Dana is one of those unbelievable bloggers I was talking about who vaulted an existing ceiling} […]



You mentioned that $5,600 didn’t include HVAC…

What was the total cost of the project?


Just getting ready to begin tear-down of our 8′ ceilings and put up a ridge beam! Our contractor said the existing joists will need to be replaced as they are not deep enough for the spray foam. Could you tell me the dimensions of your joists? Ours are less than 2×6 and he wants to switch them out to 2×10. From the pics yours *looks* like 2×6? Thanks!


oops! I meant to say rafters, not joists! :) Thanks.


Which direction are your skylights facing? We’re planning to do this project to our home someday, and our kitchen roof is south facing, so lots of sunlight! I’m worried about overheating. Beautiful home! It’s been a great inspiration! :)


The skylights are on the north side of the house so we only get direct sunlight through them for a little while on summer afternoons when the sun is high in the sky. I love the indirect light! I think skylights on the south side might be too harsh for me…but that’s just me.


Hi! Love your blog. We are embarking on a project that looks like our living rooms were born from the same mother!!! The room we are vaulting has the exact same fireplace! The room is 28×18. Can you tell me the dimensions of your whole vaulted space? It will be interesting to see if we need an LVL or we can keep the beams, reducing the number of them but thickening/strengthening them up. We are waiting on an evaluation. If yours is a similar size, we will likely have to do what you did. I think yours looks bigger thought.

Thanks so much!!


The open living space (living room, kitchen) is ~22′ x 25′.


I too am a big fan of your accomplishments and even though we are going to do something very similar with our ceiling, my question is about your floor. I love it! I want it! What is it and how did you get it?! I’m hoping that it is wood and I’m hoping that you have found a great solution to keeping the price reasonable. If not, that’s okay, I’d still like to hear about it ;)


Here’s a post from a few years back on the flooring…


I’ll be sharing more about how they’re holding up in a future post. All in all, they’ve been a good choice considering our budget (small), slab foundation and aesthetic.


Hi! I ran across your blog and I am absolutely in love with your renovation projects! The house looks amazing and I am so impressed with the vaulted ceiling you and your husband created. I live in GA and will hopefully (if everything goes as planned) be closing on home soon that needs renovating. I’m a first time home buyer so I’m trying to get my budget together for all of the ideas I have for the home.

What caught my eye the most about your home is that it looks sooooo close to the layout of the home I’m purchasing with the ceiling height, room sizes, and unnecessary walls. I’m sure there will be some differences in work/purchasing materials, but overall how much would you guesstimate that the vaulted ceiling undertaking cost you guys in the end?


With insulation, new drywall, tongue-and-groove ceiling…I would have to guess it still came in under $7,500.


Where did you get the lights over your island?


West Elm!


Great looking house. I’m jealous. So what do you think someone would pay to have this done 100% by a contractor?


This is absolutely stunning! I was wondering what your roof pitch is? We’re thinking of vaulting our ceilings in our home. Our roof is a 4/12 pitch, and we’re unsure if it will look good or not!


Wow, that is a dramatic improvement! We are currently renovating a 1960’s brick ranch (half the size of our current house), and have been considering doing this as a way to make the smaller living area/kitchen seem less cramped. It definitely works well with the low slung roof line. The only issue now is making it work within our budget.


My wife and I have just vaulted our ceiling. Your blog was definitely a large part of the inspiration to do it. We are getting close to being done and now need to purchase ceiling fans. I really like yours. Can you please tell me where you bought there? Or the make/model? Thank you!


Read about the fans here…


We sold and replaced the first ones we installed because they were too loud. LOVE the new ones. Hope that helps!


Thank you so much! Very helpful. I swear I searched your entire blog for “fans” and never came across this page. I apologize for asking a question that had already been answered! I ordered two of these fans! Really appreciate it!



No problem!


Thank you, Dana, for the inspiration to do a major home reno myself. Loved your vaulted ceiling, so I did something very similar and documented it, as well (http://diyranchreno.blogspot.com/).




I know this is such an old post, but hoping you see this anyways. What size are your pendants? I love them, but I can’t visualize the different sizes and I am torn if I need to get the 8″ or 11″ west elm ones. Thanks!


I bought a short sale ranch 2 years ago and recently saw another house in the neigborhood that raised the ceiling in their house and the effect was stunning.
Can you post what you did about the HVAC ductwork? It seems if you raised the ceiling in the middle of the house and eliminated attic for the living area, that you had heated/cooled living spaces separated by the vaulted ceiling. I looked at your photos and I see only an intake vent high on the wall. Not sure if your house is on slab or how you managed that. Thank you for posting this, very interesting! I did a web search on vaulting a ceiling and your post came up despite that it’s 4 years old.
best regards, KK German, Virginia Beach, VA


I loved how you showed the process of the vault! Thank you so much, I know how much time it takes to capture these moments in the middle of all the stresses of reno. I currently have 40 foot vaulted ceilings but I’m looking to move to a different neighborhood. We are looking at older ranch homes and thought maybe vaulting would be in the budget. Do you know the ballpark range of the vault plus the sheet rock and paint etc? I’m wondering the cost of the vaulted project not just the LVL. Thanks again for all the great picts and info!


My husband and I are considering doing this exact same thing to our ranch. What was the entire cost and how much work did you do yourself? My husband is pretty handy so could probably demo it and install the tongue and groove ceiling too! Also, where did you find your contractor? We are trying to figure out where to start with finding someone to get an estimate from. Thanks for your response in advance!


I was inspired by your cathedral ceiling project to do my own. And I built it in much the same way you did except that I did not paint my tongue and groove boards. My question for you is about your rafters. Did you beef them up? Or did you just hang your new insulation, ceiling boards and electrical from the existing rafters? They look like 2x6s. My structural engineer encouraged me to add 2x10s below the old 2×6 rafters so I could fit enough insulation between them all with a ventilation Gap to achieve R19.

Your ceiling looks really great as does the rest of the remodel. You can look at my project on Pinterest on the board called “1517 remodel” or search by my name, Michael Mundy. We are finishing up our Ikea kitchen as we speak. Then I’ve got a lot of trim work to do. I’m sure you and I both pondered some of the same decisions. I installed and raised my own 22 ft LVL so I can understand why a contractor would have charged over 5 grand for the job. I’m still trying to get my wife to pay me!


Hi there, wondering what is on the otherside of your kitchen?


OMG!! I love your house now! You have done such a good job girl.


Had to say it one more time. LOVE the vaulted room!


Hello! I just came across your blog today and I am BEYOND thrilled that I did…. My home is a nearly IDENTICAL footprint of yours.. and though not in as bad of shape as yours was upon purchase, it’s been a slow process in getting it fixed up little by little. I am SO inspired by everything you’ve done… We also took out the separating walls between kitchen/living/dining so it’s open. Where your everything room is, we have a nothing room because we just couldn’t seem to find a proper use for the space! We just have a fireplace and a door where you have a window and two walls. I’m dying for those vaulted ceilings with the skylights seriously. This comment is making no sense because I have way too many thoughts running through my mind but just wanted to say your transformation is amazing and I’m in heaven right now :)


The track lighting from Menard’s… Do you think they’re 2.5″ or 4.5″? We have a vaulted ceiling with a nearly identical setup! I’m assuming they’re the 4.5″, but want to be sure before we purchase them, thanks!


One more thing! How many individual lights do you have installed and on how many tracks? Thanks so much!


Were your rafter 16″ on center?


We just bought a split level that has pretty much an identical layout on the first floor as yours. We are debating whether to keep the ceilings at 8’ and just run a beam to take out a wall or putting in a ridge beam and vaulting the ceiling. We’ve been trying to get in touch with engineers or architects to come out and give us a ballpark of what this would cost us and for whatever reason it’s been impossible to get one to even come look at the job. We just moved in and are trying to get the kitchen in working order but don’t want to unpack everything and then just pack it back up if we need up moving on this project. I don’t want to be too forward, but can you give me a ballpark of what the total cost was to get the ceilings vaulted?


I love this! It’s exactly what I’ve been envisioning for my space. I live in a split rancher and have wanted to do away with my dining room for a long time. I have a small island (only seats 2) but replacing with a much bigger one for more seating and more storage underneath is ideal. And putting a desk on the other wall with more storage above is genius! I’m already using our dinning room table as a desk anyway! We never sit to eat dinner there…thanks for sharing your labor of love.