Your garage may be wide, but the ceiling height doesn’t match the width of the space. For this reason, many homeowners have their garage ceilings painted black, but another option is installing a vaulted garage ceiling. A vaulted ceiling doesn’t make the head space in the garage appear taller; it adds headroom and improves airflow in the garage.
You can install a vaulted ceiling in your garage during its construction as a new project, or you can have it installed during garage remodeling. However, before you decide on having a vaulted ceiling, you should understand all it entails.
This article provides insight into the details of a vaulted ceiling structural design. You’ll understand the processes involved in insulating a vaulted ceiling, the things to consider before vaulted ceiling addition to your garage, and what a vaulted ceiling garage conversion requires. Ultimately, you’ll have an idea about how to build a vaulted ceiling.
Good to Read: Detached Garage Conversion Ideas
Is Vaulted Ceiling Right for Your Garage?
Vaulted ceilings used to be a common feature in homes of the affluent. It provides a good visual interest in the home’s first layer and allows for more ventilation since it eliminates the need for an attic. In addition, vaulted ceilings are curvaceous and can take different degrees of slope across the width and length of the home. For garages, vaulted ceilings are commonly installed to:
- Create more headroom
- Increase ventilation
- Allow hydraulic lift installation
- Improve visual interest
Therefore, to ascertain if your garage needs a vaulted ceiling, it should solve one of the following problems:
Air movement in and out of the garage may not seem as important as you now think they do since you never thought your garage would get as busy as it is. However, it is common for garages to be without windows, and the only avenue for natural light and air to get in is through the door.
With a vaulted ceiling, you can easily create more entry points for natural light and air, improving the brightness of the garage’s interior and its comfort. The vaulted ceiling also helps you deal with hot air as it has more space to fill above the room, and cool air takes its place in the lower levels.
Garage ceilings were not traditionally built to be tall. As a result, some garages have lower ceiling levels than the other parts of the home, which can create problems for you, especially if you now intend to use your garage for more than a parking space. You’ll need more head space to include overhead storage and move around the garage more freely. Also, it can make you feel uncomfortable if you’re claustrophobic.
A solution to this problem is installing a vaulted ceiling to increase the ceiling height of your garage. As a result, you’ll have more headroom for installing your overhead storage, reducing cluttering on the garage floor. It also eliminates the claustrophobic feeling associated with low garage ceilings.
Limited Space for Hydraulic Lift
If you have a garage that needs a hydraulic lift and your garage has low ceilings, it may be impossible to install your hydraulic lift there unless you remove the existing ceiling and install a vaulted ceiling.
Car repair and bodywork shops are known to have high ceilings, and that’s because they sometimes need enough space to stack cars and maximize their use of vertical space. If you’re limited on floor space, you may need a hydraulic lift to help lift those cars off the floor and create room for other cars to come in.
A vaulted ceiling creates that extra head space you’ll need to operate your hydraulic lift. It’ll also give you more vertical space to fit your cars.
Boring Visual Interest
While the visual interest in a car bodywork shop is the cars and equipment you have, a residential garage may need to create some stunning visual appeal that makes it worthwhile. Usually, garage floors are made to add visual interest to your garage while also being functional. However, you can add some more aesthetics with the rustic vibe a vaulted ceiling introduces.
The higher ceiling and the rustic design of a vaulted ceiling create a better visually pleasing view than the low ceiling you currently have.
Good to Read: Garage Interior Ideas
What to Consider Before Installing a Vaulted Ceiling in Your Garage
Installing a vaulted ceiling can be tempting as it offers many benefits aesthetically, functionally, and comfortably. However, there are some things to consider before installing a vaulted ceiling in your garage, and they include:
Garage’s Type of Roof
You should first know if your garage roof has room for a vaulted ceiling. If your garage has a flat roof, installing a vaulted ceiling will mean the removal of the entire roof and changing the roof structure to accommodate arched ceilings. This may obstruct your neighbors’ view of their surroundings.
A sloped roof with space for an attic is the best one that accommodates a vaulted ceiling. However, with garages, you don’t need to have space for an attic.
Cost of Construction
As impressive as vaulted ceilings are, they’re not to be done by yourself unless you’re a professional at installing roofs, specifically domed and arched roofs. Installing a vaulted ceiling requires a professional’s expertise as many technicalities are involved in its design, construction, and installation.
Procuring the materials, installing them, and hiring a professional means you’ll need to prepare for the monetary cost, which may be about $150 to $200 per square foot.
Cleaning the Upper Layers of Your Garage
After installing a vaulted ceiling, you enjoy the benefits it gives you, but when the time comes to remove cobwebs and dust in your garage, you’ll realize how difficult it is to clean the upper layer of your garage.
You may require a ladder or any other equipment to lift you to the ceiling level to clean out the dust and cobwebs. Also, you’ll need to be extra careful in cleaning the ceiling as you’ll need protection against falls and dust in your eyes.
Yes, a vaulted ceiling helps with airflow; hot air rises faster, and cool air takes its place. However, during winter, you’ll have more cool air in the garage, increasing the cost of warming up the garage.
Your energy bills will increase as more cool air will heat up, and more cool air comes in. Also, to reduce the cool air coming into your garage, you may have to close the garage door, which means using more overhead lights.
How to Build Vaulted Ceiling for Your Garage
Building a vaulted ceiling is a technical construction that needs handling by professionals. However, that doesn’t stop you, as the homeowner, from knowing what it entails. Building a vaulted ceiling for your garage starts with a consultation and continues with an inspection. A breakdown of the process is:
Consult a Structural Engineer
The first professional to consult for a vaulted ceiling, regardless of where it’ll be, is a structural engineer. Whether your garage has a sloped or flat roof, the structural engineer will inspect and ascertain if the rafters are strategically positioned to support the weight of a domed or arched ceiling.
Usually, they’ll create a detailed design showing where adjustments must be made to support a vaulted ceiling.
Have a Detailed Structural Design for Your Vaulted Ceiling
You’ll get a detailed vaulted ceiling structural design from the structural engineer you’ve hired. The design will guide your contractors on what they must change and can still use. The contractors must be able to understand and interpret the engineer’s design fully.
Hire a Contractor to Construct the Engineer’s Structure
Get a contractor to create a framework from the engineer’s design. For example, the vaulted ceiling framework consists of rafters, joists, and collar ties. They need to be on the right slope and angle to form a strong network of planks for the vaulted ceiling to rest.
Usually, contractors will need new planks – 2 by 6 inches or two by 8 inches – to add to the existing two by 4 inches planks to form a stronger plank network.
Get the Engineer to Inspect the Framework
After the framework is done, the structural engineer has to inspect the work and compare it to his design. Afterward, they’ll issue a certificate assuring you of the quality of the framework.
The certificate will also mean that the structural engineer will be responsible if the structure collapses.
After the framework is in, the recessed lighting is next. Again, depending on the height of the ceiling, usually not more than 13 feet, the brightness of your recessed light should be high. However, if you have windows beside the ceiling, you may need fewer recessed lights.
Insulation is an important part of your vaulted ceiling as it helps to manage heat. However, it must be done right to avoid mold and mildew in your garage.
Use planks of 2 by 6 inches or two by 8 inches to accommodate hard insulation that leaves some room for ventilation. It discourages mold growth despite the presence of hot air around the ceiling.
The vaulted ceiling consists of half-inch wooden planks that are laid over the rafters and collar ties, following the roof’s slope. It is the most straightforward part of the vaulted ceiling construction, but the contractors have to pay attention to the corners and ensure they fit snugly with the joists and planks.
The ceiling usually has drop-down rafters exposed for support, giving the rustic vibe that adds aesthetics to your garage. They’re installed so that they expose the recessed lights and other installations on the roof.
Apply Ceiling Finishes
The right finishings on your garage ceiling can make all the difference. For example, you can make the planks glossy but retain their natural grain. You can also choose to paint it a bright color to manage heat better.
However, if you’re inclined towards a dark interior for your garage, you can have a vaulted garage ceiling painted black.
Frequently Asked Questions About Garage Vaulted Ceiling
Here are answers to some questions you may have about vaulted garage ceilings.
How Much Would It Cost to Vault a Ceiling?
Vaulted ceilings are generally more expensive than flat ceilings. Because it requires the expertise of many professionals, including a structural engineer and roof contractors, it costs more than you think. The average cost of installing a vaulted ceiling for your garage is about $10,000, and the price increases with the size of your garage.
How Do I Know if I Can Vault My Ceiling?
If you desire to vault your garage ceiling, you should have a sloped roof. However, a flat roof doesn’t stop you from having a vaulted ceiling. To be sure your roof can accommodate a vaulted ceiling, employ the services of a structural engineer for their insight.
A vaulted garage ceiling has many benefits, including more headroom for hydraulic lifts, better ventilation, and improved garage aesthetics. However, you need to employ professionals to ascertain the structural quality of your roof’s framework to carry a vaulted ceiling.
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