Architecture Vaulting my ceiling, ceiling rafters, roofs

Architecture Vaulting my ceiling, ceiling rafters, roofs

Architecture /Vaulting my ceiling

Advertisement

Question

QUESTION: Hello and thanks,

My living room and kitchen are adjacent. The wall between is the main weight-bearing interior wall.

This is a 1945 ranch-style house and I thought it might look good to raise a center portion of the LR ceiling and since the framing necessary for that seems to lend to it, also vault the kitchen ceiling.

I was hoping to get an expert’s view of:

a) What a common dimension might be for the LR «tray». I was thinking: out from the wall 18″ and then up 12″.

b) For ambient lighting, would you put can lights on the lower periphery or in the interior raised area?

c) How high might you vault the kitchen ceiling? Or would you at all? (A full vault would make the weight-bearing wall 16 ft high sloped up from the opposite wall of 8 ft.)

I don’t expect a lot of detail, but if you can give some general guidance that would be great.

Thanks very, very much..

Pitch: 7/12

Attic height in the center: 8 ft

LR dimensions: 12X21′

Kitchen dimensions: 10 X 15′

ANSWER: Hi Mike,

Here are answers to your questions:

A) Your dimensions sound good to me. That should be enough to get some lighting in here too.

B) I would do both. But you may consider using smaller cans around the tray/soffit, like a 4″ can light and use it more as an accent light. Then for the sloped ceiling I think you’d be hard pressed to find small cans that are designed for sloped ceiling. Since the pitch is 7/12, you’ll want to used a can light designed for slope ceilings, and most of those are 6″ cans. You might want to switch these lights separately. You could also consider a hanging fixture from the vault, or a ceiling fan (but don’t put cans above a ceiling fan — it will create a strobe effect in the room when both are on).

C) I not 100% positive I can imagine your scenario, but I think I understand what you are describing. So I would say the answer of whether you vault the kitchen ceiling as well depends on the style of the house or the style you are trying to change this too in your remodel. If it is more traditional, I would tend to think of the living room and kitchen as separate spaces, and create a separate vault in the living room, and then, if you want, a separate vault in the kitchen. By separate, I mean in the living room, I would consider creating a vault that follows the roof on the outside, then a ‘false vault’ that returns to the same height on the interior side to create a symmetrical tray ceiling. This will relate better to the space, be a little more formal, and traditional. You could do the same in the kitchen space as a separate vault, but smaller because the room is smaller.

The other option I think you are describing is following the roof slope up the living room ceiling to the bearing wall, then down again at the kitchen? This is also okay, but generally this is a more ‘modern’ or ‘contemporary’ kind of look, so you’ll have to be the judge of what is more appropriate for the house. If you have that much volume, you might consider adding skylights in the ceiling, or on the tall 16′ bearing wall, consider something to break this up, like an opening between the two spaces and/or wall sconces (that aim up and light the ceiling).

Also, I presume you are working with a structural engineer or someone else qualified to help you with this? This kind of work you are describing would typically require structural alterations to your house to make it safe.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Nazim Nice

Principal / Architect

The LR forms the long arm and the kitchen the short arm of

an «L». The weightbearing wall is the juncture of the two

arms. A perpendicular dropped from the ridge in the attic

would fall into the kitchen about 2 ft from the weight

bearing wall.

In the LR, I just wanted to raise a rectangular center

portion of the rectangular room about a foot. Nothing

diagonal involved. The kitchen I was going to raise above

that-maybe 4 feet (what I term a «vault», or something like

that. So, the wt-bearing wall would be 12 ft tall, most of

the ceiling would be flat and the opposite wall would slope

up to the flat from 8 ft.

The reason I was thinking of vaulting 4 feet is that a

framer friend of mine suggested that to raise the ceiling in

raise of 4 ft in the kitchen, I was hoping you would if that

was, design-wise, a good height.

Thanks again!

Answer

Hi Mike,

I see where you are going with this now. I would typically discuss this with a structural engineer to see if your framer’s ideas are sound. I have done the ‘tray’ ceilings like you describe before, but typically I have still kept the ceiling joists that hold the two outside walls together (sometimes you can eliminate every other ceiling joist). There is an example on our website where the existing joists are kept (they happened to be nice fir joists) and a boxed in ceiling is pushed up. At the top of it we added t&g fir.

Architecture /Vaulting my ceiling

Advertisement

Question

QUESTION: Hello and thanks,

My living room and kitchen are adjacent. The wall between is the main weight-bearing interior wall.

This is a 1945 ranch-style house and I thought it might look good to raise a center portion of the LR ceiling and since the framing necessary for that seems to lend to it, also vault the kitchen ceiling.

I was hoping to get an expert’s view of:

a) What a common dimension might be for the LR «tray». I was thinking: out from the wall 18″ and then up 12″.

b) For ambient lighting, would you put can lights on the lower periphery or in the interior raised area?

c) How high might you vault the kitchen ceiling? Or would you at all? (A full vault would make the weight-bearing wall 16 ft high sloped up from the opposite wall of 8 ft.)

I don’t expect a lot of detail, but if you can give some general guidance that would be great.

Thanks very, very much..

Pitch: 7/12

Attic height in the center: 8 ft

LR dimensions: 12X21′

Kitchen dimensions: 10 X 15′

ANSWER: Hi Mike,

Here are answers to your questions:

A) Your dimensions sound good to me. That should be enough to get some lighting in here too.

B) I would do both. But you may consider using smaller cans around the tray/soffit, like a 4″ can light and use it more as an accent light. Then for the sloped ceiling I think you’d be hard pressed to find small cans that are designed for sloped ceiling. Since the pitch is 7/12, you’ll want to used a can light designed for slope ceilings, and most of those are 6″ cans. You might want to switch these lights separately. You could also consider a hanging fixture from the vault, or a ceiling fan (but don’t put cans above a ceiling fan — it will create a strobe effect in the room when both are on).

C) I not 100% positive I can imagine your scenario, but I think I understand what you are describing. So I would say the answer of whether you vault the kitchen ceiling as well depends on the style of the house or the style you are trying to change this too in your remodel. If it is more traditional, I would tend to think of the living room and kitchen as separate spaces, and create a separate vault in the living room, and then, if you want, a separate vault in the kitchen. By separate, I mean in the living room, I would consider creating a vault that follows the roof on the outside, then a ‘false vault’ that returns to the same height on the interior side to create a symmetrical tray ceiling. This will relate better to the space, be a little more formal, and traditional. You could do the same in the kitchen space as a separate vault, but smaller because the room is smaller.

The other option I think you are describing is following the roof slope up the living room ceiling to the bearing wall, then down again at the kitchen? This is also okay, but generally this is a more ‘modern’ or ‘contemporary’ kind of look, so you’ll have to be the judge of what is more appropriate for the house. If you have that much volume, you might consider adding skylights in the ceiling, or on the tall 16′ bearing wall, consider something to break this up, like an opening between the two spaces and/or wall sconces (that aim up and light the ceiling).

Also, I presume you are working with a structural engineer or someone else qualified to help you with this? This kind of work you are describing would typically require structural alterations to your house to make it safe.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Nazim Nice

Principal / Architect

The LR forms the long arm and the kitchen the short arm of

an «L». The weightbearing wall is the juncture of the two

arms. A perpendicular dropped from the ridge in the attic

would fall into the kitchen about 2 ft from the weight

bearing wall.

In the LR, I just wanted to raise a rectangular center

portion of the rectangular room about a foot. Nothing

diagonal involved. The kitchen I was going to raise above

that-maybe 4 feet (what I term a «vault», or something like

that. So, the wt-bearing wall would be 12 ft tall, most of

the ceiling would be flat and the opposite wall would slope

up to the flat from 8 ft.

The reason I was thinking of vaulting 4 feet is that a

framer friend of mine suggested that to raise the ceiling in

raise of 4 ft in the kitchen, I was hoping you would if that

was, design-wise, a good height.

Thanks again!

Answer

Hi Mike,

I see where you are going with this now. I would typically discuss this with a structural engineer to see if your framer’s ideas are sound. I have done the ‘tray’ ceilings like you describe before, but typically I have still kept the ceiling joists that hold the two outside walls together (sometimes you can eliminate every other ceiling joist). There is an example on our website where the existing joists are kept (they happened to be nice fir joists) and a boxed in ceiling is pushed up. At the top of it we added t&g fir.


Leave a Reply