Cathedral Ceiling or Vaulted?

mgabrielNovember 12, 2008

We are planning on having a two story great room. IÂm trying to determine which way to accomplish this. The plan we are going with callÂs for a cathedral ceiling. The house plan is a cape cod with a dormer on the back of the house that allows for a cathedral ceiling. I had thought about eliminating the dormer and have a vaulted ceiling with skylights but had decided against this until I came across the attached photo of the Candlerpark that has a vaulted ceiling and it looked good.

I thought by going with the vaulted ceiling it would save $$ and maybe look better since the great room is only about 16 x20. But I want to also make sure it lookÂs right.

Vaulted Ceiling:

Does anyone know the pitch of the greatroom roof for the Candlerpark?

Any suggestions, ideas or opinions?


Here is a link that might be useful: Cathedral Ceiling

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Please describe the difference between a cathedral ceiling and a vaulted ceiling.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 8:31AM
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I consider a Vaulted ceiling to look like a half V, whereas a Cathedral ceiling looks like a complete V. Perhaps IÂm using the terms incorrectly. My question is which ceiling type will look better in a great room that is about a 16Âx20Â. My thought is the "vaulted or sloped" ceiling might look better. It will slop up to the 2nd story stairs. IÂm afraid with the cathedral ceiling system it will look like a elevator. IÂm sorry for the confusion.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 9:23AM
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A cathedral ceiling follows the same pitch or utilizes the rafters as the roof/ceiling whereas a vaulted ceiling typically has a lower/seperate pitch with joists usually accomplished with scissor trusses these days, the bottom chord being the lesser pitch.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 9:44AM
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This is hard to picture, since the Candler Park is not YOUR houseplan.

I don't care for the Candler Park. It's NOT a "Cape Cod" -- only pretends to be one, with fake dormers. I don't like the photo of the great room, with that archtop floating all alone in the gable. I'd prefer to see transoms or something unified with the French doors.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 11:06AM
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All of the photos seem to show a cathedral ceiling.

The traditional New England Cape Cod house had a large central chimney but no dormers, porches, or arch-top windows. If this house had a chimney on the end wall it would be typical of the early Tidewater South tradition found in the Southeast. Arch-top dormer windows are a French Colonial element found in Louisiana.

If you build this house please find someone who knows how to detail a classical cornice return and consider a less heavy-handed broken-pediment/cornice-return at the dormers. They look like cake decorations in the rendering.

You can combine these traditional design elements but using traditional classifications to describe the result only confuses others except perhaps real estate agents who think all houses can be classified as one of 5 styles.

In the end what matters is balance and proportion and that is usually the first thing to be lost in mass-produced, mass-marketed designs.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 2:35PM
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