By Mercedes Hayes
It’s no secret that a log home vaulted ceiling makes a dramatic statement. I would venture to say that for resale, this kind of look sells the house quickly. A vaulted ceiling implies lots of windows, hence lots of light, which is at the top of everyone’s list.
A cathedral ceiling is also undeniably gorgeous. You can set up the biggest Christmas tree you can imagine. And a large great room can hold plenty of furniture in different configurations. By definition, you have an open floor plan, which is also high on everyone’s list these days.
But is a log home vaulted ceiling practical? Maybe not. From construction to everyday living, there are tradeoffs that might not seem obvious at first.
Right away, you are going to pay a premium to build a custom, hand-framed roof. There are no shortcuts; you will be using extra timbers, probably a tongue-and-groove ceiling and extra labor costs.
The more angles to your roof, the higher the cost. Also, if your roof pitch is steep, the roofer is going to charge extra — especially if he has to bring in special equipment. And of course you’ll want a big chandelier and probably ceiling fans (don’t forget about all the extra lighting and wiring you’ll need).
A vaulted ceiling implies a loft. Most log homes have a loft that is large enough to use. It has great acoustics. In fact, you will hear every conversation, every TV show, every radio, and squeals and laughter whether you are in the loft or in the great room. So if you have a loft, make sure you also have a quiet room.
If you have a two-story great room, you are going to have a big open space that could have been another bedroom or two. It’s a lot of potential living space to give up. The other thing you will sacrifice is an attic. So all the things that might go into the attic (mechanicals and ductwork, not to mention storage) need to be relocated elsewhere.