A vaulted ceiling is an open ceiling with no attic between the main room and the roof. Vaulted ceilings usually have two sides that angle inward toward a single point. Often, the woodwork of the ceiling is visible in a vaulted ceiling.
Vaulted ceilings open up rooms and provide the illusion of more floor space. There is more wall space in a room with vaulted ceilings, and there is more space for windows. Since there is nothing between the room and the roof, it is possible to put a skylight into a vaulted ceiling without damaging the structure. These additional windows make rooms with vaulted ceilings lighter and brighter, since more sunlight is seen. Vaulted ceilings are usually found in older homes or are built into new ones, and remodeling a house to include a vaulted ceiling is difficult.
The main drawback to a vaulted ceiling is ventilation and temperature control. The large, open area is more difficult to control with air conditioning or heat, and there are specific standards that must be met to ensure proper ventilation. However, even when the roof and ceiling are properly ventilated and insulated, this ceiling style takes more energy to heat or cool.