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Does Cathedral Ceiling enhance resale value that much?

Thankful Oberoi
March 13, 2019

The question is more oriented towards new build and I understand that it has extra utility spendings associated. -

1) But does that enhance resale??

2) Does adding a jacuzzi to a new build enhance resale?

3) Trying to restrict budget as much as possible, do I need to choose Kitchen Cabinet upgrades and Bathroom vanity raised height Cabinet upgrade?

4) Does adding ducts for range hoods a good upgrade and add value to resale or can be done later??

Greatly appreciate if someone can help

Comments (44)

  • jmm1837

    Purely my personal and entirely amateur opinions:

    1) ceiling should be part of the overall design - in some houses it makes sense and adds value, in others it does nothing but increase heating costs.

    2) presence of a jacuzzi would have me working out the cost to remove. Negative value for me.

    3) not entirely sure what you're asking about bathroom cabinetry, but kitchen cabinets should be consistent with overall value of the house. Lots of drawers rather than cupboards for lowers would definitely add value.

    4) I wouldn't buy a house that didn't have a ducted range hood.

  • Jora

    1. On same page as jmm1837. Completely dependent on the overall design of the home.

    2. Personally a jacuzzi (even though removable) is a deterrent for me

    3. ?? Please clarify your question

    4. After just going through the pain of replacing an OTR microwave with an over range hood, I would say that although having a ducted range HOOD is not a necessity, having the DUCT in place is!

  • Pam A

    I agree with previous comments. I own a hot tub and love it. It is my refuge during our remodel. But no way in heck would I want one inside, it would not add value to me.

    Range hood exhaust vent? Oh yeah, need that. Especially if you put the stove on an interior wall.

  • Thankful Oberoi
    Thanks for the answers.
    #3 was this :
    I’m running on a tight budget with this new build now.
    My question is, Is it worth to add the 42 inch Kitchen Cabinet upgrade now in options or I can comfortably wait to do it later?
    Also, are those bathroom vanity cabinets option to be selected now or can be done later?

    Also Would Simone have any insight on the below:

  • Angel 18432

    Yes to ducts and raised counter height in bathroom.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I agree the ceiling height is a mattter of design of the whole house. I personally would not let that be factor when buying if it fit the design well. Yes to ducting, yes to the kitchen cabinets and the higher bathroom cabinet and no to the jacuzzi.

  • chocolatebunny123

    Generally speaking, I think it's easier to do something when you're building than to do it later.

    That being said, something like kitchen cabinets - if you're going with builder grade golden oak for example, I don't care if you have 42 inch cabinets, I'm going to want to replace them. I'd rather have shorter, upgraded wood cabinets. So if you can afford the nicer cabinets now, do it.

    I would also upgrade the bathroom cabinets as well because that affects mirror and light placement and as a buyer it definitely is a nice touch having the higher counters.

    Cathedral ceilings are nice in the front foyer. I have one in my family room and it wasn't a plus or minus when we bought the house. But I see it more as a minus now because it makes the room less cozy and it's a bitch to paint.

    Jacuzzi tub - have one, hardly use it. On our list of things to replace. It's hard to keep the spouts clean no matter how hard I try. So that's definitely an area where I would cut back.

    Duct to the outside for a range hood - I wouldn't buy a house without one.

  • wiscokid
    Do you mean jacuzzi like an indoor hot tub for multiple people or just a jetted tub in the bath?
  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    I would not advise you to design for resale other than to avoid bad or annoying features (a recirculating range hood exhaust would be incredibly annoying as would a poorly designed cathedral ceiling) unless you intend to sell the house very soon and then you should ask the opinion of a local realtor. The answer might be different for each neighborhood.

    In my experience, it is impossible to predict what features will cause a new buyer to offer more. I added a second bathroom just before selling my townhouse and the first thing the new owner did was tear it out. I've been asked by new buyers to replace a kitchen in a house that had just had a new kitchen installed.

    I had a client who had bought an old Yankee Barn house with a cathedral ceiling so high it was virtually impossible to heat and light the living spaces. I designed a second floor master bedroom above the living spaces and probably doubled the resale value of the house. Floor area is worth more than air space.

  • Shannon_WI

    What jmm1837 said above is my opinion as well. I would add that the exhaust ducting needs to be an 8" diameter. Many builders install a smaller diameter duct just cause it might save them 15 minutes in effort. If your home is still in the design phase, insist on the larger 8" duct. Put it in the written scope of work, don't take the builder's verbal word for it. An 8" duct, versus a smaller one, will be more efficient and less noisy. It makes a significant difference.

    As for your subsequent question about the 42" cabinets, I didn't understand what you said about alternatively doing it later. Did you mean switch out the builder-installed cabinets later for the 42" ones? You'll never get around to doing that. Just get the 42" cabinets now. They'll make your ceiling appear taller and more elegant, and they will of course hold more. People will say you won't be able to reach the top shelves, but you wouldn't be able to do that with 36" cabinets either, so that argument doesn't make sense.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    Cathedral ceilings raked on to a design to make a house look more posh are a huge turn off. Jacuzzis are not a high end choice. Ducting in a kitchen is a winner. Better cabinets are a plus.

    However, those are the choices of people who care a good amount about house design. In a owner end market, people will care about blinggy things because those will stand in for good design.

    if you are designing for resale, ask a local realtor what buyers in that area want.

    i would design for myself, though. Location and size trump jacuzzis and ducting and awful ceilings by a long shot in setting a price.

  • nosoccermom

    Well, also think about how much it would cost to change later.

    Ducting is already necessary now and probably cheaper now than to add later.

    I absolutely cathedral ceilings in my bedroom, which was the best decision ever. At the time, cost was not much more, but adding a cathedral ceiling now, would be cost prohibitive. Ditto raise bathroom cabinets. How much is the cost difference now?

    41" kitchen cabinets --- pretty much expected in my area and not easy change later on without new kitchen.

    Of course, if you stay in the house for 10+ years, the kitchen may be close to a renovation anyways.

    Jacuzzi, well I have one and like it, but I doubt anybody would ever pay for it, quite on the contrary.

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Ranges and exhaust fans have gotten so large the last few I have used were required to be 10" with make-up air. Its spelled out in the chart in the IRC and/or the manufacturer's installation instructions.

  • Lady Driver

    How far out is this potential sale date? If you are building to sell immediately I would be sure to consult my local realtors. They will have a good grasp on what buyers in your area want. I would think like a flipper if that is your situation, and your choices will depend on how fancy the house is for your area.

    If you are building for yourself and will resell 10+ years from now, It matters a lot less. Spend on the things that are important to you, because the next buyer will probably want to rip everything out and make it their own style.

    That said (and I am assuming you are buying in a development):

    1. Cathedral ceiling. Probably yes as it is very noticeable when you first enter the house for a "wow" moment. Personally, I don't care about them.

    2. Jacuzzi. Probably no. I like them and I would still be leery of one in a house I was considering buying. No if you are talking about a Jacuzzi bathtub and will be living in the house. No one ever cleans them properly. If you are building to sell and will never live in the house, then yes. A brand new Jacuzzi bathtub is probably appealing to buyers.

    3. Kitchen cabinet upgrades. Probably no. The average buyer isn't savvy enough to know the difference between basic cabinets and upgraded. Better to spend the money on a showy trendy counter top and whatever lighting and hardware is fashionable in your area.

    4. bathroom raised vanity. Probably no. most buyers don't notice invisible improvements. Personally though, I love a raised vanity.

    5. Ducted range hood. Probably yes. This is another easily noticeable kitchen thing. People who watch HGTV or look at house have seen approximately 1 million photos with a big shiny range hood.

  • PRO

    Ducting for a hood is part of a good kitchen and appliance plan. Where is the house plan and kitchen within it?

    A "Standard" bath vanity height is 36 inches with top.

    Anything over a ten foot first floor ceiling height is total waste on a first floor, and to my mind anything over nine feet in the kitchen is also waste and added expense. 42 inch uppers are de rigeur under a nine foot ceiling.

    You couldn't GIVE me a cathedral ceiling. It usually implies total waste of second floor if there is one.

    For the BEST answers. post the floor plan, elevations of the home for which you are already nearing edges of budget : )

  • A Fox

    Vaulted ceilings are definitely on a case by case and even regional basis. For instance, in my area there is still an expectation that higher than mid-grade homes will either have a two story foyer or two story great room, regardless of how useless they can be. The population has been conditioned to expect them.

    It also depends on where they are in the house and how high the ceiling would be without them. If your living room would have an 8' ceiling without the vault, definitely keep the vault. If it were to have 9' to 10' ceilings otherwise, it's not so essential. If you are talking bedrooms, around here no one would balk at an 8' ceiling in a secondary bedroom, but that again is up to regional preferences. On the flip side I recently looked at a house where the 12' square study had a 14' tall vaulted ceiling and standard 80" window head. That was a complete turn off because the room felt so uncomfortable.

    Keep the ducted range hood. Unless there is a clear and accessible path to the exterior through a soffit or attic it will be a pain to do and much more expensive later. I don't think this adds any real value to your house, but you will turn away some buyers without this (those who either like to cook or aren't first time buyers)

    A Jacuzzi might appeal to some people, turn off some people, and most likely doesn't add anything to your home value unless everyone in your area has one except you. And definitely never do a combo jetted tub and shower. We have had one of those and they are a nightmare for cleaning.

    For kitchen cabinets, I would get the kitchen as close to the way that you want it now assuming that you will probably never change it later. Upgrading appliances of the same size, adding a backsplash, or even changing out counters is fairly easy to do. But modifying or changing cabinets without replacing the whole kitchen can be challenging. A bathroom vanity may be a place to go cheaper if the bathroom design (tiling in particular) allow for an easy upgrade in the future.

    *On a side note, I'm frankly a little bothered that consumer culture and trendy design have dictated that bathrooms and kitchens need an overhaul every 10 or so years. A well designed quality kitchen should have 20-30 years of mileage minimum. What a waste of materials and money otherwise. Our kitchen is going on 60 years old. A few new cabinets were added and some rearranged to accommodate modern appliances 30 years ago, and 15-20 years ago it got new paint, new counters and flooring. We are about to give it a fresh coat of paint and hardware, and have plans to change out appliances as they age out, but otherwise it still meets current needs just fine.

  • Shannon_WI

    "Kitchen cabinet upgrades. Probably no. The average buyer isn't savvy enough to know the difference between basic cabinets and upgraded."

    Lady Driver, if we were in 2001, that might be the case (though I had a condo with a kitchen renovated in 1998 and it had 42" cabinets). Everyone expects 42" cabinets in new construction if the home is at the level to also be contemplating cathedral ceilings and a Jacuzzi.

    "Ducted range hood. Probably yes."

    Not "probably". Definitely. I can see no reason on earth, in new construction, not to have a ducted range hood. Indoor air quality is a much more spotlighted issue these days than it was years ago. And when the homeowner goes to sell this house in a few years, it will be even more important.

    Cathedral ceiling - where is this ceiling in the house? The living room? The kitchen? Everywhere? That is important to know. I agree that it adds wow factor in the entry and the living room, though it does add more difficulty in heating the home (you'll need ceiling fans) and in lighting these areas with such a high ceiling. But in a kitchen, a cathedral ceiling creates a lot of problems - such as with the upper cabinets' height (how high? and what happens with the upper cabinets at the low points of the ceiling's slope?), and the lighting. While lighting can be managed in living rooms with cathedral ceilings by using table and floor lamps, in kitchens it is much harder. Kitchens need task lighting, and lighting a kitchen with a cathedral ceiling is difficult. Who needs that.

    Jacuzzi - (I assume we are talking about a bathroom Jacuzzi, not an outdoor Jacuzzi) I agree with A Fox's comment about cleaning them. The little blowers inside the Jacuzzi can get gross, and cleaning that built-up ick is not easy. Ask me how I know haha. I would opt instead for a deep soaking tub, no Jacuzzi.

    Bathroom cabinets - did not understand what the OP meant by selecting them later? Do you mean getting a credit on the bathroom, and doing it yourself later? I don't think most builders will allow that. Clarify what you meant.

  • cpartist

    1) But does that enhance resale??

    Not to me. When I started my build my builder said, "I assume you want a cathedral ceiling in the living room?" I immediately nixed that idea and said to him that 10' ceilings are high enough. I prefer living in a house, not a cathedral.

    If you want a cathedral ceiling then put it in, but a well designed house with 9 or 10' ceilings really doesn't need to have cathedral ceilings unless that is something you want. I personally would never pay extra for them.

    2) Does adding a jacuzzi to a new build enhance resale?

    I'm assuming you mean one in the bathroom. The answer is no. It's a negative nowadays because of the ick factor. A soaking tub would be a better enhancement.

    3) Trying to restrict budget as much as possible, do I need to choose Kitchen Cabinet upgrades and Bathroom vanity raised height Cabinet upgrade?

    The biggest upgrade however would be to make the lower cabinets in the kitchen all drawers instead of cabinets.

    Bathroom vanities should be 36" high from the floor. And yes kitchen uppers should be 42" high.

    4) Does adding ducts for range hoods a good upgrade and add value to resale or can be done later??

    Add it now and like mentioned it should be an 8" duct minimum. This would be a non starter for me.

  • Lady Driver

    Shannon_WI I still think it depends on where and what price point you are looking at. That is why my first piece of advice was to talk to a local realtor if you are building a house to immediately sell. The last time I studied a housing market (about 3 years ago when I sold my house) the new builds in my area sold as quickly as they could build them without upgraded kitchen cabinets because they were the only relatively affordable housing in town.

  • mark_rachel

    In my opinion...





  • Kristin S

    Keep in mind that you’re talking to a bunch of people who spend a lot more time than average thinking about home design. Put more bluntly, we’re a bunch of design snobs. The odds that the future buyer of your house will be, too, are low. Put in the vent ducting (and I’d say the vent, too) for certain. For everything else ask a local realtor what matters in your market for houses of your price range. Ask them specifically what makes houses sell for more v. what just makes houses sell faster. Then make your decisions accordingly.

  • Angel 18432

    Well I'm not a design snob for sure. Just a regular person who has built many homes,

    and build what my husband and I want in a home. Homes that are not always a Buyer's cup of tea, but they have all sold. Depends on what the buyer is looking for.

  • sambah006

    I'd pay extra to not have cathedral ceilings.

    Aside from legitimate high end construction, not McMansion, IMO they are a waste.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    "...Does Cathedral Ceiling enhance resale value that much?..."

    Well...how much is "...that much...?

    As for cathedral ceilings, or vaulted ceilings as they are sometimes called, it all depends on the design and the architecture. For example:


    Absolutely not:

    For real:

    Chose carefully.

  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

    You may want to peruse the McMansion Hell blog- lots of discourse on features that are intended to show off wealth and/or drive up construction costs, while making some remarkably unattractive houses.

  • Shannon_WI

    Put more bluntly, we’re a bunch of design snobs.

    I am always dismayed when this term comes up. People come on this forum to ask for information, that they do not have or know themselves. When that information is provided, from several different viewpoints, the pejorative term "design snobs" is launched. So, the OP looking for information. is given it, only to be told not to pay attention to those design snobs. How does that make any sense. I am tired of that term, and am hoping not to see it again.

    Also, speak for yourself. Don't use "we".

  • M Miller

    “else ask a local realtor what matters in your market for houses of your price range“

    Actually, in my experience, realtors will advise to pile on the improvements. After all, it’s your money you’ll be spending, not theirs. You will get better advice on this forum from people with no skin in the game.

  • wiscokid
    Then you need to find a new realtor. The ones I know have provided solid advice.
  • M Miller

    Wiscokid - it may be regional, and depend on the local real estate market. But unless someone has worked with a certain realtor before, and knows that person to be both knowledgeable and trustworthy, I’d hesitate taking a realtor’s advice. I think many will say “yes to the grandest cathedral ceiling you can do, yes to the Jacuzzi!”

  • rwiegand

    Choose a cathedral ceiling if you have a spectacular mountain outside the window to look at, or if you need to house a 16 ft tall piece of furniture (I have several friends with pipe organs who meet this latter criterion). Otherwise not. A flat 9-12 ft ceiling generally works better with fewer insulation problems.

    No Jacuzzi (especailly not that brand) Put a hot tub outside if you really want one.

    Hood exhaust is an essential function for indoor air quality and pleasant cooking. Hard to retrofit. Yes to that.

    Counters, install whatever you prefer. The fashion winds will have moved on by the time comes to sell, so get what you enjoy.

  • homechef59

    If I see a house with low bathroom vanities, my first thought is that I will need to replace those. Cathedrals ceilings are not a necessity. They add to the HVAC cost. No on the jacuzzi. No one but a five year old ever uses them. A kitchen hood that actually exhausts is a necessity. I hate over the stove microwaves with the little fan. I've passed on houses because of that feature. Do what makes you happy.

  • bikertoni
    In my area Pennsylvania the purchase price of new construction factors into the real estate taxes so the general thinking is at the time of build put money into structural things vs cosmetic. Venting for range hood and raising ceiling should be done. BUT as for ceiling height think of your location and heating cost in making the decision. Also high ceilings is a personal preference so I would visit some homes on the market or recent sales to see if they had it. As for raising height of cabinet I would say no as changing out a cabinet is a lot cheaper than adding it to the taxes over the life you have the home. Also unless you are tall you won’t get the benefit. I did it with my remodel but the cost was no different than standard height. Jacuzzi - I don’t know anyone who has one that likes it after the 1st year. Most find them a pain to maintain and most have been replaced with larger showers or free standing tubs. Good luck and don’t second guess your decisions...it will drive you nuts. All the best
  • M Miller

    “As for raising height of cabinet I would say no as changing out a cabinet is a lot cheaper than adding it to the taxes over the life you have the home. “

    I am not really seeing how 42” tall kitchen cabinets will have any effect on a home’s property taxes vs 30” or 36” tall cabinets. The new-construction kitchen in its entirety will have an effect on property taxes, not the height of the cabinets. I would go for the 42” cabinets because the homeowner will enjoy them for years, for their advantages of a more current and high-end appearance, and more storage. Better for resale too. It is extremely unlikely someone will “change out a cabinet“ later unless they are redoing the kitchen.

    Also the “unless you are tall you won’t get the benefit” is one of those odd myths. Most women can’t reach above the second shelf, or even beyond the front edge of the second shelf, regardless of the height of the cabinet. They’ll need a stepstool anyway, so why not get the taller 42” cabinet and get its advantages.

  • artemis_ma

    1 , depends on style and what's getting cathedralled, and where your home is. I do have a cathedral, but it is a one story home so not depriving myself of living floor space. It also works here.

    2. no. I'd like one for about a month. But I wouldn't put one in. I'm considering an outdoor hot tub but that's a true maybe.

    3. I'm tall so yes for me. But in bathrooms I'm fine with the standard 36 inches. (Actually, bathroom standard height is lower than for kitchens... I'm still fine with it, as I don't prep food in my bathroom!) As far as kitchen uppers... go big. I can actually reach them because I'm not most women, so maybe my vote on this doesn't count?

    4. Absolutely!!!

    As a couple others have mentioned, insist on loads of lower under counter drawers... I love mine!

  • zaccaii
    OP is not replying to all your dedicated research answers...AWOL
  • mxk3

    I bought a house with a 25' x 25' addition that has a vaulted ceiling. It fits the design of the room, but all the other rooms in the house have standard height ceilings. Which is fine, doesn't bother me, it all flows. But man is it cold in there compared to the rest of the house. I could probably pay to have some sort of system set up that pushes the air downward (I obviously don't know HVAC terminology...) but we don't spend enough time in that room to be bothered with that.

    re: Jacuzzi. There is no ick factor if the jet plumbing is cleaned regularly and properly (Ok Yuk! works great, BTW). Even though I rarely use the jets, I love my gigantic jetted tub, but I am a bath person -- soaking in a huge, deep tub is bliss. Other people couldn't care less. Anyway, a freestanding soaking tub is a hip fracture or cracked skull waiting to happen IMO -- it's hard enough getting in and out of a deep built-in tub now that I'm {cough} middle-aged {cough}, I can't imagine how hard it would be to climb in and out of a freestanding one. Plus, seems like it would be hard to clean behind it if positioned close to the wall.

  • Sammie J

    Ceiling height: if it is typical in homes of your style.

    Jacuzzi: no.

    Ducting: yes.

    42" kitchen cabinets: probably yes, depending on style of builder-grade.

    higher bathroom cabinet: probably no (I'm short...).

  • M Miller

    “a freestanding soaking tub is a hip fracture or cracked skull waiting to happen IMO“

    While I agree with you, I’m not sure anyone recommended a freestanding tub in this thread. I think it’s a good point to mention that a soaking tub can be in a freestanding version or a built-in version. And for those of us who remember Sophie Wheeler on this forum, she mentionedseveral times that not only are built-in deep tubs easier to get out of than freestanding, but they have the additional benefit of a surrounding surface where your wine glass and candles can go.

  • jmm1837
    I think the point is, though, that the jacuzzi doesn't add any monetary value at resale time. And if the presence of the jacuzzi means you get an undersized shower, it's a turn off for many.
  • PRO

    The bottom line is that good design, with features that naturally fit within that design, is likely to have better return than a poor design with a bunch of questionable “upgrades” put in it. Dealing with a tract build, there’s only so much you can do to stand out from the crowd and get value from that. Most of those things will be better and cheaper done after the sale. Like landscaping, granite counters, and wood floors.

    Put your builder upgrade money into better insulation and HVAC. It’s not as exciting or polarizing as a jacuzzi. But it’s a far better place to spend money. And don’t go nuts with the Mr. Potatohead 5 kinds of exterior cladding. Save money by doing 1-2 materials well.

  • mxk3

    "While I agree with you, I’m not sure anyone recommended a freestanding tub in this thread."

    I've not seen a built-in soaking tub, I've only seen freestanding ones, which is why I made my comment -- that doesn't mean they don't exist, just not what I associate with the words soaking tub, which seem to be all the rage now (the freestanding ones).

  • M Miller

    Just from a quick search:

  • Thankful Oberoi
    These are very insightful and deeply experienced comments. I greatly appreciate them since someone new to these will find them as incredibly helpful resources.
    Thank you so much
  • Thankful Oberoi
    This being my first thread, I’m amazed at how many people are willing to help with insights

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