As a custom framer, I welcome the challenge to do something a little out of the ordinary. A recent job called for a recessed cross-vault ceiling in a rectangular morning room off the kitchen. In that section of the house, we'd framed the basic ceiling flat at a height of 10 feet. The recess would be built as a nonstructural assembly beneath the ceiling consisting of two equal barrel vaults intersecting at right angles.

Classically, this configuration is called a groin vault. When framed within rectangular confines, the barrel segments intersect in diagonal "hips" that form a pair of diagonal segmental arches. While it may sound like a difficult piece of framing, in fact, the process was relatively simple.

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