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Thread: Raise the roof?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question Raise the roof?

    Our 1930's bungalow has 800 square feet of living space. We have a walk-up attic we are interested in finishing in order to increase our living space. The problem is that the roof height is low (my 6-ft tall husband can stand in the middle only - otherwise he has to duck). The roof line is simple - currently no dormers. There is insulation in the floor only (it's inadequate) and the headroom is way too low to meet code even without added insulation. Could we raise the entire roof or put in some sort of cathedral dormer the whole length of the attic? My guess is that this would be a huge project with a huge pricetag and thus way out of our reach.... Is this correct? Any input would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Raise the roof?

    To answer your question, yes you can raise the roof and yes it would be expensive.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Raise the roof?

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    To answer your question, yes you can raise the roof and yes it would be expensive.
    Jack
    Just how expensive would depend on the overall design, how the space is finished, and your local rates. You can probably figure between $200 and $300 per square foot as a rough guideline.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Raise the roof?

    Thank you both for your replies! I realize the cost estimate is a ball-park but I am wondering is the $200-300 per square foot only for the structural work or does that include all the interior finishing? We would try to do much of the interior work ouselves...
    Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Raise the roof?

    That is an average cost, any work you do will obviously change that figure. The primary costs are labor and materials on new goods. Demolition, while adding some, isn't usually a major contributing factor to the overall cost. Considering that you're working from an 800 square foot home, that's maybe a 20 yard dumpster and a weekend to take off the roof structure. The dumpster will run you about $300 and you'd be looking at probably around $1000 to $1500 in labor, so you can see that the demo isn't going to be all that much in the grand scheme of things.

    The major contributing factor is the level of the finish materials. If you want lots of solid wood and marble, then count on a hefty bill. If carpet and formica is planned, then you're looking at a relatively easy bill. There are too many variables to be able to give a quote over the internet.

    A short list of things to consider is the cost of hiring an architect/draftsman to draw up the plans and push them through the building department. From there you can put the plans out for competitive bidding. Permits will run you a percentage of the construction costs, each jurisdiction sets their own rates.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Raise the roof?

    I would guess it will cost you between $80 and $120 sq.ft. for permits, desing, demolition, framing (which may include rewoking floor joists), roofing, siding and windows. You would then have to add any electrical, plumbing, insulation, heating and AC, or drywall work you hire. You would still be left with flooring, trim, finishing, etc.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Raise the roof?

    I'm in the same boat. Unfinished attic is very low, we can only stand in the middle. Assuming my husband and I would do most of the work ourselves (drywall, flooring, electrical, etc), does anyone know what we'd need to spend to get just the roof raised and the walls built up?

    Thank you!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Raise the roof?

    We have a similar bungalow and are putting a new roof on it over large dormers. If you look at the architectural drawings you can see the original bungalow roof. Have a look and let me know if you have any questions. We are estimating that the new roof alone is approx $25,000. Now this is permitted work and part of the cost is that the original attic was never designed to support weight. So new joists, new beams... Big part of the project but we are getting 9' ceilings out of it.

    thanks
    Kevin
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Raise the roof?

    Quote Originally Posted by renoyourlife View Post
    We have a similar bungalow and are putting a new roof on it over large dormers. If you look at the architectural drawings you can see the original bungalow roof. Have a look and let me know if you have any questions. We are estimating that the new roof alone is approx $25,000. Now this is permitted work and part of the cost is that the original attic was never designed to support weight. So new joists, new beams... Big part of the project but we are getting 9' ceilings out of it.

    thanks
    Kevin
    That certainly is something needing consideration and will influence costs.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Raise the roof?

    Have you thought of doing 2 smaller dormers instead of an entire roof? It's quite common in my neighborhood- Maybe it's more affordable?

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