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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Low Ceiling Height in Old Farmhouse

    I recently purchased an old farmhouse (1820's) which has very low ceilings on both the first floor and second floor (less than 7 ft.). We are looking for ways to best use the existing space and one thought I had was to lower the the existing first floor.

    A portion of the house was added on in the 1930's or 1940's and has only a 1 to 2 foot crawlspace underneath the existing first floor. I was wondering if it is possible to lower the existing first floor down by about 1 ft. by taking out the existing first floor, digging out more of the crawl space and then replacing the floor at a lower level. I am a novice with no construction experience, so I have no idea if this is possible or what structural implications it might have.

    Looking to get anyone's thoughts or feedback...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Low Ceiling Height in Old Farmhouse

    That will be a HUGE job --- especially for someone without construction knowledge & experience.
    It will also be expensive -- you would need to have an engineer to provide certified structural drawings and submit to the municipal building department for permits and inspections --- even more when you hire someone to do all the heavy , dirty work.

    You might want to rethink the space.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,160

    Default Re: Low Ceiling Height in Old Farmhouse

    "That will be a HUGE job" is not an understatement. The more usual way to get more headroom is to raise the structure up. Still a HUGE job. One way to get the illusion of more space is to remove the finish on the joists, so that visually at least you might get another 8" or 10". This isn't always satisfactory since the structure was never meant to be seen and sound transition between floors will be increased.
    A complete rebuild of the house, even if it is on the same foundation or an addition to supplement the low ceiling spaces could help. This is one case a creative architect could be of service. No matter what is done a lot of money will be involved.
    Last edited by ed21; 12-13-2011 at 10:16 AM.

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