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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    27

    Default Can we raise our attic ceiling?

    I have a 1.5 story 1955 post-war Cade Cod-ish house with a built out and popped up attic space. The ceilings are 7 ft up there, and since we are planning to remodel it soon, I am looking into the possibility of raising the ceilings. Ideally I would love to vault them all the way up, but I don't think that is possible without a ridge beam, as far as I have gathered.

    What are my options? I have attached pictures of the upper attic space and a little drawing of the design.







    Last edited by Netdewt; 09-15-2012 at 11:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
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    5,084

    Default Re: Can we raise our attic ceiling?

    Generall, without getting into the specifics of your case:

    - an attic can be raised.
    - a roof can be raised, subject to restrictions.

    Since we don't know what restrictions exist in your area, the best is to contact a local general contractor for advice.

    Remember that all structual work must be permitted, inspected and approved.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    27

    Default Re: Can we raise our attic ceiling?

    I don't want to change the roof at all. I want to change the ceiling inside the attic.

    Yes, I have several appointments this week to talk to people about the different things we have planned for the space (bathroom, closet in a currently unfinished space, ceiling change). If the ceiling change would require removing the roof, it will not happen. That is far outside of what we want to do.

    I was just hoping to get some ideas from people. I'm not going to do anything until I consult a structural engineer of course.

    For instance, could the ceiling be slanted up to gain height at one end? And could the knee wall be moved in spots to allow for a full-height door?

    This is a side view to shot the truss design if it's hard to tell what it is.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: Can we raise our attic ceiling?

    This is off-the-cuff, but I don't believe you can raise the ceiling because the ceiling joists are acting as the collar ties to keep the main rafters from spreading.
    You're correct that the solution (involved and costly) is a load-bearing ridge beam.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Can we raise our attic ceiling?

    How are scissors truss roofs able to work without having a ridge beam?

    I tried posting images, but now it won't let me. Look for "Scissors truss" on Wikipedia for a picture.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    27

    Default Re: Can we raise our attic ceiling?

    ...................
    Last edited by Netdewt; 09-25-2012 at 12:52 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Can we raise our attic ceiling?

    What type of contractor would install a ridge beam anyways? What's a ballpark cost? $5000? $10,000?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Can we raise our attic ceiling?

    I have ruled out modifying the roof, trusses, or parts of the trusses in any way. The cost makes the entire project impractical.

    However! I though of another idea. While it doesn't ACTUALLY raise the ceiling, it could give the feeling of several more inches.

    Is there any reason that part of the truss couldn't be exposed in the room? Could I run stringers on the top of the bottom chord of the truss, and mount a ceiling to those stringers? The structural 2x4 chord could then be wrapped in something to make it look nicer. Here is a drawing and an example in an attempt to explain.

    Are there code restrictions on this type of setup?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Can we raise our attic ceiling?



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