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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default lower catherdal ceiling?

    We have a large family room with a cathedral ceiling, complete with a lofted area above (too small and open to be considered a bedroom). The room and loft are part of an addition that was mad to the house (not by us), and made very cheaply. The original part of the house was built in 1949 with hardwoods and all that old house charm. The addition, however, is all laminate floors and berber carpet.

    Since we have no use for this big empty space (there is a seperate family room/living room in the original part of the house), we are considering stripping the addition and possibly even removing the lofted are as we are not sure what to use it for and hate the spiral staircase that you have to use to get to it. I guess my dilema is: is it worth it to try and save the addition by stripping it down and lowering the ceiling height, possibly converting it into two extra bedrooms? Or would it be better to demo the entire addition and build from the foundation up? The roof over that part of the house is also in need of repair.

    We are new to all of this, and have only done cosmetic repairs thus far, so any advice would be helpful. We do have a contractor we trust to work with.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: lower catherdal ceiling?

    Converting the space may depend on the construction of the walls and foundation of the open area. You would have to make sure that they are engineered to support a new second floor; this may require retrofitting posts & beams into the construction. You may need to contact a structural engineer, unless the walls & foundation meet current codes for supporting a second story.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Derry, NH

    Default Re: lower catherdal ceiling?

    I have gutted the interior of cathedrals and install floor joist/ceiling joist to return the building to a useful state. One side of the roof was needed to be opened at the bottom to ease the joists through, but other than that everything else remained the same.

    Retrofitting is many times cheaper but depends on what is there first. If the structure is good and slipping in joists is all one needs then you are talking about a much smaller financial commitment than a rebuild.

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