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Old 01-10-2008, 04:19 PM   #1
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


I'm living a recently constructed (5yrs old) 2-story M/I home. The house was constructed with a large opening giving to the 2-story. This space had the option of becoming a bonus room. I wish we would have done this from the biginning... Anyway I would appreciate any advise as to the best way to do this. I have my own ideas but figured some outside advise wouldn't hurt.

I have included a few pics of the space, which is 15x18ft. Currently the ceiling is vaulted which gives into the attic. That would obviously be removed and the attic joist structure (with some reinforcement) would become the new ceiling.

In adding the floor I have a couple of ideas. Use joist hangars and/or stratle the new beams on top of the existing floor. What I'm not sure about is the span which is possible. Can I find a 2x10x18'+ beam? Is that structuraly sound? Or do I need a perpendicular "I"-beam to split the load using shorter beam? This is somewhat difficult to think through and write about clearly. Many thanks... John
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:59 PM   #2
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


Good evening from Indy John,

The pictures you posted show your roof system is built from trusses. The cross bracing shown between the vaulted ceiling and the roof (attic space) cannot be modified or taken out. Trusses derive their strength as a system. Individually, the cross members, joists & rafters are much smaller than you would use if you were "stick framing" the roof with individual members. But as a system, they are very strong and efficient.

In the planning stage, your builder would have specified a different truss or roof system if you were planning on finishing this bonus space. At this point, to add a second floor would likely require removing the existing roof and trusses. I have never heard of anyone stick framing a new roof system beside a truss roof and them removing the trusses.

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Old 01-12-2008, 01:06 AM   #3
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


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Good evening from Indy John,

The pictures you posted show your roof system is built from trusses. The cross bracing shown between the vaulted ceiling and the roof (attic space) cannot be modified or taken out. Trusses derive their strength as a system. Individually, the cross members, joists & rafters are much smaller than you would use if you were "stick framing" the roof with individual members. But as a system, they are very strong and efficient.

In the planning stage, your builder would have specified a different truss or roof system if you were planning on finishing this bonus space. At this point, to add a second floor would likely require removing the existing roof and trusses. I have never heard of anyone stick framing a new roof system beside a truss roof and them removing the trusses.
I think, sebastien1 has rightly suggested and pointed out all pros and cons of the remodelling to get more spacious room. You have to bring in notice all such basic things before starting on your project.

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 01-12-2008 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:25 AM   #4
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


Hard to tell exactly what you are planning looking at in the photos but agree with the others you can not cut those trusses. Anything you do well have to work around those now or risk the roof failing at worst and resale problems later at best.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:34 AM   #5
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


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Good evening from Indy John,

The pictures you posted show your roof system is built from trusses. The cross bracing shown between the vaulted ceiling and the roof (attic space) cannot be modified or taken out. Trusses derive their strength as a system. Individually, the cross members, joists & rafters are much smaller than you would use if you were "stick framing" the roof with individual members. But as a system, they are very strong and efficient.

In the planning stage, your builder would have specified a different truss or roof system if you were planning on finishing this bonus space. At this point, to add a second floor would likely require removing the existing roof and trusses. I have never heard of anyone stick framing a new roof system beside a truss roof and them removing the trusses.
After having read this I was thinking that this was a deal breaker, but reading it through again I believe the photo might be too small to see well. I tried posting larger pics but there is 19.5k limit...? However I have seen other posted pic much larger, is there a way around it?

Anyway I'll try to discribe the existing attic structure. As you can see the living room ceiling is vaulted/ angled. These are 2x6's with "no" connection to the roof cross members/ trusses. They sit and are fastened to a sill on the outside wall; at the center/ top of the ceiling of the house they are notched and are nailed to a header. Looking around the rest of the attic space structure there is no difference above any room. So I don't believe there would be any different attic construction required to add a floor.

So as I see it, which could still be wrong, only the existing angled 2x6's ceiling structure would be removed leaving the roof cross members. The bottom "horizontal" portion of this cross member would become the new horizontal ceiling of the new bonus room. I think perhaps it was believed that I wanted the bonus room to have a vaulted/ angled ceiling as well. Which then the attic cross members would have to be modified. This is not what I ever intended. But again it can be difficult to express ideas clearly with limited visual aids and text.

So if I am wrong about the my idea for the new ceiling, please let me know. As for adding the new 15x18" floor, are there any ideas? Many thanks..
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:34 PM   #6
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


so where are the trusses you have pictured in the pics (bottom right pic)?
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:43 PM   #7
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


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so where are the trusses you have pictured in the pics (bottom right pic)?
Yes, it is the bottom right pic. I attached a new pic. This view was taken from the center of the house looking down into the vaulted cavity. So its just a big empty space.
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:54 PM   #8
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


The attached link will take you to much larger and clearer pics of the space discussed. Click "slideshow"

http://picasaweb.google.com/JeanChri...CeilingRemodel
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:21 PM   #9
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


those are trusses you got there. If these are what is above the vaulted ceiling, you cannot simply cut them out. You would have to install new trusses that provide the chape you need or at least a rafter system.

or is there something I am not seeing?
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:43 PM   #10
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


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those are trusses you got there. If these are what is above the vaulted ceiling, you cannot simply cut them out. You would have to install new trusses that provide the chape you need or at least a rafter system.

or is there something I am not seeing?
I have no intention of "cutting anything out" above the vaulted ceiling. Its only the vaulted ceiling, made of 2x6's, itself that goes which would leave a normal rectangular space once a floor is installed.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:17 AM   #11
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


Can anyone share the process to adding a floor to the discussed area in this thread? Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:18 PM   #12
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


I think the problem is that nobody is seeing the 2X6's you say are there. All that I can see in the pics are trusses.

So, again, am I missing something you have tried to show in the pics?
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:48 AM   #13
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


The trusses have a horizontal cord on the bottom. He will leave the whole truss intact, and the horizontal cord will become the ceiling of his new room. Below all that insulation is a vaulted ceiling for the room below. He wants to remove those, and install floor joists at the bottom of that vaulted ceiling to make it a flat ceiling. That will leave a room between the new joists below, and the existing trusses above.


(Why was this house framed with so much wasted space?)
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:30 PM   #14
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The trusses have a horizontal cord on the bottom. He will leave the whole truss intact, and the horizontal cord will become the ceiling of his new room. Below all that insulation is a vaulted ceiling for the room below. He wants to remove those, and install floor joists at the bottom of that vaulted ceiling to make it a flat ceiling. That will leave a room between the new joists below, and the existing trusses above.


(Why was this house framed with so much wasted space?)
Yes, Nate, thank you. That is exactly what I have been trying to discribe! This thread has been hung up with these trusses, missing the area where I need help. Being with the installation of the new floor. So with a big open area like this; what is the best way to install a new floor?

When we built the house we decided to leave the living room with a large open vaulted ceiling instead of the optional bonus room...
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:18 PM   #15
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Adding a 2nd story floor to vaulted living room


sebastien1,

I was wondering if you ever got any information to help you with your project? I stumbled across your post while doing a search for something similar that I would like to do in my own home. I have a similar layout to what you display in your photos - without the vaulted ceiling issue. All I am really interested in doing is adding a floor to close off the 2 story family room. Any advice or a suggestion as to where I might begin looking? Also do you have a ballpark idea as to what something like this might cost?

Thank you,

~T

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