I have a two-story apprx 25 x 30 'shop' that was built in the 70's. The Gambrel roof construction has a horizontal ceiling joist providing a second floor ceiling height of only 6 feet. I would like to raise the ceiling to about 8 feet (in the center anyway). I would like to turn this space into an office/craft area.
Who is the best person to have look at it to see if it is structurally possible etc.? Contractor? Architect? Engineer (is so what kind?)? Any idea of what a consult costs?
On the northern gulf coast, such a change would have to be
engineered by a certified structural engineer or architect.
A consult is usually fairly cheap, at around $300.00.
The engineering would probably cost an additional $3,000.00 if
you decide to hire them.
In most other parts of the country, where there are no hurricane
codes, you could probably build knee walls to support the rafter
intersections and raise the collar ties. The cheapest (but not
fastest) way is to keep submitting designs until they are approved
by your local building department. A local contractor would
probably know what is required locally. Your local building department
won't engineer the job for you, but they will tell you when the
engineering is wrong. They will also sometimes give a homeowner
"hints" as to what needs to be changed