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Old 05-14-2012, 04:16 AM   #1
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Adding soffits to a bedroom by going up


We have some friends who modified their bedrooms by adding soffits (at least this is what they called them, correct me if I'm wrong, they look like recesses). However instead of dropping the ceiling down a few inches, they went up. I haven't seen much information about this, but the end effect was stunning and we want to consider doing the same, but I kind of wanted to get a feel for how safe this is on the structure of the house.

Here's basically how they described the process:

1.) In the attic, add 2x6's on top of the existing ceiling joists (attached via liquid nails and steel plates with bolts on either side of the soon-to-be-raised area).
2.) Add cross-bracers to the new 2x6's to prevent twisting and to provide extra support for ceiling fan.
3.) Cut away the drywall, exposing the joists
4.) Cut out the section of the joists between the attachments in step 1

At this point you have roughly a 6 inch recess. Drywall, molding, lights, electrical, etc, and you're done.

Now, this is my first house, so you'll understand if I'm a little hesitant about messing around with joists and such. Is this generally a sound plan? Or is there some massive weakening of the overall structure that I'm missing?


Last edited by Shaftway; 05-14-2012 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:46 AM   #2
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Adding soffits to a bedroom by going up


What you are talking about is a 'trayed' ceiling---

Before you go any further in your planning--post a picture from up in the attic--
If you have roof trusses you are out of luck,they can not be modified ---

More info needed---those ceiling joists do more than hold up the ceiling--they also keep the outside walls in place. done wrong the structure will be compromised.

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Old 05-14-2012, 06:49 AM   #3
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Adding soffits to a bedroom by going up


Tray Ceiling.

Neat idea. Can't speak to the structural aspect but as a Carpenter (In-training) I don't see why it couldn't be done right.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:59 AM   #4
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Adding soffits to a bedroom by going up


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Before you go any further in your planning--post a picture from up in the attic--
If you have roof trusses you are out of luck,they can not be modified ---
Good to know. Unfortunately I actually can't yet. It's new construction and currently is a concrete slab. We're trying to plan out various things we want to add on and this is one that seems like it's more labor than materials.

The houses a block away are being framed, so I'll see if I can get a shot of them. Worst case, we're scheduled to do an inspection walkthrough in a couple months, before any sheetrock gets put up, so we can check it out then.

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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
More info needed---those ceiling joists do more than hold up the ceiling--they also keep the outside walls in place. done wrong the structure will be compromised.
Other than the truss situation, is there some other piece of info I need?

Thanks, appreciate the answers.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:42 AM   #5
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Adding soffits to a bedroom by going up


Couldn't you talk to the builder? Ask for a set of blue prints for the house---It will be cheaper to modify the plans now,rather than pull down new work to make the modifications after the house is complete.

Even if the houses use a trussed roof,the trusses could be made for your trayed ceiling---
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:10 AM   #6
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Adding soffits to a bedroom by going up


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaftway View Post
Good to know. Unfortunately I actually can't yet. It's new construction and currently is a concrete slab. We're trying to plan out various things we want to add on and this is one that seems like it's more labor than materials.

The houses a block away are being framed, so I'll see if I can get a shot of them. Worst case, we're scheduled to do an inspection walkthrough in a couple months, before any sheetrock gets put up, so we can check it out then.

That's not the way it works. Any thoughts of changes in the framing HAS to be done NOW!!! You have a set of plans, go to the job today ... tomorrow....or simply call your builder and tell him what you are thinking. It has to be discussed now because it changes the framing structurally. You don't wait til the framing ...electrical....plumbing...hvac....insulation...e tc... is done and then rip things out that are in the way.

What you are thinking of doing is done every day. Very easy to have it designed and done during the framing process. Trust me, this is the time to do it and the cheapest time to do it.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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Adding soffits to a bedroom by going up


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Originally Posted by Joe Carola View Post
That's not the way it works. Any thoughts of changes in the framing HAS to be done NOW!!! You have a set of plans, go to the job today ... tomorrow....or simply call your builder and tell him what you are thinking. It has to be discussed now because it changes the framing structurally. You don't wait til the framing ...electrical....plumbing...hvac....insulation...e tc... is done and then rip things out that are in the way.

What you are thinking of doing is done every day. Very easy to have it designed and done during the framing process. Trust me, this is the time to do it and the cheapest time to do it.
Yeah, we started down that route. It's a builder who builds houses in a quick row. Most change requests are shot down, and the few that are approved are ludicrously expensive. For example, getting french doors instead of sliding glass runs north of five grand, provided you also supply the doors and they're the exact same size as the sliding glass.

I imagine this would be well into the 5 digit realm.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:17 PM   #8
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Adding soffits to a bedroom by going up


Sounds like this is a tract home. I would bet the farm that these are trussed.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:03 PM   #9
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Adding soffits to a bedroom by going up


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Sounds like this is a tract home. I would bet the farm that these are trussed.
I'll bet at least a nickel you are right. Trusses are fast, easy, and best of all, cheap.

And if the builder paid for a bunch of sets for each model, the chances of getting a custom set for one home is pretty slim.

But you have nothing to lose by asking ... NOW. You never know, he might let you pay the difference to the truss company.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:13 AM   #10
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Adding soffits to a bedroom by going up


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Originally Posted by M3 Pete View Post
I'll bet at least a nickel you are right. Trusses are fast, easy, and best of all, cheap.

And if the builder paid for a bunch of sets for each model, the chances of getting a custom set for one home is pretty slim.

But you have nothing to lose by asking ... NOW. You never know, he might let you pay the difference to the truss company.
Oh, the question is in. Expected turnaround time is over a month, so now it's a waiting game.

In the end it probably won't be worth it and we'll just install boxes. The ceilings are 9 foot to start off with, so we won't notice losing a couple inches, but doorways are 8 foot, so I'll have to keep an eye on how close the molding gets to doorways.

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