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Kmck 01-04-2007 06:39 PM

DIY...anyone lofted their ceiling??
We have a mid-70s built Tri-Level home. Our Master bedroom and the landing are vaulted but the other 3 bedrooms on the same level are not. One of the bedrooms is very small, 8' by 10' and lies parallel to the peak of the roofline. It is adjacent to both the master (along the 10' wall) and the landing (along the 8' wall). I would like to raise/loft the ceiling to create a sleeping loft along the interior wall (8') above the door.

Does anyone know of any books that have this kind of project detailed or has anyone here done such a project?? I got one very general opionion from a local remodeler who suggested it could be anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000. Scary!! I'd just like to give my daughter a little more room to live without breaking the bank. My father has quite a lot of carpentry experience and would help me if I can find info on whether this is possible.


Bonus 01-04-2007 07:13 PM

What's the structure above the ceiling you're trying to raise? Trusses? Stick framing? Something else?

Kmck 01-20-2007 02:50 PM

Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you! I looked in the attic access at the top of our closet (the shared long wall) and it is open to the roof. It appears to be 6" headers(?-is that the correct word?) forming the ceiling of the bedroom in question and open up to the roofline. There is one 2x4 attached at an angle from the headers up to the roofline center beam, running parallel to the roof ridge, from about 1/2 way along the length of the room to what looks to be the top of the wall that is the hallway interior (the vaulted ceiling is on the inside of that wall.)

My father has done extensive amounts of finish carpentry (moving walls, moving electrical boxes, doors, etc.) in his home so I feel confident that we can tackle this project if it's something DIY'ers can do. Is it just a matter of (correctly, of course!) bracing the headers and insulating and installing a lofted ceiling (with proper roofline vents) and drywalling the walls up to the lofted ceiling???

It seems doable in theory. Any help, advice or suggestions are welcome!! Thanks, in advance!!

troubleseeker 01-20-2007 08:22 PM

It is most probably doable, but without knowing the existing framing, it is pretty difficult to give any practical help. The 2x6's that are the existing ceiling joists will need to be beefed up to support a floor load for one thing. Two of the other things that are problems with these loft rooms are access, how is she going to get up there, and keeping this space at a comfortable temperature. If you are going to do the work yourself, it will probably end up costing about the middle or slightly above your range. Do you plan on having the job inspected? You could run into problems with needing to build a legal staircase that would eat up much of the existing floor space, and creating a sleeping space that does not have an escape route (window) in case of fire. You could most likely sneak an interior job like this in under the radar of the building inspector, but it may come back to bite you in the behind if you have to sell the property. These things would probably be cited in the home inspectors report, and you would have to acknowledge them in the property disclosure form under the lines addressing uninspected work to the property or known code violations.

Kmck 01-21-2007 02:00 AM

Thanks for the reply! My thought is just to do a bed platform basically...about 6' wide and running the width of the room over the entrance door. It would have a ladder (or bookcase/stair combo-haven't decided yet) for access. The bed would be on the floor or a short platform so the lofted area would only need to support the weight of a few people not a whole rooms' worth of furniture or anything. I'd probably want to add an electrical outlet if not a mounted fixture. As for temperature regulation, I'm thinking the heat register that's in the room would be able to keep up with the added footage.

What permits do you think I'd need...I'm just trying to decide if all the legalities take me out of the ballpark of making this feasible financially. ... And, yes, we'd most likely be looking to go the legal route as we'll be selling the house but probably not for at least 8 years or so and I'm thinking that's enough time for making it worth the effort for her to have a bit more space.


smallcrpt 01-22-2007 10:08 AM

in progress
my dad and i just started to vault our ceiling in the master bedroom. we aren't using it for livable space, but just for the purpose of vaulting the ceilings. I'm 6'8" and my dads done it a ton before.

we're reinforecing the cieling w/ a 12.5" foot 2x10 beam with plywood sandwiched between another 2x10, my existing joists and ceiling runs were 2x4's and w trusses. but those are 2x8's nailed along the roof line. all and all with new recessed lighting and lumber, its going to cost just less than 1000 bucks.

we're not going the legal way, per se, my neighbor is a legal electrician, so all of that will be up to code. and our house will be better insulated because of it. and existing old wiring is giong to be rewired to something more legit and beefy. it took us about 10 hours total to remove some ceiling and squeeze in some new beams. good luck. its fun

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