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Old 10-09-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


I have ripped all the paneling out of a room that was apparently added on by the original owners in the '50s because I wanted to re-drywall and replace some windows. However, when I got the ceiling down I discovered, to my horror, that in this 12'x15' room with a very shallow sloped roof (maybe a 6" in rise over 12'), that both the ceiling joists, and the roof rafters are 2x4s spaced about 16" apart. I am horrified and not sure what to do at this point. The rafters have a noticeable bow in them.

I think the room dates back from the 50's is my understanding. I don't want to have the room collapse under the weight of snow. I am a bit panicked right now.

***I put this in the building and the roofing section because I wasn't sure which the appropriate forum is. Mods, please feel free to delete the one in the wrong section. ***

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Old 10-09-2011, 12:27 PM   #2
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


The only thing you can do is rebuild it.

Have a draftsman draw you a plan, submit that plan for approval get the permit and build a new roof.

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Old 10-09-2011, 12:30 PM   #3
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


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The only thing you can do is rebuild it.

Have a draftsman draw you a plan, submit that plan for approval get the permit and build a new roof.

Ugh. Any idea what that would cost?
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:36 PM   #4
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


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Ugh. Any idea what that would cost?
I have no idea but it should be a pretty simple plan so the drawings shouldn’t cost too much.

Once you have drawings you can price out the materials if you’re going to DIY or get bids from local contractors.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:37 PM   #5
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


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Ugh. Any idea what that would cost?
Depends on what the permit cost is for demo and rebuild, along with electrical & plumbing. If the city finds out that it was un-permitted work to begin with, they could charge you for that. Then add in materials & labor. Rough estimate for just the shell, around $10,000 to $15,000, not including electric, plumbing, finish work. Better get working.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


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Depends on what the permit cost is for demo and rebuild, along with electrical & plumbing. If the city finds out that it was un-permitted work to begin with, they could charge you for that. Then add in materials & labor. Rough estimate for just the shell, around $10,000 to $15,000, not including electric, plumbing, finish work. Better get working.

Ugh. I may have to live with it for a while if it's going to be that much. It's been there since the '50s so I suppose it will last a couple more years. This is my first house and I don't have near that much cash around. How would I be charged for work that was done in the '50s? (decades before I was born)? Also, what would I need plumbing and electrical for if I am just rebuilding the roof?

I can do the labor myself with some friends who are roofers, it's just the permit and materials I would need to pay for.

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Old 10-09-2011, 12:58 PM   #7
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


Also, could I sister in 2x4s or even 2x6s next to the 2x4s? Would that be sufficient to strengthen the roof?
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:04 PM   #8
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


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Also, could I sister in 2x4s or even 2x6s next to the 2x4s? Would that be sufficient to strengthen the roof?
Well I tried to get you to do it right.
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:33 PM   #9
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


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Well I tried to get you to do it right.

So sistering wouldn't be acceptable?

I want to do it right. But I can't afford the 10-15K that was estimated currently. Would sistering it be an acceptable "patch" until I can afford to rebuild the roof?

I'm also confused on why I would need plumbing and electrical permits. And why I would be fined if the original owner didn't take a permit 50 years ago?
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:35 PM   #10
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


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Also, could I sister in 2x4s or even 2x6s next to the 2x4s? Would that be sufficient to strengthen the roof?
For that much span with such a minimal slope you will need something even bigger than 2x6's. 2x4's would be basically useless. Assuming you don't have a major bow in the existing roof (or you can jack it up to remove the bow) sister who would certainly provide some benefit for a minimal cost. It's certainly not the ideal solution but much better than doing nothing especially since you already have the area opened up!

Pictures and knowing where you are located would certainly be beneficial.

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Old 10-09-2011, 01:37 PM   #11
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


A lot depends on your location, where are you?

You will not be fined for work done fifty years ago, the most that they could ask for is to have you bring things up to code if you are going to work on them.

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Old 10-09-2011, 01:40 PM   #12
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


Are the walls built correctly and in good shape? I think I would just rip the roof off and rebuild. Why are we talking about plumbing?... maybe some electrical if there are lights in the ceiling.
Are you planning on doing this yourself?
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:44 PM   #13
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


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Originally Posted by OffToAShakyStar View Post
So sistering wouldn't be acceptable?

I want to do it right. But I can't afford the 10-15K that was estimated currently. Would sistering it be an acceptable "patch" until I can afford to rebuild the roof?

I'm also confused on why I would need plumbing and electrical permits. And why I would be fined if the original owner didn't take a permit 50 years ago?
That 10-15 grand means nothing, especially if you DIY. No one can price your project based on reading a couple of post. How about posting a picture or two so we can see what you’re looking at. How to attach a photo to a post
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:49 PM   #14
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


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Are the walls built correctly and in good shape? I think I would just rip the roof off and rebuild. Why are we talking about plumbing?... maybe some electrical if there are lights in the ceiling.
Are you planning on doing this yourself?

The walls are built fairly well and are in good shape. They are 2x4 construction with 4x4 corner posts. I just looked on the top of the roof, it's got a slight concave shape but looks to be in otherwise good shape.

I'm in Oklahoma. Last 3 years we have had massive snow/ice storms with 2-3 inches of ice and/or up the 3 feet of snow. I'm not sure how this roof survived 3' of snow.

Here are some pictures:
Attached Thumbnails
My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!-ceiling-against-house.jpg   My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!-ceiling-away-house..jpg   My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!-ceiling-away-house-again..jpg   My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!-roof-resized.jpg  
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:50 PM   #15
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My add-on room in the back has 2x4 ceiling rafters!


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The only thing you can do is rebuild it.

Have a draftsman draw you a plan, submit that plan for approval get the permit and build a new roof.
I agree.
You don't have to pay for everything up front start with finding a professional, that will cost you nothing, then when you find the one you want to use you will have a price for his work. The permit will have a fee that you can get from the city or county office before you even start with the drawings.

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