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singlemomDIY 06-24-2013 11:50 AM

Removing ceiling,...but NOT floor joists

I have a 1960's split level ranch with low (7'6") ceilings in all three bedrooms. Above the bedrooms is a crawl space / attic. There is little to no air movement in the house and due to the lower ceilings, there is not enough room for ceiling fans. (To be clear,...there probably is enough room, but my family is very tall!!)

I had the idea to remove the ceiling, but retain the joists so as to not compromise the structural integrity of the house. I would then add vented sky lights in the roof along with ceiling fans. My thought is that it would make the rooms look larger, as well as create air flow (most importantly being to draw the hot air up and out of the sky lights).

I understand the joists may not be the kind that one would normally expose. To address that I thought of either painting everything white, or encasing them.

I am looking for comments and opinions on my ideas as well as thoughts of how else to address the issue of the heat and lack of air movement in the upstairs.

Thank you!

user1007 06-24-2013 11:57 AM

Couple quick thoughts.

Do you have an attic fan(s)? They can make a huge difference but make sure to get one with automatic cut-off in case of fire, etc. and that you can block off in a cold winter climate. The ones with thermostats are nice. I had two in my California home and people could not believe I did not have central air!

Do you have adequate roof vents for hot air to escape?

They make several varieties of ceiling hugging/low profile/flush mount fans including the blade type as well as units that are more self-contained with no exposed spinning blades. You might Google for some possibilities.

ddawg16 06-24-2013 12:04 PM

Welcome mom.....

It helps to put your location in your profile. The correct answer for you depends a lot on where you live. Don't worry, we don't need your exact address....state works ok....

So...If I understand your idea...pull the drywall off your ceiling joists and insulate your roof joists and then cover that with drywall basically giving you a vaulted ceiling? And your existing joists would be bare (painted) exposed wood?

I agree 7'6" is sort of low...I have a bathroom with a ceiling like's low to me and it's only a bath...I would hate for the whole house to be like that.

What you propose 'could' work...but I see potential issues based on roof joist depth...

Several things need to be looked at...roof joists...actual construction of your roof...are your ceiling joists also rafter ties?...etc.

If you could post some pics, some of the experts here could give you a better answer.

singlemomDIY 06-24-2013 12:09 PM

I live in southeast CT, right near the water. Overall the area is quite comfortable, but just not in my house!

I do not have an attic fan and I'm guessing that my roof vents are not adequate. Thank you for those ideas!

DannyT 06-24-2013 12:32 PM

taking the drywall down will make it feel more open but you will still have ceiling joists at (7'6"). pictures will help someone to be able to better advise you.

Toller 06-25-2013 01:44 AM

Good luck ever sell it; it would be hideous.
Can you remove the joists and strengthen the roof?

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