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Old 12-24-2010, 08:56 AM   #1
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traditional to vaulted ceiling


Has anyone ever got rid of their ceiling joists and converted to a vaulted ceiling?

A little background:
I'm doing some long term home improvement project planning. My house is a central long corridor that was the original house (now 1 bedroom and the living room), 2 wings were added on at some later date. Its a single story with a basement. 1 wing is the Kitchen, bathroom, and a pantry/stairway to the basement. I am planning on redoing both the kitchen and bathroom completely at some time. Both have pretty crappy and low ceilings, about 6'6" in the case of the bathroom.

It occurred to me that I could convert that wing of the house over to vaulted ceilings and kill 2 birds with 1 rather large and cumbersome stone.

I see it as: Take out the ceiling joists, after bracing and/or adding to the rafters (maybe not even that, the ceiling heights are not the same, so I am thinking they may not be overly structural). redo the lighting. I was thinking use spray foam insulation to eliminate any problems with venting and vapor barriers, plus reduce the impact of heating a larger volume. Add a high window in the kitchen for more light. Extend the wall insulation and cover it all with drywall.

Has anyone done this before? I am mainly wondering what other pitfalls I should consider.

Plumbing venting will only be affected if I add a vent when redoing the bathroom. Currently the main vent pierces the roof of an add-on that covers the outside basement entrance. I may have to add a new main vent to change the toilet location. Wiring shouldn't be too hard, and it would be safer to get rid of the 2 wire stuff anyway.

I also need to consider ROI. the kitchen and the bath are supposed to be were investing brings the most bang for the buck, and the kitchen is also the main entrance. Unfortunately, the house will never be a shining jewel. The original part is very uneven (but solid) and the wings, while much better, are far from perfect.

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Old 12-24-2010, 09:06 AM   #2
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traditional to vaulted ceiling


I've done this a few times---the thing you need to be concerned with--the cieling rafters are what keep the walls from pushing out,collapsing the roof---Not good.

You will need to add collar ties or change the roofing system to trusses---Sounds like a lot of work,but doable--

Post as many pictures as you can--inside,outside and attic---Mike---

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Old 12-24-2010, 09:35 AM   #3
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traditional to vaulted ceiling


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
I've done this a few times---the thing you need to be concerned with--the cieling rafters are what keep the walls from pushing out,collapsing the roof---Not good.

You will need to add collar ties or change the roofing system to trusses---Sounds like a lot of work,but doable--

Post as many pictures as you can--inside,outside and attic---Mike---
I'm not sure if the ceiling joists do keep the wall from spreading, like I said, different ceiling heights. I guess they could be both tying into their common wall running the length of the wing, offset from the center. attic access is another problem with this house. I looked in though the attic window, and didn't really like what I saw. its real hodge-podge of insulations tossed up in there, covering the joist in areas. The bottom layer might be Zeolite. I think some fell down when I removed the ceiling trim in the living-room (I filled those gaps with expanding foam).I don't want to risk breaking through until spring. Thinking about the Zeolite, I might end up havening to get all the insulation pulled or vacuumed out by a Hazmat crew
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:52 AM   #4
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traditional to vaulted ceiling


I had it done to my house. The feasability will be depend on the shape of the house and how the roof is framed. If you have trusses under your roof, its going to be very hard. A few photographs from above should get you some educated opinions from the forum. Without more information, anybody's opinion is just a wild a$$ed guess. I hired professionals for this. This is major surgery to your house. And it won't be cheap. Added a couple of skylights while I was at it. It made my living area look and feel 100% better. No way I will get a full payback when I sell, but I didn't do it for the next owner, I did it for the current owner.

Last edited by SPS-1; 12-24-2010 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:12 AM   #5
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traditional to vaulted ceiling


The change in the look and feel of the space usually makes the effort worth while---

Often the work is not that big a deal----You just need to make sure that the structure is not compromised------

So often people worry to much about the "return on investment"--

A well cared for home.that has added value like a super kitchen,extraordinary trim--and quality features--pays back the owner in many ways---A nicer place to live---more money when sold and the well kept homes still sell quickly---saving months of payments usually made waiting to sell an ordinary quality house----
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