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Old 01-04-2017, 01:29 PM   #1
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Rasing a roof, and load bearing walls


Hi all

I am going to be in the market for a house in the not so distant future, and was hoping someone can help me to understand two things.

Tho I don't have a house picked out yet, it is probably going to wind up being a 2-story cape. I am going to need to do some construction in the upstairs, to build myself a studio. This will probably require taking down some walls, and putting up some new ones. I am not sure if any of the interior walls which separate rooms would be load bearing walls, but if any that need to come down are, can I simply have a contractor come in and install a carrying beam in the wall's stead?

Secondly, the portion of the upstairs that will be the studio needs to have high ceilings. I am not sure just how high yet, but I will start by saying 14 ft. Typically, the upstairs rooms in a house like this have ceilings that are 8 or 9 ft. I know it might be difficult to answer here, without seeing any blueprints, but am I overreaching by asking what might be entailed into making the ceiling the height I need? I assume I might need to have the roof raised, if there isn't enough space in-between it and the existing ceiling. Can part of the roof be raised, and is that generally considered a very difficult task? I am thinking that once I have a house or two picked out as possibilities, I will make my way down to the county clerks office, to see if plans are on file, and if so, I can see how large the attic are is. But in the meantime, can anyone give me a hint on what I should be looking for in this regard when a look at a house?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:28 AM   #2
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Re: Rasing a roof, and load bearing walls


Quote:
can I simply have a contractor come in and install a carrying beam in the wall's stead?
Ayuh,.... Anything is possible, but each case is different, so there's really no answer,....
Quote:
Can part of the roof be raised, and is that generally considered a very difficult task?
Generally speakin', Ya it's a Huge job, ya tear off the old roof, 'n build it all new,...
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:05 AM   #3
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Re: Rasing a roof, and load bearing walls


This is not a usual diy and must have more than some experience. It is also not a kind of work that can be done surgically. It WILL need new load bearing additions and that means either from inside or outside, and you will find maybe both has to be removed, which may mean siding redo or repair. Since all parts of the house (building materials, elec, plumb, hvac to start) may have to be touched, your question is should I build new from ground up?
According to your plan, I'd start learning something about working with contractors, not how to do a remodel as such.
BTW, if you find 2 story cape, you could raise the roof to a colonial to use the attic space and raise your ceiling into the attic space. That also will need new load bearing additions.

Last edited by carpdad; 01-11-2017 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:19 AM   #4
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Re: Rasing a roof, and load bearing walls


It is almost always possible to remove a load bearing wall and replace with a beam. Usually the contractor hires an engineer to design the beam and the supports, prepare the plans, pull the permit. Then the contractor puts the beam in.

It is often possible to raise the roof, but this is considerably more complicated than installing a beam to replace a load bearing wall. You would be building a vaulted ceiling, which is generally done using either a ridge beam (not the more typical ridge board), or full span roof trusses. Either way requires major surgery to the house framing, reroofing, siding work, etc. Very expensive.

If you can afford to buy a cape and remodel, you may be able to find a house that fits your needs without remodeling. The cost difference may be less than the agony and cost of massive remodeling.
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