Removing Ceiling Joists - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Display Modes
Old 09-10-2009, 06:36 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10

Removing ceiling joists

I'm trying to turn my attic into a loft. I want to open a ceiling (10 x 8ft) and have stairs (ladder) going up to the attic.

The ceiling is made of rafters (2x6) at 24" centers, that attach to a cross brace (2x4) that sits on the rafters (2x6), just beyond the exterior walls.

I've read that i can cut joists so long as i run a joist perpendicular to the cut joists - but this was in reference to a sky light and much smaller in scale.

Is it possible to cut out an 8ft x 10ft section in the ceiling (this would represent a quarter of the space under the roof).

Would i need to re-enforce this with any posts?

How can i determine how much much of the ceiling i can cut out? Is there a general rule for this?

Thanks for your help.

jbarre is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 09-11-2009, 05:13 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 31
Rewards Points: 25

As I've heard so many times before, you need a professional.

Altering the structure of your attic can be a dangerous thing.

Contact an architect or a structural engineer.

If you can't find one -- or get them to return your calls -- contact a local building contractor and have them out for a look. Even if you want to do the work yourself, they might be able to give you some good information. Or even work out something where you can do most of the work yourself.
kemp is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 09-11-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 28
Rewards Points: 25

I have done this before. The load on the ceiling is still the same on the unadulterated sections, you should just have to double the ceiling joists longways for the entire lenght from the interior load bearing wall to the exterior wall, and perpendicular to it at the opening.

Hard to say without more info, but a 2x6 is pretty light for a combo floor joist and ceiling rafter. Also need to consider the transfer of additional dead and live loads through the lower level walls and possible basement supports.
Ohming is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 09-11-2009, 06:22 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000

Do you have a picture of the rafter/cross brace/joist ?
Almost sound like a truss setup w/24" OC
If truss you can't touch it without an engineers stamp on the modification
Opening up a 10x8 hole is a pretty big job
And with 2x6 rafters & joists you are on the low side for support
The 2x6 ceiling joist may not work as floor joists
How far are they spanning?

All depends upon how this is built & load bearing walls that are present

Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2009, 06:27 PM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,730
Rewards Points: 526

I agree with Kemp. A Contractor would go to a Structural Engineer to see if it is feasible and how much it costs. Removing rafter ties (the attic ceiling joists) which hold the exterior walls from spreading and the roof from sagging could be dangerous. You would need a structural ridge beam to take the spreading load from the present structure, with proper continuous bearing to the soil below. OR, you could install rafter ties a little way above the wall plate, at a height to be determined by a S.E. as mentioned.
Be safe, Gary
Gary in WA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2009, 10:27 PM   #6
Licensed P.E./Home Insp
Aggie67's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 757
Rewards Points: 844

GBR, kemp, and Dave are spot on correct. I'm a structural engineer, and a sizeable pie slice of my work is for residential contractors that run into this type of project. This issue you have is not cut and dry, not by a long shot.

Ohming, the arrangement you suggest works for only very specific circumstances, and not every circumstance.
Aggie67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
garage ceiling joists josh123 Carpentry 6 07-14-2009 11:07 PM
Removing 2nd Floor Ceiling Joists BigJimmy Building & Construction 1 06-06-2008 01:43 PM
hanging ceiling above the joists?.... mben Building & Construction 18 04-01-2008 04:47 PM
Question regarding removing ceiling joists... tonfan Building & Construction 9 11-18-2007 11:56 PM
Spacing of ceiling joists Pineconeman Building & Construction 3 05-13-2005 11:16 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts