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Evening all... So I have a 1950's Split Level home in NJ with an addition to the side of the kitchen/living room and looking to open up the walls and raise the ceiling. The problem that I'm having, even with a few initial contractors, is figuring out how to make the original living space and the addition ascetically look good. If I can try to explain, the addition footprint is about 5' shorter in the front and back than the original house. What complicates this is the roof / ridge line, it's a gable roof - the backside of the house the roof is even with the old roof/pitch, but in the front side the pitch starts about 2' before the existing ridge. I have attached a picture of the front side of the house showing the difference in the ridge line, I have also attached a "weak" (if you will) sketch that I tried to work up on my computer just to show some folks. Sketch - top left is the existing kitchen, bottom is the existing living room, and to the right is the addition. I'm planning on completely removing the 10'2" kitchen wall and also the previous exterior wall between the existing living/kitchen and the addition to make a very open concept look.

So my question:
1) Any thoughts on how to vault/tray the ceilings in both rooms an having look right?
- I was told the "right" way to do it is raise the wall in the front of the addition and redo the roof to follow the old roof line/pitch. But that is an expensive fix
2) I know this is very hard to answer especially online, but anyone familiar w/ S/Ls, all of the now interior walls are structural for the ceiling only and once I plan to raise/remove the current ceiling, I will need collar ties for the rafters and the ridge should self support? I attached two photos of the original attic and also the attic above the addition.

I apologize if I'm not providing enough info or terminology is off. I know many will say get an architect and engineer, I'm planning too, but wanted to throw this out to you folks for any input - if this all makes sense, ha...


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Are you wanting a vault ceiling, a tray ceiling, or both?

I think it would be much cheaper to do a scissor truss retrofit. You will need to get a engineer to design the retro fit. submit it to the city. then the truss company can come in and press in the necessary webs.

You have three options for truss building.
1. Pressed on metal gussets.(best)
2. nailed on steel gussets.
3. Plywood gussets.

Your options will be limited to the availability and willingness of a truss company to do the job.

I think this would be the best way to do it you may not even need the truss company but you will need to get it engineered.

another way is to do collar ties. this would leave you with less height on your vault but would be much easier.

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