literally raising the roof...

Old 05-09-04, 11:22 AM
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Question literally raising the roof...

I am looking at purchasing 1961 brick-faced ranch... the ceilings are low enough to touch!

I am wondering if anybody here can tell me
a) are the following ideas doable
b) how many skilled people would it require
c) how much would it cost and
d) how long would it take
e) got a better idea, assuming you had to buy this house?

idea one:
raise the roof two feet. add two feet of wall under the existing roof. This wall would hopefully have lots of fixed windows in it as the existing windows are size challenged.

idea two:
make ceilings cathedral. add ridge vent and soffit vents (don't know if there are soffit vents right now). insulate and sheetrock rafters. raise room walls to meet.

idea three:
raise roof two feet and make ceilings cathedral as long as I'm screwing around up there.

I do not know if it is trusses or rafters, but I suspect it is trusses. Although there are pull down attic stairs, it looks way to low to be a real attic. One note, the neighbor with same house next door says the roof needs redoing, and sheathing will need to be replaced at that time. It is somewhat bowed. In other words, I will likely have to open the roof anyway.

Thanks a lot for any info you can give me.

Old 05-10-04, 09:43 PM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
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With all that you mentioned and lack there of, it is best to get a General Contractor as this is not a do-it-yourself project. This will have to be done by a skilled crew. Estimating the cost for this venture is variable and this would be addressed by a General Contractor.

In my opinion, I would tear off everything and then if you want cathedral ceilings, in part or all, you can do it once the walls have added height. Extending walls are usually looked upon by Building Inspectors as a critical issue. They like to see the “pony” wall sheathed whereby it extends below the lower plate of the new wall, at least 2 feet. Some brick will have to be removed. The General Contractor can discuss this with you. .

The length of time to do a tear off, trusses included and replace with shingles could take 1 week plus. All this is depending on size of home, current landscaping issues, accessibility to bring trusses in, etc. There are other issues here that you should be made aware of but not limited to;

1. Current electrical – ceiling lights, main power - underground or overhead wire?
2. Current flooring within home – this will have to be protected during the process – blankets and plywood
3. Current finish walls – plaster or drywall? Allot of patching and painting

If the windows currently are not what you want or want bigger, this would be the time to change them out. If you raise the walls, the new portion may be better in appearance if done in brick (if you can reasonably match them) but siding is a cheaper alternative.

With all this work, Building Codes will require interconnected smoke detectors.

Your reasons for doing what you desire sound rational but economically, it’s very costly. I would hope that the sales price is low to even make this a viable endeavor. Even if the shingles are bad, negotiating a lower purchase price will no way be close to the expense of what this will take. What do you mean “if you had to buy the house?” If this is the case, be prepared for some big costs.

Call a General Contractor for an On-Site Review and get some idea what kind of costs you are looking at.

Jack can add his comments here as he can inform you of other issues.

Hope this helps!
Old 05-11-04, 10:03 AM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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Before you do all that. Id look for another home for sure. You will be many $$$$$$ ahead.

My .02 cents


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