lowering attic floor


  #1  
Old 03-23-07, 09:30 AM
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lowering attic floor

I have a home build in the 1880's in Central Pennsylvania and the
Attic at the highest point is 6 feet. The attic is the standard
triangle shape with nothing in the middle. We would like to make this
area into more storage space but to make it comfortable we would like
to drop the attic floor (so it is right above our interior suspension
celiing). Is this strucurally sound to do? I have never seen a house
that has a long triangle and I don't want the roof to cave in. Thanks
for the help.

/ \ / \
/ \ / \
/ \ / \
/ \ / \
/ \ / | | \
/ \ / | | \
|-------------------| | | | |
| | |----|--------|-----|
current attic possible attic with support beams
 
  #2  
Old 03-23-07, 01:20 PM
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Attic Floor

What is between your suspended ceiling and the attic floor you have now?
 
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Old 02-27-10, 01:02 PM
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I have a similar problem, though the upper rooms will be finished. Can the new floor be attached directly to the adobe walls, or does it have to be sunk into the wall for strenth?
 
  #4  
Old 02-27-10, 03:23 PM
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Paul, we would need a lot more information to give you a safe answer, but a typical roof. ceiling, wall configuration requires everything to be tied together. Re-engineering that triangle would require a pro and some engineering. Code people would not be happy and the insurance company would probably hold you responsible for damages should they occur.

I've done my share of construction and turned down a similar job last year because they would not pay for the engineering. Also, turning an attic into living space may require other changes,

Start with your code people and see what they advise.
Bud
 
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Old 02-28-10, 04:33 PM
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Thanks Bud,
I think you are right. The attic area is currently a living space, but with limited headroom, as apposed to the 1st floor with 12 ft ceilings. I want to insulate the sloping ceiling by adding 2inch ISO board. I would also like to add underfloor heating in the bathroom (which I am adding). The problem is both would further reduce headroom. I suspect, both the knee-walls and the floor joists are part of that tying together you were talking about.
 
  #6  
Old 02-28-10, 05:43 PM
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Your ceiling is constantly trying to push your walls apart. It is your ceiling joists that hold things together, eave to eave. Move that function down a couple of feet and it becomes a pentagram instead of a triangle. Plus your current joists are under tension and would need to have anything replacing them placed under that same tension as it was being attached. I'm not sure how that would be done. I have seen the results of removing floor joists between first and second floor and the walls bowed out. Surprised the old house didn't come down, really shaky. Not something I would tackle.

Now, I agree the extra room is there. There is a style home up here that is very common, with a half story up top. So the walls go up perhaps 5' before the rafters tie in then the slope and then flat roof. So I'm sure what you want to do can be done, just needs to be done right.

Bud
 
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Old 03-01-10, 11:37 AM
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Yes, It's a little frustrating, but I think I will have to just have the "little people" upstairs!
 
  #8  
Old 03-01-10, 01:57 PM
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What was that movie with Chevy Chase where the only room left was the Napoleon Suite .

If you ever decide to tackle lowering that ceiling, I would bet the truss mfgs would have an option to carry the load and tie the sides together. Rather major job, but an option.

Bud
 
 

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