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Creating an open ceiling with exposed horizontal joists/beams?

Creating an open ceiling with exposed horizontal joists/beams?

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  #1  
Old 02-07-14, 04:33 PM
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Creating an open ceiling with exposed horizontal joists/beams?

I just bought a home with small rooms and had the idea of exposing the joists/beams over some of the rooms to make them look/feel bigger.

Basically my idea is:
Remove cellulose in attic over rooms in question.
Remove the ceiling sheetrock under the beams.
Put new sheetrock over the beams.
Lay cellulose back on top of new sheetrock in attic.

I will of course finish up the walls with drywall in between the now exposed beams but is there anything that I should worry about structurally if all I am doing is changing the placement of the sheet rock from under to over the beams?

The look I am going for is like the picture I've included.

Thank you for all of your helpful advice!

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  #2  
Old 02-07-14, 05:14 PM
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Your idea looks nice

I think your trusses above the sheetrock may be too small to give you the look you are after, but you should check in the attic. You would be way ahead to just add the beams below the present ceiling as long as they do not get below 84" from the floor. I would add a ledger board along the walls opposites to hold up the new beams so that you do not have to break your sheetrock. It might even be cool to add a post in the corners as a fake support adding to the effect. Especially if you use natural stain for the finish on your beams instead of paint. I would use 4X6 douglas fir beams readily available lumber any length and put them up 40 to 48" apart depending on how large your room is. Cool idea and a great addition to the value of your home.
 
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Old 02-07-14, 05:52 PM
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Google Faux beams.
A whole lot easier and lighter then real wood.
 
  #4  
Old 02-07-14, 05:56 PM
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A few considerations you may not have thought about:

1). What will you do with any wires that are running through the ceiling joists?

2). Most roof/ceiling framing is going to be set up so that where the framing is resting on the top plate of the exterior wall you are going to have a minimum amount of space above your proposed new drywall to allow for sufficient insulation between that drywall and the back of the roof deck.

3). The space that will be between ceiling joists over the top plate of the exterior wall will be minimized for insulation and will be difficult to insulate appropriately. You need to have insulation over that top plate to cover to where the sheathing is and it needs to be something that will stay in place and not be affected by windwashing.

Go into the attic and slide a strip of plywood or 1"x? against the intersection of the roof rafters and the top of the ceiling joists. Imagine that that is your new ceiling. Is that point plumb with the inner edge of the top plate of the exterior wall? If not how will you address that difference when you are trying to keep the ceiling in one plane. Hopefully you can follow through that analysis and just make sure that before you start any demo. you can accurately visualize where the plane of the ceiling and wall will intersect. Do not ignore the insulation issue or you can end up with a cold corner in the ceiling which can lead to condensation/mold issues.

I am not saying it can't be done, just "choose wisely".
 
  #5  
Old 02-07-14, 05:58 PM
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Great ideas Chadandsilver! Unfortunately, I am afraid that will make my ceiling lower and make the rooms feel smaller than they already are.

If I removed the sheetrock and did what I was suggesting above, would I be ok structurally? I feel like my idea is simple just labor intensive. So, I am wondering if there is anything that I am not thinking of and that I should worry about?

I saw one solution where a homeowner placed another 2x6 beam along side his existing trusses and filled in the gap between them with a paintable epoxy and then painted them to look like one solid 4x6. Would the additional weight of an extra 2x6 along side the existing ones be a problem?

Thanks again!
 
  #6  
Old 02-07-14, 06:02 PM
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Thanks Calvert! That helps because I am definitely going to be up in that attic making further assessments before I do anything. Luckily there isn't much going on up there as far as wiring that I can tell other than some recessed lights. Being a one floor home I think most of it is running underneath in the basement cieling.
 
  #7  
Old 02-08-14, 07:52 AM
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Another Idea

Hi. Weight is not a problem with the materials you are considering. Insulation above your improvement might be a negative due to reduced depth. How about a wood ceiling? Just put in a tongue and groove wood ceiling for a warm look or paint it for texture. beaded tongue and groove has a victorian hint. Also a wainscot can be an outstanding design addition. Be sure to nail to the framing and consider the trim along the edges. Good Luck!
 
  #8  
Old 02-08-14, 08:36 AM
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Thanks, all great tips! I'm definitely glad I posted here.
 
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