Attic Remodel- Rafter/Collar Tie Question!

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  #1  
Old 06-09-16, 12:23 PM
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Attic Remodel- Rafter/Collar Tie Question!

HELP!? I have a modular ranch built here in NE PA in 2007. The ranch came with a full set of steps to an unfinished attic. With the family expanding, we wanted to explore options for making this attic space livable. I'm fully confident I can finish off the space myself, but I'm most concerned about structure; specifically, the roof rafters and collar ties. I'm going to try my best to include pics so you can see (links below). The collar ties are too low for me as they are about 6'10" off the floor space. I would love to move them up and at least get a 7.5ft ceiling. Since this was a modular and assembled as two halves on site, they did some pretty funky things with the rafters. They set up the 2x6 rafters on 24in centers, but they didn't carry them up to the ridge. (see pics). The rafters stop at the collar ties, then they use 2x4 above to carry up to the ridge. I'm fairly confident I CANNOT remove the collar ties and move them up as they would not properly tie into the rafters, but could I sister in additional 2x6 to the existing 2x6 rafters and carry them up to the ridge? Looking at this pics, does that seem feasible?? Are there any alternative options I should consider? Again, I want to move the ties up, insulate and finish off the space. Thanks in advance for your help with this.

Links for pics:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bz...kxZMTFCUWt1czA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bz...EVGOXRoNmJUVEE
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bz...GdadEVxZ29XVnc
 
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  #2  
Old 06-09-16, 01:07 PM
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I'm just getting "File Not Found" on those links. May be my computer.

If you purchased the ranch, can you contact the mfg for their advice? They may have provided a full set of stairs, but it appears they were not planning on that space becoming living space, head room has code requirements. That might indicate there will be other areas where they fell short on what you want, floor joists, egress, and certainly potential insulation depth.

I'll wait for the pictures.

Bud
 
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Old 06-09-16, 01:14 PM
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Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has been completely unresponsive. Can't get them to call me back. Sorry the links weren't working- very odd. Let's see if the attachments work.
*edit: Sorry the top and bottom pics posted sideways. You have to turn your head 90 degrees.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 01:37 PM
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Well, this isn't the answer you want, but the mfg is the only one with the original engineering for that house and they are the best qualified to give you help. Without them, you will need another engineer to see what s/he can come up with. If you can get one to design the changes and give you a stamped set of drawings then you can proceed to your building department for a permit. I doubt that department would accept anything you draw up on your own. They always want the responsibility to fall onto those engineered plans.

Be sure to have those plans include electrical, plumbing, heating, and insulation (and anything else needed or wanted).

Bud
 
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Old 06-09-16, 01:55 PM
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I agree with what Bud stated in post #2, that area was not designed as living space. It was meant to be finished as additional storage space at some future time.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 02:19 PM
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Thanks folks. I just got off the phone with Pennwest who built the modular. They confirmed a few things that I wasn't aware of. Firstly, the roofing was all assembled by the builder of the house on site, not done in the factory. This means the guy we bought the home from was the one that set the roof up the way he did. Additionally, they confirmed the home has a 9/12 roof and that space was intended to be finished as livable space, not just storage. The difference being the homes with 7/12 roofs are intended to be used strictly for storage. So the issue here is the builder who purchased the modular and set it up cut some corners. He probably should have run 2x6s clear up the ridge, but obviously he didn't do that. I'm relieved to know it was intended to have people in there (full carpeted walk up steps, two 36in windows on either end).
 
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Old 06-09-16, 05:34 PM
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It still looks like Pennwest provided up to where those collar ties are and probably the collar ties themselves, leaving just the peak to have been finished on site if that is what they meant. If the collar ties were part of the modular home, you will need an engineering plan to modify them. Have you talked with your local building department to see what they want/require for height and other newer codes, like required insulation?

Are you pulling permits for this and the electrical?

Bud
 
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Old 06-10-16, 08:59 AM
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Thanks Bud,
My plan was to ensure any structural changes are approved by a local inspector. That means permits for that work. The hope was to do this project over time. Take care of the structure changes first, maybe insulate then finish off the livable space. I'd likely not permit for the final finish work, including electrical. Since we bought this house at the top of the housing bubble in 2007, we are GROSSLY over taxed as it because our assessed value is inflated due to when the home was purchased. If I permit the whole thing, these guys will tax me out of the place as the house would go from a 3br to a 5br. My thought is get any structure changes done the right away, and chip away at the remodel over time by doing my own work.
 

Last edited by Mike O'Hara; 06-10-16 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 06-10-16, 09:48 AM
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Hi mike,
I understand exactly why you wish to avoid the permits (and at least you are being honest), but times have changed and most new purchases involve someone looking to be sure all work was permitted and inspected. And with today's computers that information is becoming available at the tip of anyone's fingers. The ramifications of the town and potential buyers discovering your improvements were not permitted and inspected can huge. There is no easy way to issue after the fact permits and conduct proper inspections. I won't go into the long list of reasons, but pull all necessary permits, make friends with those inspectors, and don't built this with a bunch of skeletons already in the closet.

As for the head clearance, get that number so you have a target to work towards. You may discover that the changes needed are less significant than what has been discussed.

Then, you have your cape and will need to deal with code minimum insulation levels, side attic and top attic ventilation, along with what ever you select for heat and ac if desired.

Best,
Bud
 
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Old 06-10-16, 11:28 AM
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If your home is overvalued, have them come out for a re-assessment.

Not permitting the work can cause to have to tear it all out down the road.
 
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