taking out ceiling


Old 01-18-06, 10:03 PM
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Location: Kentucky
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taking out ceiling

My house is older and has very low ceilings, so we have been talking about taking them out and having the cathedral ceilings. We have an attic but the space above is unusable. I want, if possible to leave all the beams and things exposed. I was just wanting any advise involving installation issues and things that I haven't even thought of.
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Old 01-19-06, 03:34 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Your questions deal more with framing than sheetrock etc.

What you want to do sounds good, although you may run into a decent number of framing issues before the sheetrock, tounge and groove boards, etc, goes on.

Often times, the ceiling joists are what prevents the roof from collapsing and pushing the top of the walls of the house outward.

(I hate it when my roof collapses onto the top of my bed in the middle of the night; especially when the alarm clock goes off because I can't get out from under the roof to turn it off )

It is sometimes possible to remove the joists which create the ceiling, but some type of reinforcement is required to keep the walls together. this is usually done by either installing a couple of large beams across the top of the wall and attaching them to the top plate and select roof joists at each end; or it is sometimes done by replacing each ceiling joist that is resting on the wall with another "joist" that is higher toward the top of the roofline. These are called collar ties. They end up creating a flat surface (usually a few feet wide at the top of the angle.

At times, cables are used and then covered with a "false beam" that is created around it.

You mentioned that you want to leave it all "exposed", which can look good; although, as there is wouldn't be any insulation, it may be a very hot or cold room when you get done. Often times the original joists are insulated and then covered, followed by a decorative wood/beam ceiling being created.

Whatever you decide, I would definately have a structural engineer have a look at your house before "getting out the hammers". That way you won't end up with a Queen sized bed with a new roof on it; or worse yet... tar and shingles mixed in with your Corn Flakes in the morning!

It does sound like a great project though! Good luck, and I hope this helps.
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