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Build & Remodel

Cathedral/Vaulted Ceiling Remodel

Unsure proper terminology here, I am no carpenter but I helped my father and uncle build two rooms onto their houses as a teenager. I have a cathedral (or vaulted) ceiling with equal sloping sides meeting in the middle of a "great" living room at a center ridge, however, the ceiling slope doesn't match the slope of the roof (hence 'vaulted' reference) and there is a slight variation as the pitch on the roof is greater than the internal ceiling.  When looking at the ceiling from the attic, i can see separate ceiling joists below the roof trusses or roof rafters (again, unsure of terminology).

My question is whether or not the internal ceiling joists would allow for a "minor" remodel, I wanted to add a horizontal ceiling maybe a foot or two below the ridge allowing for a horizontal ridge to accommodate lighting and a ceiling fan.  For lack of a drawing, here is what i was thinking, if you could imagine the capital letter 'A', the remodel would be to add the horizontal line connecting the two sides of the arch in the 'A'.

1'               /\
2'              /  \
3'             /__\
4'            /      \
5'           /        \
6'          /          \
7'         /            \
8'        /              \
9'       /                \
10'    /                  \
11'   /                    \
12'  /                      \
13' /                        \
14'/                          \

The ceiling is 23' across with each sloping side measuring 14' from the ridge line down to the interior wall.  The slope is approximately 45% with an the internal ridge angle of 122°.

I would imagine I will need to attach a 2"x4" horizontal truss (again, unsure of terminology) to both sides of each ceiling joist pair along the 23 foot ridge span.  I would have to research the best method of attaching the horizontal 2"x4", but initially I was thinking of cutting the 2"x4" at the appropriate angles and using 3" screws to toenail each end of the horizontal 2"x4" to the ceiling joists.

                ------------------ 23' --------------
                ______________________
1'              /\  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
2'             /  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
3'            /__\--\--\--\--\--\--\--\--\--\--\--\--\--\--\--\--\
4'           /      \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
5'          /        \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
6'         /          \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
7'        /            \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
8'       /              \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
9'      /                \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
10'    /                  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
11'   /                    \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
12'  /                      \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
13' /                        \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \
14'/                          \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \  \

I am unsure if a remodel of this would require any other ceiling joist modifications as this will add approximately 50-100 lbs. of 2"x4" and drywall.  Also I don't know if a permit would be required or if this is something a home owner with limited building experience should attempt.  I will ask an electrician friend to help relocate the existing ceiling light which was roughed in to allow for a ceiling fan/light which is currently located 2' lower than the ceiling ridge on the one side of the ceiling slope.

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Posted 2015-08-20T15:44:05+0000  by chadwic chadwic
 

Hello chadwic, and welcome to the community!


You have an interesting project, it's one that I would probably get a professional structural engineer involved to make an assessment. Not only would you be adding several hundred pounds of material, (wood, drywall, screws, paint, ceiling fan, lights) and that load pressing down on the sides rafters could cause the peak to expand & contract with different temperatures--and you don't want heat building above that new area--much like a regular home has air flow in the attic, that new area you are closing off needs to have air flow as well, much to think about. 


As for permits, that would depend on the city where the property is located, I guessing yes. 

Posted 2015-08-26T13:49:24+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI

Hi chadwic,



Thanks for your questions and for joining us here on the community!


Whenever you are modifying this much to a home, you will at minimum need to have a general contractor/builder come out to your home to do an on-site inspection.


The main reason is that they can go over much more factors that we can't do here. Since even yourself won't and can't determine where load bearing trusses and frames are, it's best to have that inspection before committing to anything.


Failure to do so could lead to structural damage to your home, so this is why that consultation is key.


Also, you would most likely need to obtain a permit of something of this size, regardless if it alters the exterior of the home. A permit ensures everything during the remodeling goes smoothly. This is so things like wiring and the HVAC system can be altered, but safely.


With that said, any HOA or county/municipal authority needs to be contacted so you can see what type of permit or additional things that are needed. Certain areas and cities require on-site inspections, so that's why I can't stress enough the importance of having someone see how the new ceiling will be installed.


Joseph

Posted 2015-08-26T14:32:12+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
 
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