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Posted: 11/19/2008 6:01:07 PM EDT
Our house is just under 1,000 square feet, and roughly half of that is the living room and kitchen. Is it possible, safe and all that stuff to make the kitchen and living room areas into a big cathedral ceiling area? If you cut away the joists will the house be prone to collapse, and if so how do you compensate for it?

tia
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:02:13 PM EDT
Depends.

Do you frequently entertain big girls?
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:04:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2008 6:09:17 PM EDT by luckypunk]
does the dividing wall run parallel or perpendicular to the rafters

err, wait, are you trying to make a flat ceiling into a vaulted ceiling?  If so, you are fucked
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:13:19 PM EDT
Hire an COMPETENT contractor or at least a COMPENTENT Engineer, don't get dead over a couple bucks.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:16:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SlurpeeAkbar:
Hire an COMPETENT contractor or at least a COMPENTENT Engineer, don't get dead over a couple bucks.


Seriously, a description of the arrangement of walls / rafters (or even a paint diagram or picture) woulc go a long way to ascertaining if it is structurally sound.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:18:36 PM EDT
would be easier to hire someone to do ,it can be done i worked on a crew that did it but it was a real pain in the ass i wouldn't do it myself with my own house
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:25:25 PM EDT
Impossible to answer, not enough info.

Post some pics, better yet a floor plan. Your ceiling joists are what keep the rafters from pushing the walls out and ultimately turning your house into a pancake.

If there's nothing else in place to accept the dead load of the roof, then you're asking for trouble.

Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:27:26 PM EDT
It could be done, but it would be expensive.

It's not really practical to consider doing it if you have trusses.

Maybe you just have rafters.

Even then, you need an air space for insulation, 12" around here, so you'd either have to raise the roof or lower the ceiling at the wall line. And then you'd have to either build cathedral ceiling trusses or beef up the rafters and install cross timbers or something to tie the walls together so they don't bow out and collapse the room.

Flat ceilings are nice...
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:39:29 PM EDT
It can absolutely be done, just rip everything above the top plates off and rebuild with scissor trusses.

Not something I'd recommend though.

If it wasn't framed for a vault to begin with there isn't going to be any cheap way to do it properly, you'd be way better off building a nice addition with vaulted ceilings if you really want it that bad.

I have vaulted ceilings in the great room of my house, T&G with exposed beams, it's a major PITA to keep clean.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:44:33 PM EDT
The main load bearing wall runs the length of the house, directly below the peak of the roof, running east/west.

The two bedrooms and the bathroom are at the west end of the house, with the kitchen and living room in the east end. The living room is south of the wall, and the kitchen is north of the wall with an opening in between.

I took a short video, and I'm waiting for it to upload onto Photobucket.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:47:30 PM EDT
The answer is no. Unless your house is in MN, then do it. I'll give you a number to call to get it fixed when it all falls down.

Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:54:34 PM EDT
The video was taking too long, so here's a diagram I just made (MSPaint, yay);

Link Posted: 11/19/2008 6:57:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By luckypunk:
does the dividing wall run parallel or perpendicular to the rafters

err, wait, are you trying to make a flat ceiling into a vaulted ceiling?  If so, you are fucked


Perpendicular, and yes.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 7:04:08 PM EDT
So the horizontal line is the main loadbearing wall, running directly under the ridge?

If so then yes, it can be done. You'd need a truss at the wall dividing the BR1 and LR, from outside wall to outside wall. Also you'd need to beef up the gable end on the right side of your drawing. You'll probably need a larger ridge (glu-lam) in between the gable and the truss to pick up the span. Also going to need larger piers and posts at the bearing corners.

You're looking at a tearoff of the roof system from the beginning of the vaulted area to the gable. You should have it engineered.

Of course this is all from what I can see with very little info.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 7:17:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2008 7:18:18 PM EDT by GoGop]
That sounds too expensive for me. I was thinking hack-hack-hack, insulate, and then use some type of wood rather than drywall at the top.

I appreciate all the answers, but it appears this isn't going to happen.  Thank you all.


Typos
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 8:11:04 PM EDT
if you remove the cieling joist your walls will spread and your roof will collapse.
you must support the ridge board(the board at the top of your roof skeliton that the rafters are nailed to) you can do this buy instaling a load bearing beam the length of your new ceiling you must have sound post under the beam this is not a do it your self project
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 8:22:33 PM EDT
Professional carpenter for over thirty years.  Yes you can do it.  Yes you should hire a engineer and a professional carpenter.  If you start altering a truss roof you get into all sorts of issues.  Trusses are made out of small dimension lumber.  They use the principle of triangles to provide the support.  When you start cutting them apart they lose all their strength.  Field frame roofs can be altered, but getting a engineers advice would be well advised.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 9:00:30 PM EDT
I was afraid it'd be more complex than my simple "Hey, I have an idea!"

At least I had the sense to ask first.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 9:02:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By GoGop:
I was afraid it'd be more complex than my simple "Hey, I have an idea!"

At least I had the sense to ask first.




The aftermath thread would have been epic.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 12:42:33 AM EDT
 It would have inspired numerous fail pics I'm sure.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 12:47:30 AM EDT
Without any further info, I will say no.

Triangles are stable.  Cubes are not.  Those walls are most probably load bearing.

Foundation?  

Attic?
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 12:48:45 AM EDT
I'm disappointed.

In the grand internet tradition, I would have expected the OP to have posted his question, gotten out his Sawz-All and started hacking, only to come back later to check on the responses.



Link Posted: 11/20/2008 12:58:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 1:00:19 AM EDT by GoGop]
Keith,
 Concrete foundation, with full basement.
EDIT - There is an attic, but no access to it. The douche we bought the house from dry-walled over the attic door.


Mech2007,
  I LOL'ed  
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:16:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GoGop:
Keith,
 Concrete foundation, with full basement.
EDIT - There is an attic, but no access to it. The douche we bought the house from dry-walled over the attic door.


Mech2007,
  I LOL'ed  


Load bearing walls will have foundation under them.  As in a wall in the basement.  A freestanding wall's weight is borne by the floor joists.

If you are doing any remodeling, getting a look at that attic space is a must.  Unless you have the plans for the house, then just post them...   I doubt it, that is a commercial thing or a custom built house.

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:51:53 AM EDT
You're right, I have no blueprints or plans for the house. The main wall, that I'm calling a load bearing wall, does not have a wall under it in the basement. There's an I-beam part of the way, with one of those metal jack things under it, and the rest of the way it's a big wood beam.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:59:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GoGop:
You're right, I have no blueprints or plans for the house. The main wall, that I'm calling a load bearing wall, does not have a wall under it in the basement. There's an I-beam part of the way, with one of those metal jack things under it, and the rest of the way it's a big wood beam.


Load bearing.  Don't take away ANY of that wall.  It keeps the roof up.  The wall is distributing the load to that beam which is much stiffer than the wall.  The beam is simply supported on the outside foundation wall and that jack.

Take pictures and post.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 2:48:51 AM EDT
East end, facing north



Center, facing north



West end, facing north



West end, facing SE



Center, facing south



East end, facing west



Center, facing NW



East end, facing NE



Doorway from kitchen to living room, facing south



The front door is in the LR on the south wall, and the side door is in the kitchen on the west wall.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 3:07:15 AM EDT
You can do just about anything if you have enough money.



You will need to have at least somebody professional to look at it in person, not just vague descriptions and pics over the intratubes.



And definitely get into your attic.  Dont take this the wrong way, but it is foolish not have access to your attic, and to go up there every so often and check things out.



 
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 3:14:08 AM EDT
That's a strange looking trophy mount.  Makes the buck look bashful.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 3:17:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 3:22:17 AM EDT by jeffers_mz]
1. Punch a hole in the east gable just off center, avoid the stud or brace under the ridge.

2. Slide the beam your engineer signs off on in under the ridge. Jack it up tight to the ridge or shim to the ridge and prop each end down to concrete foundation. You'll probably need a pad under each end of the new ridge beam, 24" by 24" for starters, the engineer will specify.

3. Finagle the current ridge props out from under the ridge as the beam begins to take the load.

4. Safe the wiring in the wall to be removed, re-site the thermostat.

5. Remove ceiling rock. Prop the ceiling joists to each side of the center bearing wall, top plate, bottom plate, one wedged stud per each three joists. Prop walls must be more than halfway from outer end of joists to center bearing wall.

6. Pull all the rock on center bearing wall, remove center bearing wall.

7. Sawzall the ceiling joists loose from the front and back bearing walls, taking care not to disturb rafter attachements to outer walls.

8. Scab 2x material to bottom of rafters with plywood gussets to bring roof vent space to 12 inches deep per joist bay. Insulate as desired, leaving vent space under roof decking.

9. Reroute wiring originally in center bearing wall.

10. Finish as desired.

Yep, it's a big job.



Link Posted: 11/20/2008 3:25:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jrinfoley:
Professional carpenter for over thirty years.  Yes you can do it.  Yes you should hire a engineer and a professional carpenter.  If you start altering a truss roof you get into all sorts of issues.  Trusses are made out of small dimension lumber.  They use the principle of triangles to provide the support.  When you start cutting them apart they lose all their strength.  Field frame roofs can be altered, but getting a engineers advice would be well advised.


Yes.  Don't cut the joist off the truss.  A truss is designed to work against itself.  The ridge is always pushing down and the joist section supplies resistance to keep that from happening.

You can have trusses made to do what you're looking for, but that would involve removing your roof and starting over from the top of the walls on up.  $$$
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 3:26:07 AM EDT
Small houses with cathedral ceilings look like modular houses.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 12:27:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheCommissioner:
That's a strange looking trophy mount.  Makes the buck look bashful.


Grooming

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:22:21 PM EDT
Definitely load bearing.  Walls parallel to the floor trusses are freestanding.  But the wall immediately over the steel beam (actually a wide flange, not an I-beam) is load bearing.

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:25:04 PM EDT
LOL that steel beam looks really out of place.

I wonder if that a replacement beam or OEM.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 7:21:34 PM EDT
There are lots of things done in this house differently than how I'd have done them, and I'm not even in construction.

Some examples:

The windows are all double pane/double hung, but none of them are the same model. The releases are different styles and sizes, etc.

When new electric wires were run down there, the old ones were just cut at the ends and left in place.

The electric wires are run through holes drilled in the joists.

They tried to make a wall, and cut into the main support beam some to get the desired height.

Some of the beam was cut out and replaced with that I-beam/flange.

The two light  switches for down there were placed so that you had to go through the basement door, make a u-turn to your right and walk about six feet before feeling around for them.

The receptacle boxes (upstairs) all seemed a bit loose, so I started checking them. The boxes weren't mounted at the right depth, so the receptacles were just screwed in far enough to touch the drywall. The first one I check sparked when I touched it, so I check the connections. The wire was looped around the screw, but not tightened down. The lose receptacle apparently had made them nervous, because they stuck paper gum wrappers between the receptacle and the side of the box. As I went through the house replacing all of the receptacles, I found that each one was wired a little differently, as in loose loop of wire/straight wire barely under the screw/one looped and one straight etc.

Switch covers and receptacle covers painted over instead of being removed for painting.

Windows painted shut.

Old water pipe cut off even with the basement wall, trash bags jammed in around it, then a little concrete patch over it. I had to chip off the patch, sweat a cap on the pipe and fill/cover the whole deal with hydraulic cement. There were two of these.

Under one of those slow-leaking pipes was a hollow core door nailed to 2x4s as a shelf under the steps. You could smell the mildew as you walked into the basement.

The only water shut offs were the main coming into the house, and at the water heater. Toilets, faucets and shower had no shut offs.

The water heater was positioned so that the pressure relief was facing away from the floor drain, so it was always wet under there.

The wires from the thermostat went down through the floor right above the support beam, and instead of going directly to the furnace were pulled down on the wrong side of the beam and looped under it.

Lots of this I've already fixed, but the bigger stuff is on my to do list.
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