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How can I tell if I can loft my bedroom ceiling? Answered

Hi, I recently purchased a first home, and I decided it would be nice if I can loft the bedroom ceiling (using attic space that is currently wasted). How can I tell if this is even possible to do, and how much work is involved in something like this? I consider myself fairly handy, if that helps.

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canucksgirlBest Answer (author)2012-07-08

I'm guessing that you mean that you'd like to "vault" the ceiling? (A loft is different).

The question isn't really that "can I vault my bedroom ceiling" because in most cases the answer is yes, but is it always advisable? No.

The reason being, is your roof is supported by the attic rafters, so in order to vault a ceiling into the attic space you need to modify the support structure in the ceiling, and re-vent and insulate for the height you are trying to gain in the bedroom.

The cost is something that may not weight in as beneficial to what you really gain in the end, so your best bet is to get a pro in to give you a solid estimate (even if you intend to do much of the work yourself). Also look into the building codes and figure out what permits you would need before you do anything.

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user

Thank you for the advice, I'll have someone give me an estimate.

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user
Re-design (author)2012-07-08

If your roof is trussed then the answer is no.

If your roof is "stick framed" then probably.  the joists usually are used to keep the rafters from pushing out the rear wall so you HAVE to install new upper joists to hold the rafters and rear wall in place first. then you can remove the lower joists and either box up or angle up from the walls.  It's doable as a DIY project but it really helps to have someone who has done some framing.

If you be very helpful to you if you would visit (sneak) some houses under construction that have the feature you are planning and see how they were done.  Custom ceilings are a common feature in new homes now.

You may or may not need a permit to make the change.  It's much better to ask your local permit dept. first since fines are very heavy if they find out later and you didn't get a permit, plus they can offer an experienced opinion.  Most of the inspectors that I've met are ex builders or framers and really know their stuff.

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user

Sorry for my ignorance, but is there an easy way to determine if the roof is trussed or stick framed?

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