I'm looking to remove the plywood ceiling in this porch along with the ceiling joists that I believe are only serving to hold the ceiling in place. I'm wondering if I'm missing anything.

Porch interior

The roof is uniformly gabled from front to back.

exterior gable end

The porch has a 7' ceiling, the main room has a 12' ceiling that is to the gable / \ and the back bedrooms have 8' ceilings with an attic above with an access hatch. So, in sum, it seems there is a "void" above the porch plywood ceiling that doesn't have access and isn't serving any purpose.

Vaulted ceiling in another room

I drilled a small hole and took a look up there with a USB camera. Looks to be uninsulated and up to the roof plywood. I can see the metal roof roofing nails coming through. The walls are bare studs.

The plan would be to pull down the plywood, pull down the ceiling joists (if that is possible, otherwise leave them exposed) and do the walls in tongue and groove to match the interior room. I might also spray in some insulation in the wall bays as I go.

room with vaulted ceiling looking toward porch in question

Am I missing anything?

How can I tell if the ceiling joists can come down without issue?

Edit (9/5/2021): Hey all, thanks for your help. I pulled down some plywood and this is what it looks like up there: https://i.sstatic.net/7QI0J.jpg

  • Well asked question and a nice looking place! I embedded the pics to make it easier for everyone to see them (the site will upload & host them for you, for future reference). Please review to make sure that the spacing and wording still makes sense, and make additional edits if you feel it's necessary.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 16:17
  • Thanks so much, sorry for the extra work! Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 16:39
  • No worries! I'm not sure if a brand new user can embed that many images, so someone may have had to do it for you anyway.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 16:41
  • 3
    I would not touch it until cleared by a structural engineer. I highly suspect the joists are required to tie the 3 surrounding lightly built walls that having windows in the way of vertical studs. If you take away the ceiling and the joists, you might find you need to do something about the walls.
    – r13
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 16:48
  • 1
    I believe are only serving to hold the ceiling in place ... it is safer to disbelieve until proven otherwise
    – jsotola
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


Agree with @r13 . Joists almost always are necessary to stop the roof from pushing the walls outward. If you dislike them, consider "scissors joists" which tie the walls to the roof joists on the opposite side of the peak. This gives you a slightly lower cathedral ceiling but eliminates the joists/beams running in mid-air.

  • Alternatively, leave the joists but dress them up, or (with SE approval) remove some joists but beef up the remainders to take the strain. Take a "bug" and turn it into a "feature"!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 18:06
  • @FreeMan, Ha, I read that as "StackExchange approval", but I'm sure you mean structural engineer.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 20:02
  • heh... yeah. I read that as I typed it, but decided to leave it. Your interpretation of my actual meaning is correct.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 20:52
  • Updated with a new album. Looks like they run the long way. Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 15:57

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