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I have 7ft ceilings in one room on my second floor. The room was an addition and the previous owners decided to make the original stone porch below into a family room. In this room, they kept the original stone columns that were 9ft tall and didn't leave enough room above for standard ceiling height. I'd like to make a cathedral style ceiling out of the current 7ft ceilings. I know that the joists above run the same direction as the rest of the house until about half way across the room and then run the other way (I don't know if this matters). Can the ceiling height be raised without taking the whole room down and starting over? Can a kneel wall be added to the existing wall? HELP!!! HOW EXPENSIVE WILL THIS BE?

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    IMO there is NO WAY anyone can answer this one sight unseen. Especially with regard to cost. You need someone to come in and look at it and give you your options and estimates. – Speedy Petey Jan 4 '15 at 23:54
  • The answers to this question appear to be relevant. – Dan Neely Jan 5 '15 at 2:42
  • Can you add some drawings to help? (This probably won't be cheap.) – Mark Jan 5 '15 at 3:43
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Note that this is just a best possible guess based on the current info and in no way should be used as a "given".

Since room is an addition and the fact that you are on the top floor of a flat roof house, I doubt that there is too much to do as far as the roof. It is quite possible if the room is truly an addition that the roof section could be taken apart and put back up 5 feet higher. This is all given that your room was really an addition (not just half your room which it sounds like from your description).

Nobody that I know, no engineer I know nor any inspector OK adding on to the existing outer walls - let alone the interior walls. You have to rebuild. Taking off the top plate, pulling the electric, taking out windows, and reframing with longer lumber is a quick 1-2 day job for a small crew of 4.

So you have demo, you have a lot of trash, you have taking apart roof, you have materials (lumber, new roofing, new gutters, new flashing for old roof, new siding, new insulation). This is all given that you keep the exact same windows, don't move electric or plumbing or hvac, and really don't care that much that this height extension will make the house look awkward since doing aesthetics will add on cost. I have to say on the really really low end if the roof materials and windows can be saved and no surprises surface and you use low-end builder grade finishes someone might quote you 6-8k. I would think most estimates will come in closer to the 10-15k range. Again this is given that this room was a true addition.

  • It is possible that there is a reasonable solution to the issue with the walls. Keep the walls at the 7 feet and then have the ceiling/roof be framed out of engineered trusses to give the desired inner head clearance for a good part of the center of the room. That said the OPs comment that the existing ceiling joists run two directions implies some funny business that may very well indicate that the room is only partially an addition. I also totally agree with your comments about asthetics. I've seen some pretty horrific remodeling done on houses that make the resale of them difficult. – Michael Karas Jan 5 '15 at 13:55
  • @MichaelKaras - I agree there may be some alternatives here but without pictures it is just a guess. My guess was based on what I thought a flat roof at 7 feet might look like. I mean who adds on an addition and it only goes 7 feet? – DMoore Jan 5 '15 at 19:44

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