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svanoy 07-31-2008 11:47 PM

Lowering actual ceiling joist?
Hi, I bought my first house roughly one year ago. It was guessed to have been built around 1950. It is a one story home with a crawl space below. I have completely replaced the floor joists (treated) and subfloor due to termites and rot, and removed an unused chimney that was walled up and taking up space in a spare room. I am now looking to make living space out of the attic.

Here is where the problem starts. The house originally had 12' ceilings, at some time a drop ceiling was installed to 8'. Now whoever did this installed a second set of 2X6 joist 3' below the original ceiling and then attached a 2X4 structure 1' foot below that to support the drywall. Now since I am not going raise my ceiling back to 12', I would really like to make use of that 4' of lost space.

Would it be possible to install joist at the 8' ceiling height and attach them to the outside wall studs with lag bolts or run a joist along the walls and attach it to the studs with lag bolts and use joist hangers?

If you know of a way please tell. I would really hate to not be able to do this. The roof line is extremely steep and the amount of floor space in the house would almost double with an attic addition.

inspectorD 08-01-2008 06:58 AM

More space, Great!!
Unfortunately, this is a job for an engineer. Without some professional actually looking at it, You could have a serious issue down the road.
Then you will have lost alot of time, money and not to mention if there where a collapse.
Spend the $500 bucks, I know it feels like a waste of money, but with something such as this it pays for itself and you will never know it did.:D

svanoy 08-02-2008 10:47 AM

Ok, that project moves to the bottom of the list for now.

Has anyone ever heard of or seen ceiling joist being lowered to increase space above?

Just curious to find out if it could be possible at all before I have someone come in and tell me no.

inspectorD 08-02-2008 04:45 PM

Anything is possible, you just need to support the house from racking in the right spot.Someone here could not tell you where that certain area is ,or if you need further support in other areas. This is why it is complicated...not because it cannot be done.
A contractor is also going to have to hire an engineer to give them the location and size, thats just the way it is. CYA (cover your assetts)
Good luck and let us know how it turns out.:)

1989gta 12-18-2008 07:57 AM

I'm really curious as to why someone would lower a ceiling is there some form of damage they were trying to hide and decided lowering the ceiling is cheaper?

Or is there stuff hiding in that space money? Stolen art?

Or were the previous owners afraid of ladders?

svanoy 12-18-2008 10:14 AM

Heating a house with high ceilings can be a nightmare. My guess is it was lowered during a previous renovation to ease the heating bill.

1989gta 12-18-2008 10:20 AM

i guess when i think of Kentucky i don't associate it with cold temps but looking at your current temp that makes sense.

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