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JulieC 07-01-2007 11:22 PM

Raising Roof Pitch
We own a typical 1970's four level split. Most of the roof pitches are 4:12, with a large section being 3:12. We have some minor ice damming problems on the 3:12 section (home inspector). The entire roof needs to be replaced in the next couple years, it currently has two layers of shingles, both of which will need to be removed. There are three major sections of the house, each about 22' x 22'.

We are riding the "remodel or move" teeter totter. We are considering an addition which would make the most sense to do at the same time as the roofing. I don't care for shallow pitched roofs. 4:12 would be fine on a shed dormer in my eyes, but I'm afraid to do this major remodel just to notice the roofline every time I look at the house. So, for mostly aesthetic reasons, how much more of a job is it to have the rafters raised to make for maybe a 10:12 roof? This would be hired out, I have no interest in working on the roof. It would be nice to put some useable living space under one section and if it's not too awful it could change the direction of the remodeling plans. I had thought to put a new master suite (main purpose of additon) over the garage by raising the roof, but as is the most that roof could be raised without looking out of place is 4'. That puts us at 8' max. ceiling height, too close for comfort. Not raising the roof forces increasing the footprint by about 300 sq.ft. A combo (raising the roof, increasing footprint by about 180 sq. ft.) would look sweet.

I realize nobody can give me a good estimate without actually checking out the house, but I'm looking for a "it will double the cost of the re-roofing" or "it will multiple the cost of the re-roofing by 20, you're out of your mind lady!" type estimate before I waste any more brain cycles on the possibilities or bug perspective builders with a thousand irrelevant questions. AFAIK, the roof is structurally sound.

Thank you in advance!

P.S. Two of the sections are simple gables, the other section has one side that is split 4:12 and 3:12 for a bump out, otherwise a simple gable.

JulieC 07-02-2007 08:12 AM

I tried it out in Punch, anything over 7:12 (optimal) causes the roof to dwarf the house. I'm not sure if this makes much of a cost difference, especially in the very rough sense requested, or if the change is enough to entice me to make it, but any responses appreciated..

Margroovy 10-26-2007 08:42 AM

I am wanting to do a similar remodel to our 1966 ranch home. Did you get any response from your posting?

JulieC 10-26-2007 08:59 AM

Nope, nada. I am working on a new design that doesn't involve raising the roof pitch. I was inspired by this article:,00.html. I started off trying to do more with it, but I found what I really liked was the gable-within-gable aspect. Since the middle portion of our house is a typical split level front facing gable, it worked out well. I even got my extra picky hubby to say "that's not bad". ;)

I do my designs (on Take 3264 or so ;)) using Punch! Platinum. I like that I can see the 3D of my designs.

JulieC 10-26-2007 09:37 AM

My current design ...

glennjanie 10-27-2007 12:10 AM

Welcome Julie C:
You have some fancy software there, congratulations. I would bet money the different sections of roof have trusses in them; nothing that can't be handled, just a little extra challenge.
I would be expecting to go 5 times the cost of re-roofing.

JulieC 10-27-2007 08:54 AM

Thanks Glenn. I found this link last night (insomnia),

While "expensive", we are needing more space anyway. I think attic trusses could be the answer, raising while replacing. It occurred to me that if I twist the middle roof main gable 90 degrees (same orientation as the others) it could make raising the garage (right side) roof up enough to give the space I really need to create a master suite. I couldn't figure out a way to raise the garage roof enough to do it before, but if we're going to replace all the rafters anyway, there isn't any reason to leave them in their current gable orientation if something else will work better! The gable-end bump out to the front would still be needed to create room upstairs for a hallway to the above-garage suite and an improved garage entry downstairs. The door from the garage leads into "bedroom 4". It also gives me a good bit of latitude to eliminate that 70's look. ;) I'll have to draw it up soon to see if it works.

If it works out, a 70sf footprint change (13'wide x 5'4 deep) and new attic trusses on the middle and right sections would take our ~1450sf 3/4bdrm 1.5bath house to ~2000sf 5bdrm 3bath home with better flow and better asthetics.

glennjanie 10-27-2007 01:33 PM

Hello Julie:
Your cost is going to run about as much as a new house would have cost 10 years ago. Caution: don't over-invest for your neighborhood; it could be very difficult to sell later.

JulieC 10-29-2007 08:18 AM

Thanks for the advice Glenn. I didn't like the way it looked when I drew it anyway. If I take the bump-out out another couple feet I can squeeze in a nice master bath where the upstairs hallway would have been.

I need to finish the new drawing, as the previous picture (in my gallery) was based on putting the master down, though it simplifies a couple other things. The new design puts the master up. The bump out is 13'4" across, which is the width of the downstairs bedroom and the front bedroom upstairs. The depth is 8'0" downstairs, 6'8" up, erasing the existing 1'4" cantilever.

The other major change would be a small cantilevered extension to the dining room (10' wide, 2' deep), a roof change over the dining room (4:12) to make it match the existing pitch on the adjoining kitchen (3:12) (makes a lot of sense if you see it, shouldn't cost too much as the entire main floor is vaulted to a giant ridge beam ... it would be raising the exterior wall another foot in just the bumped out portion).

My really-really rough guesstimates are:
$20,000 for the main addition
$10,000 for the master bath (in existing space)
$5,000 for the dining room bump and roof change
$7,000 for new roofing (needed in the next couple years anyway)
$7,000 for new siding (needed due to holes and melting by previous owners)
$7,000 for new windows in remaining house, with some minor changes of size/position.
$56,000 A reasonable change IMO. Our township has a 2 acre minimum lot restriction, we have 5 acres. The area is about half modest older homes like ours and half newer McMansions. There is little in the middle ground, but what there is seems to sell as well as anything. It's a difficult area to do real estate comp's on due to the wide range, but we got a good deal on the worst house in the neighborhood when we bought it 6 years ago.

Maybe when I get the drawings done and uploaded you could take a look at the before and afters and see if what I'm proposing and guessing are realistic?

JulieC 10-29-2007 01:39 PM

Latest Design
The current one is described and shown here:

so that I can send the link to a couple other people. I'm going to post this somewhere else, as the original thoughts of this thread (no roofs being raised) come into play for this design.

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