You may be looking around your home and wondering about all the added space that can be made by making your ceiling higher and raising the roof. It is true that raising the roof in your home for more head space or even to add a dormer in your attic is a great way to accent your home. However, without having to expand outward, there are some critical factors to consider beforehand that will inform you as to about how much it will cost and whether or not it is worth it.
What Kind of Roof Do You Have
One of the first things you should consider is the type of roofing structure you have. Truss roofs, which are engineered off-site by contractors and then installed all in one piece atop the structure, are typically the types of roofs that are easier to raise. For one thing, it is possible to get a truss roof customized so that the engineers leave space for storage or an entire room.
If you know that your truss roofing was built with enough space for a room in the webbing, then it will probably be easier for you to raise your roof. It’s simple:
Do you have an attic in your home? If so, then you are already well on your way toward being able to raise your roof for a reasonable cost.
Stick roofing is different. Stick roofing is built on-site, and all the beams and rafters are joined one by one atop the home structure. The problem with raising stick roofs is that the project more than likely will entail rebuilding the entire roof, which can take a lot of time and money.
If you don’t know whether you have stick roofing or truss roofing installed on your home, try to get ahold of the building plans to find out.
Why Do You Want to Raise?
The specific purpose of roof-raising is essential so you should ask yourself if you simply want higher ceilings, vaulted ceilings, or if you want to add a dormer.
Let’s say for example, that you simply want the vaulted ceiling look for your home. For this project, it is actually better to have stick roofing because vaulted ceilings will have no joists to hold the walls together and therefore will be supported by a ridge beam that is typical of stick roofing.
Keep in mind that even if you do have stick roofing, the contractors may still have to strip the roof from its very studs and essentially rebuild it depending on the structure of your home. This can cost as much as completely rebuilding your home, but hopefully, all it will take is adding load bearing walls which will be much cheaper.
If you just want higher ceilings, you will probably be looking at a cheaper project, but it would be preferable to start from a home that already has an attic. This will make it much easier for contractors to simply intrude a bit on some the empty space in the attic to rebuild a higher ceiling. But you will still have to think about the placement of your HVAC and electrical systems. It is most likely that you will have to relocate HVAC units and reroute HVAC ductwork if you are planning on raising your ceiling. This is especially true if you have central air and heating.
Now let’s say you’ve got your eyes on the brass ring and you are looking to add an additional above ground room or even a second story to your home. Obviously, this will be a more expensive project, but you should also know that it will entail your walls essentially being rebuilt. New wall studs would have to be installed along with plywood sheathing to cover the longer span and the greater above-head weight of an added room or floor.
So far, we have just covered the basics of the structural considerations you will face when raising a roof. There is still the matter of pulling the proper permits. Any time you add onto or alter a home (especially its roof line), your project will need to be approved by local government officials.
If you intend to handle the project yourself, you should get in touch with your local residential permit department to learn what you will need to obtain a permit. If you are going through a reputable roofing contractor, they should be able to pull all the necessary permits for you.
Obtaining a permit will require that you project-whether you plan to do it yourself or hire a contractor is safe, meaning that your project is not endangering the structure of your home and the people in it. It will also require that all materials used to be up to code.
If you do not pull a permit and alter your roof anyway, you run the risk of costly complications when it comes time to sell your home or to re-roof it.
Before you do any type of work on your home, you should always consider whether it will add or subtract to the value of your home. Not all additions actually add value to a home, so make sure your project is a sound investment in the long-run.
Finally, I know that not all homes are good candidates for raised ceilings. No matter how much you lust after one, it is simply not worth putting the safety of your family, your home, and yourself at risk.