Building Homes or Extensions/Remodel 50s Ranch


First, to raise the ceiling joists 1 foot to gain
ceiling height. It has a hip roof 5/12 with 2x6 rafters 24" oc and 2x6 ceiling joist 16" oc. Rafters are 12' long. Would you keep the joist at 16 oc and add rafters when need or change to 24 oc?

Second, Removing 1 or 2 lally column. 5x7 beam with a span of  32'. One end is the foundation then 4 columns spaced at 8' and end with a column. The columns are 6x6. Upstairs are 2 bedrooms then attic, the beam is 7ft off the back foundation.
Im ok with moving 1 or 2. The second column from the foundation is where the beams butt to each other


I assume that you are leaving the roof (rafter) structure in place, so the finished ceiling will end up having an angled portion along the edges.  You can make the ceiling joists 24" o.c., this way you can simply nail them to the sides of the rafters.  CAUTION: be sure to replace the ceiling joists one or two at a time, and not all at once.  They have a critical structural purpose to keep the roof triangle from flattening.  So you must overlap the paired joists and nail them together well to maintain this integrity.  If you nail one joist to the left side of the rafter and the opposite joist to the right side of the rafter, you will need to scab in a spacer block at joist mid-span so they stay straight and on layout.  

BUT:  Ceiling drywall tends to sag at 24" joist spacing.  You should use 5/8" Type-X drywall for the ceilings.  Even better, nail 1x3 furring at 16" 0.c. to the underside of, and at right angles to, the joists.  If done correctly you will get a flatter and sag-resistant ceiling.

On your other question, I do not agree with moving structural columns without understanding the loads.  I would need to see blueprints and photos to make any accurate recommendation.  It's best to run your proposal past a local structural engineer or architect for their input.  It would be well worth a couple hours of consulting fees.

Best of luck,

Steve Major

Building Homes or Extensions

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Stephen Major (Owner--Major Design Group)


I can answer any questions regarding the design and construction of homes and additions. This includes trade-specific questions (how-to) in all major building trades: framing, foundations, site prep, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, water treatment, interior finishing, trim & cabinetwork, exterior finishing, roofing, siding. PLEASE indicate your state or region, so I can provide the best possible answer. PLEASE provide photos whenever possible.


30 years experience in building design and construction, all hands-on, including the construction of dozens of single-family homes and hundreds of remodeling projects in the northeastern US.

Author: "Architectural Woodwork - Details for Construction" published by Van Nostrand Reinhold (now Wiley).

BS Cornell University.

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