Home Improvement--General/Raising ceiling

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Ceiling
Ceiling  

Ceiling2
Ceiling2  
Hello,

I live in an old home and we are doing a kitchen renovation and noticed that underneath our 8' ceilings we can see the original, much higher ceiling. We are wanting to raise the ceiling up to the orignal height, so we pulled down all the drywall etc. we are left with what looks like just 2x4s that were put up to attach the drywall to. I just want to make sure that this is what it was, and it's not structurally doing anything for the home (which is doesn't appear to be since I can see the wall paper on the old ceiling) I have attached pictures. Any advice would be really helpful!

Shannon

Answer
Shannon,

What you have looks like a typical old-time solution to cover a cracked and degraded plaster ceiling.  The original (highest) ceiling is probably plaster on wood lath (thin wooden strips)covered with the torn wallpaper.  Below this they installed a framework of 2x4s and used drywall to cover everything up.  This was done because it was faster and less work than removing the old plaster.  The light wood framework does not appear to be structural in any way.  If you remove it, however, portions of the original plaster may fall down.  

If this was my job, I would remove EVERYTHING up to the original structural joists behind the plaster/lath.  This way, you are dealing with known components, and nothing is hidden.  Plus, you can run wiring, install lighting, etc. within the deeper joist cavities.  

It sounds like a nice project, and you will love the higher ceilings.  You can even purchase taller cabinets if that fits your budget.  

Best of luck, and please let me know if you need more information.

Steve Major  

Home Improvement--General

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Steve Major (Owner - Major Design Group)

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I can answer any questions regarding the design and execution of home improvement and remodeling. 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.

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

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

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BS -- Cornell University

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