Raising your roof is a great way to add more space to your home. To get even more space, you could add a second floor. A higher roof can make an old home feel less cramped, which means that it may add to the property value as well. A whole additional floor gives you a bigger home without encroaching on your yard space. In many cases, these projects can be worth it but only if you do them the right way, There is certainly a lot to consider. Here are some of the steps in raising a roof:
Determine Whether your Home is Suited to a Higher ceiling
One of two methods is used to frame most roofs: stick or truss. Whichever one of these methods to build your roof will determine how difficult it will be to raise it. Stick is the older standard; truss-framed roofs are newer. With a stick-framed roof, rafters spanning from the top of the exterior walls to the ridge are used. Truss-framed roofs are made with triangular truss units. Both types can be raised but it will be more labor-intensive with a stick roof since you will have to remove it and rebuild it.
Calculate the Cost
Always keep your home’s value in mind. If adding a second floor won’t return the money that you are spending on it, you may want to forego the project and instead take on one that will. Be aware that the cost may make the project unfeasibly expensive if the roof you are raising is a large one. The most viable roofs for raising are those on smaller homes.
Consultations with structural engineers will account for about $1,200 of your overall expenditure; bear in mind that the engineers will be responsible for getting your permits, which are included in that cost. Removing and replacing your roof can cost about $7,400. If you need to have your home rewired and your plumbing moved, you can expect to pay approximately $4,200. Replacing the different parts of your home’s exterior finish will run roughly $7,200. Depending on what is involved in raising your home’s roof, the total cost can anywhere between $15,000 and $20,000.
Understand What’s Involved
Raising a roof is a complex process and just how extensive the project becomes depends a lot on what you want. Do you want higher walls or a vaulted ceiling? If you have an attic with sufficient space, you probably have a stick-framed roof and should be able to get a vaulted ceiling without raising the roof. All you will need to do is create the vaulted shape by taking out the ceiling joists. This is simpler than it would be with a trussed roof but still requires adjustments to the framing such as adding collar ties and ridge beams. You won’t have that extra room with a truss-framed roof, which means that you will most likely have to raise it in one piece.
No matter what type of roof you have and regardless of how you want to raise your roof, you will also have to consider factors like your electrical wiring and the ducting for your HVAC. How they are routed can affect the project’s cost since you may need to have them replaced.
Instead of a higher ceiling and walls, do you want a whole second story? You can’t just install new studs on top of the old ones, at least not without creating an unstable structure. A new wall on top of an old one will result in a hinge between the two. The first-floor walls won’t be able to handle the load. Even if they can, will your foundation be able to take the additional weight? The answer is probably no. Your contractor will have to build a new wall with new, taller studs or add plywood to your exterior and ties to your foundation.
Adding a second floor has an impact on your HVAC system. You may need an upgrade to cool all that extra interior space. You will also need more insulation in your exterior walls.
Hire a Licensed, Insured Contractor
Your contractor should not only have a license and insurance, but they should also be able to pull all the required permits before performing any work on your roof. You will need a contractor with experience — they should understand all that goes into raising a roof. Keep in mind that permits are more than just bureaucratic red tape, they affect your ability to sell your house in the future or to replace your roof.
Raising a roof is not always a practical option but when it is it is a cost-effective way to give your home more square footage.If you have a vision for your home that includes higher ceilings or a second story, we can help. Use our contact form to get in touch with us today.