Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 10/10/2014

How much will it cost to do 1000 sf new roof plus add 3' to exciting ceiling height

Roofing and remodeling

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

3 Answers


Are you talking about using attic space to increase your ceiling height? Or are you talking about raising the roof also? The first one is not as risky. The second is very risky. Either way, you will be changing how the original architect designed the weight loads on your house. My suggestion is to have an actual architect design the change. I know often times people want to save money on the planning side of projects, but whatever is saved is wasted if something tragic happens down the road.

Just a suggestion.

Hope it helps.

Answered 6 years ago by ExteriorUpgrader


For the reroofing cost see the many prior responses in Home > Roofing in Browse Projects at lower left for typical costs and discusiion of issues.

As Upgrader said, in almost all cases raising the ceiling is VERY costly, plus involves opening up the interior of the house to exterior weather risk for some days, so you are trusting a lot in the contractor's tarping talents and hoping severe weather does not hit during that timeframe, and especially hoping he does not go belly up or leave you hanging in the lurch while the roof is off.

Raising the ceiling involves one of several methods, none of which are simple:

1) cutting the roof free and jacking it up and holding it in that position (or even lifting it off with a crane), then adding a spliced-on section to the wall, and putting the roof back on,

2) with some types of roofing framing that cannot take being cut free of the walls, cutting the entire upstairs free at the floor level and jacking/lifting that up while splicing new longer studs into the wall to raise it (which also involves electrical and maybe plumbing lengthening too),

3) or removing the roof piecemeal and either raising the walls and rebuilding the roof framing and then putting on the finish sheathing and roofing, or with some designs installing raised-knee trusses that stand up off the wall (3 feet+ in your case) then putting on a new roof and then a new ceiling.

None of these are cheap - would be unusual to get for less than $8-10,000 range for just raising/reframing the roof and in many cases can be 2 times that much, and could be significantly more than that if the entire walls have to be lifted too, as a VERY ballpark range. This is a VERY unusual thing to do if you are talking raising the upstairs ceiling height - adding a new story or raising only the roof to provide attic living space is not that uncommon, but raising the upstairs ceiling height is extraordinary. Most people would not consider spending that kind of money just to gain some headroom, unless you are talking raising the roof to give attic living space headroom, in which case that is more normal to do.

In pretty much all jurisdictions you are ging to need detailed plans from an architect or structural engineer to get a permit to do this, so as Upgrader rightly suggested start there - and he/she can also provide conceptual cost estimates for the work and comparisons of the options. if just raising the roof a structural engineer can probably handle it - if raising the entire upstairs ceiling height or including other remodel work, then you definitely want an architect (who will have a staff or consultant structural engineer do the framing change part of the plans).

My advice - also have him/her rough out the cost for adding a story or an attic living space, because raising the ceiling will gain you little if anything in usable living space or resale value for your money, whereas adding another floor or attic living space will add some square footage and living space for your investment. Also, in some cases, especially in frostless areas where slab on grade foundations are viable, adding an addition with the same square footage might be nearly comparable to the cost of raising the entire top story or the house (as opposed to attic) and give you a lot more square footage to boot.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


One clarification on the comment by Upgrader - he implied you can more readily gain ceiling height by using attic space. However, unless your house's roof framing was originally designed for cathedral ceilings, it would be VERY rare that you could do this (as opposed to having to lift up or rebuild the entire roof structure) because the typical A-framed attic has rafters that act as beams to support the roof which are supported on the walls at the outside and typically with vertical or more commonly angled post members under the center portion to carry that part of the load down to underlying walls. Then joists (horizontal members) spanning from wall to wall that act to support the attic floor (if any) and also to fasten the underlying room ceilings, but also act as tension members.

Alternatively, you may have roof trusses which are structures that support the roof with shorter pieces of wood (or metal, though rarely in houses) tied together with joiner plates. With trusses all members are essentail - cut one and generally the whole unit loses most or all of its strength.

The sloping rafters, because they slope, tend to force the tops of the walls outward so the attic floor joists oppose that force and hold the tops of the walls in. Cutting through those might gain you a center-peaked raised ceiling space (with essentially zero height gain at the walls as the roof is typically only about 1 foot above the ceiling at that point), on up to maybe 4-10 feet at the peak depending on roof slope) but could also cause massive structural failurer - I have seen a house actually fall apart like a house of cards because a contractor who was not a framing carpenter cut out the attic joists to do just what you are talking about.

They can be replaced with structural elements to replace them, but generally by the time you go through all that hassle it would be cheaperto just totally replace the roof and its framing, so it is not a simpler solution.

About the only type of roof design where you would be able to just raise the ceiling room-wide would be a raised-knee truss system with ceiling support-only joists across its lower chord - basically built with raised supporting elements at each side to raise it above the walls, which is very rarely done because it is cheaper and easier to just raise the height of the walls during construction.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy