02:10AM | 02/24/03
Member Since: 12/01/02
93 lifetime posts
We bought a single story ranch home last summer with the intent to add a second story at some point. The ceiling height on the bottom floor is actually a little low (7ft) so we hoped to be able to raise it to 9ft at the same time we added the second story.

My father-in-law, who is in the construction business, says because we'd have to replace the ceiling joists anyway, this should be no big deal (relatively). He says to add height we would just add a new section of studs with top and bottom plates above what currently exists and put the joists on top of that. I am envisioning the existing walls with top-plates intact, a new bottom plate above that with 2ft or so studs and a new top plate.

Does this sound reasonable? It doesn't sound structurally stable to me as the studs will not run the height of the wall. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


05:25PM | 02/24/03
Member Since: 12/27/02
543 lifetime posts
On the gables that could be true.

But it's all irrelevent if you don't have a foundation capable of carrying the additinal loads. Sometimes it's best to just start over this may be one of those times?

If you have to underpin the foundation, and add the studs and the new headers .. plus heighten the walls it will end up costing you more than starting new.

I'd consult with a local contractor to see what your options may be. Each project of this nature has it's own benefits and fall backs that need to be weighed out. A professional with hands on will be better to advise you.

Alter Eagle Construction & Design


03:48PM | 02/28/03
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
It is feasible and practical.

BUT, to make sure you have a structurally sound second story the "2 foot difference" will be made up with solid 2x4 plates added to the top of existing walls.


02:05AM | 03/04/03
Member Since: 12/01/02
93 lifetime posts
Thanks for the replies. I'll let you know how it goes.


03:30PM | 03/04/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
Whoa! Hold on there guys.

This might be a good idea if thge only force avting on the wall was gravity. Unfortunately, wind, seismic, and other forces also load this wall in different directions. This little old kneewall tacked on top of another wall with no other bracing will be likely to fold at the hinge joint that you create.

I wouldn't dream of doing this unless an engineer specificed a method for overcoming all the potential problems. I can imagine ways to do it but not in public. This is a professionall job.

Mark Hammond

06:06AM | 03/06/03
Member Since: 05/09/01
246 lifetime posts
It all sounds good here but don't forget the guys who will say just how good it is. The local building dept. They have the technology and the final say. Oh yes, don'r forget to double the top plate on the upper section as well.....MJH


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