08:26AM | 03/06/04
Member Since: 03/05/04
2 lifetime posts
I have a living area with a catherdral ceiling 14' high at the peak. (The room is 20' x 18'). Since it is difficult to heat and stay comfortable,I would like to lower it to 8' and finish with ceiling tiles. 3 of the 4 walls are exterior walls Question- can the existing walls handle the weight of the framing (plan to use 2' x 4'studs) and subsequent ceiling tiles? When framing, are there standards to go by in regards to load bearing walls? Thank you


01:53PM | 03/06/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts

I would try whatever other method was available to me to make the room more energy efficient before trying to cover up the cathedral ceiling.

By covering the cathedral ceiling to save 'energy', you will lose the cost of the new ceiling and the lose the value of the property value that your house now has with the cathedral as opposed to without it.

You can make a cathedral room more energy efficient by as simple a move as installing a ceiling fan to move trapped warm air downward in winter. Or by installing a gas fireplace. Or you could better insulate the ceiling, Or all of the above.

But all that aside, 2x4s are too small to span either the 18' or 20' distance and very smallest lumber size you could use to accomplish what you wish is to frame with 2x8s SPF at 16 inches on center. Even then you could have considerable deflection (sag) in the middle of the unsupported span.

I would try to save the cathedral rather than save the energy. It is bringing you more in property value than it loses in current heat loss imho.


08:24AM | 03/09/04
Member Since: 03/05/04
2 lifetime posts
Homebild - thanks for the reply and suggestions. We do use a ceiling fan in the center of the room at the 8' level. Would raising the fan to approx 12' be more effective? I will check into the gas fireplace since the homes gas furnace is on the other end of the house. The forced hot air is minimal from the room vents. Living in the Northeast, natural gas prices are high. How efficient are the gas fireplaces?


11:07AM | 03/09/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
Well, I own a chalet in the northeast that has a room similar to what you have described and I use a propane fireplace to heat it.

If you run the fireplace continuously at temps higher than 75degrees as my 86 year old tenant does, then you can expect to have $100 per month propane bills as she does.

If you are frugal however, run the fireplace on a thermostat set at 65 degrees, you could probably get away with half that cost.

There really is no need to raise the fan to a higher location, it just needs to be run constantly to better circulate trapped warm air at the ceiling.
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