Raise the Roof

When Vincent followed up with: “acoustically it would be very helpful” and “the look and sound of the room will be so much better” that helps to make up your mind. I’m sold.

By removing the ceiling we’ll eliminate one of the parallel surfaces which will cut down on potential flutter. And adding the new sloped ceiling will help foster good spatial distribution with each side acting as an irregular reflecting surface aided by each slope’s differing length. Later on we’ll hang absorptive paneling on the slopes to catch some of the early reflections. It’s amazing how this alteration will drastically improve the overall balance, definition, and diffusion of the space.

I started imagining what the space would look like and got even more excited. We did some exploratory surgery and found this:


Everything was in great shape. No water damage, no critter damage. Even the insulation looked good. Excellent news. 

It was settled. The ceiling was definitely coming down. We were then confronted with what to do with the exposed collar ties. The collar ties are the joists connected to the roof rafters that keep the roof from falling in. Once the ceiling is down there’d be a tie every 24 inches which may look busy and not to mention how difficult it would be to cut around and get the sheetrock above.

A quick structural sketch and questionnaire.
A quick structural sketch and questionnaire.

After consulting a structural engineer to see if the roof structure would be compromised we decided to cut out every other collar tie and double up the existing ones to shore up the tension. Fortunately for us, having the knee walls along the sides of the room may lessen the need for collar ties on all of the rafters. Since our room is around 23 feet long there’d still be a good number of collar ties in place once we remove some. With the new spacing at roughly 4 feet on center and doubling some of the ties it will  keep them from deflecting under load—in our case, mainly snow (thanks Ed!). That’ll end up looking nice and sturdy.

And fast forward a small bit and this is what we’re working toward.


Vincent’s initial schematic did not factor in the removed ceiling so that is going out the window. We’ll need to revisit the acoustic plan once we get things back together.

Time to move ahead with taking down that ceiling.

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