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Anyone converted a flat ceiling to a vaulted ceiling?

2kwik4u

Jetboaters Fleet Admiral
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Location
Buffalo, NY
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2017
Boat Model
AR
Boat Length
19
Took a big leap last weekend and ripped out the existing ceiling over our deck. It was a flat, cheap vinyl ceiling that the builders put in 7yrs ago when the house was constructed. We had a ceiling fan, but the wind up here on the hill has long since destroyed it, and the vinyl planks had some damage from the ceiling fan blades impacting during wind events.

Here's a before picture:
1681680202473.png

Here's what it looks like now:
1681680240443.png

1681680279788.png

So I got the ceiling out, and the stringer boards removed and back to bare "truss" construction. What we've noticed in the few days it's been like this is that we really like how open it is out there. The space feels much larger in general. We have the overhead space to run the porch heater without melting the vinyl ceiling, and we've enjoyed a few nights out there already. SO.....We really want to figure out how to vault the ceiling out there. Overall goal is to vault the ceiling, and add dimmable can lights. No fan this time, but I will be adding an outlet for a TV. Likely on the pole opposite the stairs.

SO, it seems pretty easy to me in concept. Sister 2x6's to the existing slanted truss pieces to make rafters. Then temporarily support those rafters as I cut out the existing trusses. Once those are cut out I would add in a (2) 2x8 ridge beam, and tie everything together. The ridge beam would tie into the existing truss over the door, and carry down along the end of the roof near the stairs that is currently hipped. The fore/aft and cross beams around the ceiling are engineered lumber. I have zero concerns about the vertical reactions being carried, however the change from purely vertical forces of the roof truss to the combined vertical/horizontal forces of a rafter system gives me some pause.

Here's what the timber looks like. This was taken during construction 7yrs ago.
1681680785640.png

You can see the framing here before all the trim went on.
1681680830146.png

I keep going round and round on this. The easy answer is to just replace the flat ceiling be beadboard or some other tongue/groove system and move on. The wood ceiling would likely take the heat of the existing patio heater, or we could replace the patio heater with a shorter/smaller unit that isn't so close to the ceiling. Can lights and everything become really easy that way. I got that covered. Man, sure would be nice to make it a nice vaulted ceiling though. Our second consideration is creating a tray ceiling, but I'm not sure if the juice is worth the squeeze in that setup. I feel pretty strong on the "all or nothing" wagon here, but am open to suggestions.

Anyone done this sort of thing before? Any tips? Thoughts in general?
 
We love our vaulted ceiling....if you can swing it .. you'd be happy

FB_IMG_1681696858899.jpg
 
I would say it is doable with a caveat. You will still have a section of flat ceiling higher up. Install collar ties above the existing ceiling joists. Then remove the existing ceiling joists. You will need something to keep the top plates in their current position. Without the collar ties in this construction, loads, even the weight of the existing construction will want to push those top plates out over time. Add any potential snow load? I prefer 2x6's as a rafter here but hey, you don't get any snow anyway.
 
I would say it is doable with a caveat. You will still have a section of flat ceiling higher up. Install collar ties above the existing ceiling joists. Then remove the existing ceiling joists. You will need something to keep the top plates in their current position. Without the collar ties in this construction, loads, even the weight of the existing construction will want to push those top plates out over time. Add any potential snow load? I prefer 2x6's as a rafter here but hey, you don't get any snow anyway.
Thanks for the tips.

I looked into collar ties, and found some calculators online to estimate sizing. Best I can tell I need collar ties about 1/2 way up the heigh to stay at a reasonably sized member. 2x6's all around for rafters and ties. The other option is to completely redo the roof and gable the stair end. If I did that, then I could run the ridge beam, and tie it vertically into the end cross beam. That would resolve all the rafter forces into purely horizontal loads, and not have to worry about the side loads on the long beams.

The more I look at it, the more I'm worrying about scope creep and potential issues. We're back to leaning towards a flat ceiling. Just get it done, make it a little nicer than it is now, and move on with life. Put the vaulted ceiling over the next covered deck!
 
Beautiful view! My first step, while I tried to get my wife to consider simple and inexpensive options, would be to get a paint gun and paint everything up there a white or light grey, and run some of the strings of tiny LED accent lights along a few of the rafters. That would leave it feeling very open, without continuing to look like an unfinished project that would drive you crazy. Then someday when you have money to burn, you can go all out.
 
Beautiful view! My first step, while I tried to get my wife to consider simple and inexpensive options, would be to get a paint gun and paint everything up there a white or light grey, and run some of the strings of tiny LED accent lights along a few of the rafters. That would leave it feeling very open, without continuing to look like an unfinished project that would drive you crazy. Then someday when you have money to burn, you can go all out.
We've considered painting it. Guy at the office had a similar idea. He suggested all black. Not sure I'm that enthused about all black, but a medium gray might work.

Wife is working from home today and just reported that we have some birds trying to nest in the rafters this morning. Good chance that's going to fst track a flat ceiling, but we'll see if the dog can do some flock maintenance for us to postpone a decision.
 
We've considered painting it. Guy at the office had a similar idea. He suggested all black. Not sure I'm that enthused about all black, but a medium gray might work.

Wife is working from home today and just reported that we have some birds trying to nest in the rafters this morning. Good chance that's going to fst track a flat ceiling, but we'll see if the dog can do some flock maintenance for us to postpone a decision.
I thought the mosquito is your state bird? I'd be screening that in before I did anything (but I'm one of those people who apparently taste good to those bloodsuckers!)
 
I thought the mosquito is your state bird? I'd be screening that in before I did anything (but I'm one of those people who apparently taste good to those bloodsuckers!)
that would certainly deter the nesting efforts as well.
 
I thought the mosquito is your state bird? I'd be screening that in before I did anything (but I'm one of those people who apparently taste good to those bloodsuckers!)
It's not bad for us. At this location anyway. Floor level is ~10ft on the short side, and ~15ft on the tall side, above ground. We're also the second highest structure in a ~3/4mi radius.....SO....The wind never really stops blowing up here. Mosquitos, while a pain and plentiful around here, are no match for the typical windspeed. Also the reason I'm not replacing the fan, and moving to can lights. It's not a huge deck (12x14), but we're pretty high up there.

1681741539340.png

We are talking about somewhat closing it in. Most likely I'm going to run some cast iron pipe as "curtain rods" along the sides, then get some canvas curtains made. Weight them at the bottom, sew in magnets along the center, and then line the handrail with a steel strip. We want to dampen the wind, typically only from one side at a time in the spring/fall, but we don't want the constant screens messing with our view.

Speaking of view, then handrails are slated to be done as soon as we get the ceiling sorted. Going to lose the bottom rail and vertical posts. Top rail will be replaced with Trex (or equivalent), and then we're going to run wire cabling horizontally all the way around to help free up some of the sightlines into the backyard from the kitchen, as well as add to the "open" feeling of the space. Floors will be redone in composite boards, and the vertical pieces that remain will get a contrasting stain after a good power wash.
 
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