exposing roof trusses to open up ceiling?

kayhudJune 3, 2007

I'm wondering whether anyone has any experience w/ removing their ceiling drywall to expose their roof trusses?

I live in a 70's ranch that has 8' high ceilings. My roof is constructed w/ trusses which currently serve as an attic space full of blown in insulation. The main space in the house is currently very dark and oppressive and I'd like to find a way to bring in more light and a feeling of spaciousness.

I have seen photos in home books of spaces where the roof trusses are fully exposed (no drywall boxing them in to create an attic space). The trusses are painted white and the look seems to lend itself well to an informal space.

Anyone ever heard of someone taking a flat ceiling and turning it into this kind of space? I'm not sure what all it would involve other than tearing out the ceiling drywall and removing the blown-in insulation. My roof is sheathed w/ plywood and has nails sticking through it from the shingles, so I guess I would have to staple up some of those plastic vents in the cavities in between the trusses and then insulate and drywall over it somehow? This is the part I'm unsure of. Does anybody have a clue? Thanks!

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A lot of folks have done that in their '70's homes and it tends to look great if you take care of the details of finishing. If your trusses are in good shape you can leave them exposed and paint or stain them.

Some people box the trusses with drywall to create a more finished look, but this is very much more labor intensive.

You'll need some sort of drywall on the ceiling, along with insulation. If you're that open, you'll probably have to allow enough space for solid core insulation, which costs much more than blown in or battens. Most city codes require at least R-30 or 39 in ceilings, which you can do efficiently and thinly with solid.

You'll also have to relocate all wiring and electrical, and you'll have to decide how you want to light the area, as recessed cans will be impossible.

Not to mention any HVAC venting if your air/heat is from the ceiling.

Removing blown in insulation is not bad...it usually runs around 500-700 plus tax for an area the size of a living room/dining room/kitchen combined. They'll come with a huge truck mounted vacuum and a 4" hose.

Another option, if you have A frame trusses, is to open up to the lower end of the truss. That will create a 10-20 degree sloping ceiling (we have that in our 1978 home). We opened up between trusses to add skylights, and drywalled the opening up to the skylight. Ours were 4 x 4, which meant we opened 2 spaces at a time, and had a truss to drywall around in the middle of each light opening. It's a pretty dramatic look, especially if your dry wall installer can do clean hard sharp edges.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 9:36PM
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