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Ceiling Joist Removal

PLUM72's picture

Have a small 5x9 bathroom without natural light.  Want to add a skylight.  Before I go the typical skylight shaft route, what is everyones thoughts about removing the ceiling for a vaulted look?

The roof is conventionally framed 2x6 ceiling and roof rafters, no trusses.  the 5-foot portion of the bath is along the back wall of the house, the 9-foot is the depth of the bath and also the direction the ceiling joists run.  Looks like I would need to remove 3 joists.  We are zone 5, so there are snow loads and a thicker insulation requirement

Is removing these 3 joists possible without a bunch of extra structural framing?  I dont want ridge, bowed or cracked walls years down the road.  Should I forget the vaulted idea and go with a traditional shaft?  Any other thoughts or options on a unique skylight shaft or ceiling design for this small space?

Thanks in advance!

Unless carefully designed, (post #210154, reply #1 of 4)

Unless carefully designed, vaulted ceilings are pure evil, especially in colder climates.  And removing existing joists to obtain a vaulted ceiling is evil squared.

Not to say it can't be done, but it requires an expert to plan it correctly.  And some sort of compensatory bracing will be required if the joists are removed.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Based on your comments, I (post #210154, reply #2 of 4)

Based on your comments, I recommend you hire an architect and/or a professional engineer to specify the structural and thermal envelope changes your project will require.


Leave the joists but still (post #210154, reply #3 of 4)

Leave the joists but still vault the ceiling. The joists will now be exposed but you can take steps to pretty them up. Paint comes to mind. 

Without knowing..... (post #210154, reply #4 of 4)

Without knowing the structural layout of the house, it's impossible to list all the possible solutions to this problem.  Are any of the walls in the bathroom potentially load bearing?  Are the surrounding rafters adequate to accept the additional load?  What about the ceiling joists?  Etc...  I second the solution of leaving the rafters in place and mounting the skylight above them.. Though the project is small in scope, some expert advice should be sought.

As an aside, I recommend my clients rethink adding skylights to bathrooms because of the amount of hot, moist air rising to meet the cold glass surface of the skylight - lots of condensation issues to be concerned with...  If you go ahead, provide a larger than required exaust fan high on the wall near the skiylight.  Also provide a timer and use of it religiously to evacuate all of that moist air as quickly as possible well after the completion of your shower or bath...

Good luck!