As Featured On Ezine Articles

 Planning a Second Story Addition

Planning is the key when taking on a project that involves removing
your roof.

Before planning a second story addition, research what obstacles will need to
be addressed. Examples of items that need to be addressed are:

 -Size of ceiling joists, can they support a 2nd story floor?

 -Are mechanicals run over the top of existing ceiling joists?
  (plumbing, electRic, HVAC)

 -How much overhang is on existing roof and are there any
  utilities fastened to it.

 -Is the existing roof stick built(built on site) or a truss
  roof(manufactured).

 -Is the roof sheathing 1x boards or plywood?

 -How many layers of shingles are there?

 -Are there any Stacks or flues protruding through the roof
  such as a fireplace chimney, furnace flue, or vent pipe.

These things need to be considered so the addition can be built as
quickly as possible.

When starting the tearoff, the first thing that needs to be addressed
is the soffit. Removing this first will free up the rafter ends when
it comes time to remove them. Sometimes utilities like the phone and
electrical lines are attached to the soffit. These should be moved by
their respective utility company.

Now you can tearoff the roof. The easiest way to remove the shingles
and sheathing is with a circular saw. It's best to use an old blade
with a lesser amount off teeth because it will be trash when you are
done.

When cutting the roof away, start at the ridgeboard and run the saw
between the rafters all the way to the rafter tails. Repeat this cut
every 32" from one end of the roof to the other. These pieces,
assuming they are plywood, can be removed in 32"x 48" squares. There
will still be some weight to these pieces but this will make them
more managable. Working from the ridge, these squares are loosened
with a sledgehammer. Once there is enough room, you can use a prybar
to free them from the rafters. My favorite technique is to use a 6
to 8 foot 2x4. Slip it under the loosened piece and use an adjacent
rafter as a fulcrum. Push down on the 2x4 and up comes the plywood
and shingles. This same procedure works with trusses also.

If the roof sheathing is planks, the cuts should be made 48" to 64"
apart. If there are 2 or mre layers of shingles, you should be able
to roll these sections down the rafters.

Once the roof sheathing is removed, the rest of the components can
be removed. If the soffit and fascia haven't been removed yet, this
is another opportunity to do so. Once that is gone the rafters can
be removed. The rafters can be detached from the ridgeboard by using
a sledgehammer or a sawzall. After they are loose from the ridge,
they can be twisted off the top plate.

Trusses can be a little trickier. After the sheathing is removed,
most of the truss work will have to be cut out. The only part left
would be the bottom cord that holds up the drywall ceiling. Since
most of these cords are 2x4's, larger 2x lumber will have to be
sistered alongside for added support. As long as there are bearing
walls below, this 2x lumber could be 2x10's, 2x12's or engineered
lumber such as I-joists. Each situation is different and what is used
is spect by an engineer or architect.

In most cases, the electric (conduit), plumbing and/or HVAC run over
the top of the ceiling joists. Usually, the easiest way to deal with
this, is to build a knee wall high enough for the new floor joists
to clear these obstructions. This makes the second floor deck higher
so it will make your stair run longer. Making sure you have room for
the stairs in this instance is another consideration.

Once the deck is down, the walls, ceiling joists, and roof of your
new addition can follow.

Whatever situation might you have, good planning will make remodeling
easier and quicker. Time is of the essence when it comes to removing
a roof. You want to protect the existing structure and all of your
valuable possesions that are left inside.

About the Author: Mike Merisko has been a carpenter for 26 years. Most
of those years were spent in the homebuilding and remodeling industries.
He was also in business as a carpentry and general contractor. While
that is his forte, he also has experience in bridge building, commercial construction, and exhibit building which is how he earns his living these days.

 

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