How to raise the roof of a house to increase the ceiling height

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Low ceilings are a common problem in many older houses. If you are the owner of such a house and want to increase the height of the ceilings, it is not necessary to disassemble the roof – you can raise it on your own. Our master class will help you with this..

Raising the roof of the house

Tools and materials for work

We need:

  • at least three jacks (preferably oil) with a lifting capacity of 5 tons;
  • the corresponding number of compression-resistant wooden beams, metal channels (optimal) or pipes of a suitable length;
  • the corresponding number of rigid floor pads, which will redistribute the point load from the jack to the areal one (thick boards, channel pieces, etc.);
  • cushioning material that will be laid under the beams and jacks in the process of raising the roof (trimming boards, bricks, etc.): their number must be calculated so that it is enough for all beams on both sides to the full height of the roof;
  • material from which the walls will rise (brick, shell rock, adobe, etc.), as well as mortars (sand, clay, cement, etc.): their number must be calculated depending on the length of the walls and the height, by which the roof will rise.

So, let’s begin

As part of the first stage of work, it is necessary to adjust the jacks to the ceiling beams. The beams can be initially visible or sewn up from below, in this case, you need to calculate their position (it corresponds to the location of the roof power frame) and mark on the walls from the inside in order to know where to install the jacks. There will be a lot of dust in the process, so the furniture should be covered or taken out of the room..

We start from the corner. We install the jack on the distributor gasket strictly under the beam and slightly wedge the channel between the beam and the jack by extending the jack rod. The jack should still have a 5-10 cm range for the upcoming lift. Next, you need to make sure that the channel is located vertically in all planes. If necessary, you can loosen the jack, correct the channel and slightly wedge it again.

Raising the roof of the house

If you do not plan to sew up the beams in the future, place a cushioning material between the channel and the beam so that the beam will not be damaged. Now you can try to gently lift the beam. Observe the relative position of the jack and channel. If you see a kink occurring at their point of contact, loosen the jack and move it slightly towards the inside of the kink. Do not ignore this kink – under increasing load during lifting, the channel can jump out of the joint, which is fraught with injury. If there is no break, extend the jack rod by 5 centimeters, no more, and fix this position by placing a spacer between the beam and the wall. Do not loosen the jack..

Raising the roof of the house

Repeat the same operation with all jacks on one side of the house..

Raising the roof of the house

The more jacks you have, the better – you will save time reinstalling them.

Raising the roof of the house

When all the jacks have been raised by 5 centimeters, you can start again from the first to the penultimate one, raising them another 5 centimeters and increasing the thickness of the spacers between the beam and the wall. It is not worth lifting higher yet: in the event of a large skew, the roof may “slide” in the process of raising the opposite side.

Raising the roof of the house

Next, we loosen and rearrange all the jacks under the next beams, except for the last one, raised by 5 centimeters. We repeat the whole process from the beginning. When all the beams on one side are raised by 10 centimeters and gaskets are inserted under them, we go to the other side of the house and raise in the same way. From this side, you can raise it already by 15–20 centimeters, and we also do all further ascents to the required height. This will compensate for the slight misalignment that occurs when the roof is skewed..

Raising the roof of the house

Additional complexities

The first and last beams are usually hidden by a wall, so they will need to be lifted manually using an enlarged shoulder. It will be much easier to do this when the second and penultimate beams of the house have already been raised by 5 centimeters..

Raising the roof of the house

The spacer under the jack must be strong enough to avoid damage to the floor covering.

We fix the roof at the desired height

When the beam is raised to the required height, a support must be erected under it. Even if you will use clay when laying openings, it is better to use mortar for building props, as it dries faster and acquires the necessary strength. The support will have to be erected at the moment when the beam rests on the raised jack, after loosening the jack, the load will immediately fall on the support – freshly laid clay at this moment is likely to give a drawdown.

Raising the roof of the house

Particularly difficult will be the sections of the wall where the beams lie over the window openings. You will probably want to increase the height of the windows, for this you will need to raise the lintels and fill in the voids at the moment when the beams are supported by the jacks.

Raising the roof of the house

Some tips

Try to organize the entire process efficiently so that it takes as little time as possible. While the roof is on temporary supports, this is a rather wobbly structure – a gust of strong wind can ruin the result of your work.

Raising the roof of the house

After the inner masonry is laid and the roof is firmly in place, the front masonry can be lifted.

Raising the roof of the house

Since lifting and repairing a roof is a rather laborious task, you should immediately think about updating the roof so that this issue does not bother you anymore..

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