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low ceilings... fix?

So, I have been looking to buy a house for a while now. I am in no rush because I have a great apartment and decent rent, but I look at homes in my budget here and there. Last week, I met with a realtor and checked out a home that I absolutely fell in LOVE with, which surprised me, because it is a tad bit dumpy- but the potential is incredible, I swear!

The home is foreclosed and has been vacant for over a year. Because it wasn't heated over the winter, the floors need some love- some jacking under the home will fix that ("easy fix" according to the boyfriend and his builder Dad). I know I can get a GREAT deal on the home, and I really want to, but the one thing that is keeping me from grabbing this place is the ceiling. There are a few step downs (and ups) but not where the celing is low- actually in the lowest part of the house (Kitchen and master bedroom). Above this part of the house is a small second floor with vaulted ceilings. I'd say that the ceiling in the kitchen is maybe 6'3"... anyone over 5'11" will have to tilt their head to walk under the doorway to the bedroom.

I, being 5'5" have no issue with it. I still love the house. We know it needs lots of works, essentially gutting a section of it. I am going to have someone come look at it, but before doing so, what do you guys/gals think? Is there a way to rectify the ceiling situation, or should I just go out and find me a shorter man? :rolleyes:


Re: low ceilings... fix?

To change height, obviously the only way is to go up or down. In my opinion, it's hard to say what your options may be without knowing a lot of details about that structure. You are usually limited from going further down because the foundation/slab limits you. Going up it seems like you have the second floor to fight with and I assume the second floor even with vaulted ceilings may be a struggle. It really depends on how the place it built structurally but I might be leaning towards knock it down and build from the ground up(atleast for that section of the house).

My overall advice is to see if you can do a walkthrough with a contractor that you might have do the work. Maybe they can estimate if it's even possible.

Another very important thing...if you start gutting the place the local inspections department may force you to change the height or other items to comply with new building codes. This in itself may be a HUGE money pit. Don't let emotions of loving the place get in the way of being economical and a good investment.

Re: low ceilings... fix?

decalabro is right, but the first thing to do is to check out that the kitchen ceiling is the actual ceiling. there might be another ceiling above it or maybe the ceiling was installed at that height because there might be some plumbing pipes, duct work or something else that can get you another 4", 8" or more if it's relocated.

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