Home>Discussions>NEW DIY IDEAS>Remodels & Upgrades>Re-Supporting Kitchen Roof / Ceiling
9 posts / 0 new
Last post
Re-Supporting Kitchen Roof / Ceiling


House Built: 1915
Room Span for supports: About 14-15 ft (wall to wall)

Hi All,

So I just had my flat (slightly pitched) first floor roof replaced which so happens to be over my kitchen (both were extensions onto the original house) Nothing above the roof.

So with that I decided to replace my kitchen ceiling as well. I had the usual drop ceiling grid with the lath/plaster. So I got rid of all that and am now down to the wood supports.

The joist structure is a two tier structure with one tier (top tier) of 2x8 supporting the roof which sit on the shoulder plates of the kitchen structure and the other tier (lower tier) is made of 2x6 joists which support the ceiling. They sit on (or rather are etched into) 1x2's which are nailed into the shoulder plates

Now I have two problems:

1). The tip tier joists sit about 24" apart on center. Not sure if this is a typical setup. The middle joist cracked straight in half (probably from the winter snow weight). In order to get the roof replaced the roofer simply resupported the cracked joist with 2x8 pieces so they could apply the plywood board, but now I need to either sister this middle joist or add 2 new 2x8 joists (one on either side of it) to properly support the middle load.

Any ideas on the best course of action for this is appreciated?

2). My lower tier joist support system for the ceiling is sitting on 1x2's. Quite flimsy for my taste and they wobble like crazy. Yes they have been like this since the kitchen was built some 50 years ago and yes my new ceiling will be lighter then the old one, but now that I have it open I want to resupport them and get rid of the side to side wobble and slight vertical wobble.

Any idea how I should go about doing this?

Thanks all for any ideas you may have for me.

P.S. In case anyone is wondering about new ceiling weight I plan on putting some 6" recessed lighting around the room perimeter and a ceiling fan in the middle.

Re: Re-Supporting Kitchen Roof / Ceiling

1. "Top tier joists" are what we call RAFTERS, and 24" o.c used to be pretty normal back when. To fix the one rafter that split, use a new rafter (sister rafter) to support it. Nail accordingly.

Not sure how? get a framer/carpenter to do it for you. It's not easy to bring in a long rafter into place.

2. We need a photo for this one, as "wobble like crazy" doesn't sound good to me.

Again, a framer will be the one to call, if you are inexperienced.

Re: Re-Supporting Kitchen Roof / Ceiling

Hi dj1, Thanks for the response.

For the rafters is there a special type of lumber to get? or will any 2x8 do? I have heard that it is better to get one created for you because it will not have any arch in it that may cause an unevenness such as the ones you may get at the big box stores. This true?

As for the 2x6 joists I will take a picture and attach it in this thread. I may be exaggerating the wobble. The joists are not bridged, they all have their own individual loads so obviously since there is nothing sitting on them they are free to move side to side if you happen to bang into them. i am hoping that if I bridge them this will stop the movement. i am more concerned with the type of bridging to use (metal vs spare 2x6 wood) and with the fact that they sit on 1x2's.

Also, i have done framing before i.e. creating standing wall structures, etc. Just never did work with a current ceiling structure. May be not much different then i am used to, but I always look for the advice anyhow. Granted that doesn't make me a "framer" if your talking expert, but i was hoping that this would be easy enough to sister using framing nails.

Thanks again.

Re: Re-Supporting Kitchen Roof / Ceiling

Here are three pics i took:

Sorry i am giving links, I couldn't upload them to this site for anything


Pic #1 is of the 2x6 resting on the 1x2.
Pic #2 shows the 2x8 rafters plus 2x6 joists below. Both without any bridging
Pic #3 shows the broken 2x8 rafter from underneath. The roofers adding some wood to keep it together so they could put in the plywood underlayment.

Re: Re-Supporting Kitchen Roof / Ceiling

I saw the pics.

Building lumber is Douglas Fir, aka common - use this for you sister rafter. This piece should be the same length and trim as the split rafter, rest on the top sill and ridge just like the split rafter. Join the two with bolts and nuts. It's hard for me to see from the pics whether you can remove the temporary supports the roofers installed, so you may install the new rafter right next to the split one.

Re: Re-Supporting Kitchen Roof / Ceiling

Hi dj1, Thanks I am wondering myself if I can remove the temp solution the roofer made or if I can leave it in place and just build out the split rafter (with some 2x8 pieces) and then install the two new support joists (one on each side) of the split one.

Would you recommend this?


EDIT: Looks like the roofer nailed the temp lumber into the split rafter so I wouldnt be able to easily remove it without doing further damage to the split rafter.

Re: Re-Supporting Kitchen Roof / Ceiling

At this point I don't think you can remove the short pieces the roofer installed, that is why I suggested you use bolts and nuts, long enough to reach from side to side (4 bolts should be enough).

Re: Re-Supporting Kitchen Roof / Ceiling

Thanks, one more questions:

Any specific size bolts

Re: Re-Supporting Kitchen Roof / Ceiling

3/8". Use large washers on both ends. The length will depend on what you are fastening: the way I see it - existing split rafter, 2 additional rafters and whatever the roofer put in = at least 8".

When you finish, send pics.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.