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Roof Joists and Uneven Rafters

I am renovating a former three-season porch at my home. Among other things, I planned to remove the drop ceiling tiles (and strapping) and put up a tongue and groove ceiling. When I removed the ceiling, I saw two things that troubled me. First, I saw joists that were horizontal on which the strapping had been secured. Can I remove those joists without compromising the integrity of the room? Second, I saw that the rafters on the sloped roof were of different heights, such that it would be impossible to put up sheet rock and tongue and groove paneling. How should I handle this problem? Should I put up additional joists that match the height of the tallest joist? Any advice would be appreciated on either question.

Re: Roof Joists and Uneven Rafters

As far as removing the joists, it will depend on how the rafters were installed. The joists may provide lateral integrity for the wall. In other words they may be what prevents the joists and roof from pushing the wall out. Some modifications may be necessary.

And as Jkirk pointed out, installing shimmed furring strips, or strapping as you called them, would be the way to achieve a level platform for new drywall.

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