Before
Before

We were three months into a whole-house makeover, installing new windows, doors, exterior trim, roofing, and siding, when the homeowner, a tall man, asked if there was any way we could improve on the low, 7-foot-6-inch ceiling height throughout the house. My first reaction: No way. But the more I thought about it, the more feasible it seemed. We were already installing all-new interior window and exterior door trim, which meant that all the rooms required header adjustments, plaster patching and painting, and so on. The kitchen and baths also were being updated, with new cabinets, fixtures, and finishes. All the carpeting was going to be replaced and the wood floors sanded and refinished. Most of the work involved was already factored into the budget.

It occurred to me that if ever a house was a candidate for increased ceiling height, it was this one, a two-story, 3,800-square-foot garrison colonial. Cutting and extending the hvac ducts seemed simple enough, as did the plumbing — just cut the pipes and solder on extensions. The real issue would be with the wiring, which I knew in many cases...

or Register to read the full article.