Roe Osborn

As a remodeler, I consider troubleshooting part of my job. And if some sort of trouble—such as a leaky roof—isn't the reason for a remodeling project in the first place, it's usually lurking nearby. On a recent master-suite remodel, the client's request was simple enough: Turn a flat ceiling in the bedroom into a vaulted one. My strategy was to install a structural ridge and rafters below the existing roof, which would create the vaulted ceiling and give me space to add insulation at the same time. The bedroom sat at the intersection of two perpendicular volumes (an ell had been created at one point in the home's history). There was no attic access, so I couldn't inspect the existing roof framing. Consequently, my plans were contingent on the condition of that framing. But I figured, how bad could it be?

Luckily, the owners understood that the plans couldn't be finalized until the demo had been finished and I had evaluated the roof framing. As the insulation fell away and the existing framing was exposed, the trouble mentioned earlier found us. When the addition had been built, a structural valley had been added to just one side. The valley...

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