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Ceiling Height, How low is too low?

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Forum topic by controlfreak posted 03-03-2020 02:28 PM 621 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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controlfreak

684 posts in 330 days


03-03-2020 02:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Out of a desire to move 3/4 mi. closer to the city center and have a more walkable distance I am thinking of making an offer on a house the city placed a stop work order on when the investor owner tried to replace the roof on a weekend without a permit. He now must replace the roof with stamped tin or sell with only half the roof done. House will take a lot of work as it is two apartments now.

Okay that is the background. The property also has a two car garage with apartment above it. I am thinking man cave with bathroom on top and a shop below. Problem, there is always a problem. It has a dirt floor so I can excavate only as low as the slab will be above grade. That said It will leave me a ceiling height of about 7 feet. Not ideal but will be better than the small space I have now. So what do you think, can I make seven feet and maybe some change work?


24 replies so far

View Brawler's profile

Brawler

147 posts in 559 days


#1 posted 03-03-2020 03:06 PM

My ceiling in my shop is 7’; however I’m only 5’5” so it doesn’t bother me much, I just watch how I swing long boards around.

-- Daniel, Pontiac, MI

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controlfreak

684 posts in 330 days


#2 posted 03-03-2020 03:20 PM



My ceiling in my shop is 7 ; however I m only 5 5” so it doesn t bother me much, I just watch how I swing long boards around.

- Brawler


Yeah, I am 6’ 2’ and can hold my hand on top of my head (about 9’) before touching the joists. If I am not required to sheetrock for fire rating I could recess light fixtures between the joists to make the most of the headroom.

View pottz's profile

pottz

9349 posts in 1713 days


#3 posted 03-03-2020 03:29 PM

im afraid that would be a deal breaker for me,too used to 10’ ceilings 7’ would be a pain handling 8’-10’ boards or 4×8 sheets of plywood.it depends on what kind of projects you do though.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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controlfreak

684 posts in 330 days


#4 posted 03-03-2020 03:44 PM



im afraid that would be a deal breaker for me,too used to 10 ceilings 7 would be a pain handling 8 -10 boards or 4×8 sheets of plywood.it depends on what kind of projects you do though.

- pottz

I was in a 2D mode only thinking about boards I could swing around. I guess I would need to work solo or it could look like an old Three Stooges episode. Not being able to stand a full sheet up to move around may be a deal breaker for me too, good call potz! My fall back plans are to stay in my no mortgage location and build a shop or look at another house coming on the market that has a peaked ceiling in the old garage (I think).

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Kazooman

1462 posts in 2681 days


#5 posted 03-03-2020 04:12 PM


My ceiling in my shop is 7 ; however I m only 5 5” so it doesn t bother me much, I just watch how I swing long boards around.

- Brawler

Yeah, I am 6 2 and can hold my hand on top of my head (about 9 ) before touching the joists. If I am not required to sheetrock for fire rating I could recess light fixtures between the joists to make the most of the headroom.

- controlfreak

I would imagine the local code regarding an apartment over a garage would require a sheetrock barrier. Is there one already in place? But then again, the owner seems to have a way of ignoring codes and permits. Perhaps he added the apartment on the sly. I would certainly look into whether or not it meets the code before I made an offer.

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Mosquito

10217 posts in 3021 days


#6 posted 03-03-2020 04:32 PM

I’ve been in shops with 7’ ceilings, and though while not ideal, it’s not the worst thing in the world. Better than no shop space at all.

A buddy has his shop space in a converted attic above the garage, so he’s only got 7’6” ceilings down the middle 4’ of his shop, and the rest of the ceiling is angled until about 3’ off the floor.

One thing that I’ve seen a lot of people do with lower ceiling shops (such as basement) is utilize space between rafters for storage, which might be something to consider if allowed to leave them open

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

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tvrgeek

937 posts in 2378 days


#7 posted 03-03-2020 04:38 PM

Look up the building code.

You can excavate further but may have to do a stub wall to back up the footings. You need to talk to an engineer. You probably need double sheetrock at least on the ceiling.

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controlfreak

684 posts in 330 days


#8 posted 03-03-2020 04:42 PM

Yeah, it dates back to when it was likely Grandfathered. If I were to permit as living space a rated barrier is a given. That is why I am not going to make it income producing at this point. I think with all the variables I may have talked myself out of it. Still if I bid $70K even with all the work it is doable for 3000 Sq. Ft. not including the outbuilding with apartment. It would take about 200K to redo.

View cmacnaughton's profile

cmacnaughton

177 posts in 373 days


#9 posted 03-03-2020 04:51 PM

I have 6’ 9” clearance on 2/3 and 6’ 3” on 1/3 due to a HVAC return duct that covers about 1/3 of my ceiling. Wish I had more but c’est la vie. If I have 8’ lumber I have to find a place to lay it horizontally. To me that’s the biggest nag…I’d love to at least be able to stand a few 2×4s vertically and out of the way.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

View pottz's profile

pottz

9349 posts in 1713 days


#10 posted 03-03-2020 05:22 PM

it sounds like with the low ceilings and the questionable state of the building and the amount of money needed to get it to what you want id walk and look for a better deal myself.no need to settle for something thats not right.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View AndyMcKenzie's profile

AndyMcKenzie

22 posts in 3123 days


#11 posted 03-03-2020 05:32 PM

For most of the last six years I’ve worked in a shop only about 5” taller than I am (six foot even). It takes some thought to move boards around without hitting anything, but it’s survivable.

That said, I’d look for a different house. There are always at least twice as many invisible problems as visible ones.

-- More of my rantings: http://cheapsawdust.blogspot.com

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MrRon

5901 posts in 3972 days


#12 posted 03-03-2020 05:43 PM

You will lose around 4” for overhead lighting unless you can utilize the space between joists for lighting.

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

617 posts in 1414 days


#13 posted 03-03-2020 06:33 PM



Look up the building code.

You can excavate further but may have to do a stub wall to back up the footings. You need to talk to an engineer. You probably need double sheetrock at least on the ceiling.

- tvrgeek


this is where my head went too – there is a YouTuber who’s name i can’t remember who’s an architect in the PNW who’s shop floor is like 3’ below grade – not a bad design to me

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controlfreak

684 posts in 330 days


#14 posted 03-03-2020 11:11 PM

Center of the main would need both kitchens removed along with a wall dividing the old original kitchen from the dining room. The entire center portion that housed all the baths would need to be gutted due to water rot and shoddy repairs. wall need to be move to create 3 full baths and one 1/2. Its a lot of work but I love these old houses. My present was built in 1910 and the kitchen is now in its third location. It was funny, I had an entire new kitchen built in what was a large bedroom while we still had the old kitchen in another room. When complete I just carried the dishes, pots and pans down the hall and put them in the new cabinets. After seeing people live out of their makeshift kitchen on a pair of sawhorses in an alcove this was the way to do it.

I wanted more room for family and grands but this may be a bit much to bite off, still thinking though.

View pottz's profile

pottz

9349 posts in 1713 days


#15 posted 03-03-2020 11:16 PM



Center of the main would need both kitchens removed along with a wall dividing the old original kitchen from the dining room. The entire center portion that housed all the baths would need to be gutted due to water rot and shoddy repairs. wall need to be move to create 3 full baths and one 1/2. Its a lot of work but I love these old houses. My present was built in 1910 and the kitchen is now in its third location. It was funny, I had an entire new kitchen built in what was a large bedroom while we still had the old kitchen in another room. When complete I just carried the dishes, pots and pans down the hall and put them in the new cabinets. After seeing people live out of their makeshift kitchen on a pair of sawhorses in an alcove this was the way to do it.

I wanted more room for family and grands but this may be a bit much to bite off, still thinking though.

- controlfreak


20 years ago that kind of project would get me going now at 60 it gets me going,as far away as possible-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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