Residential Design: Can I Do This?

Balcony Above the Family Room

home renovation services NHWe love the opportunity to consult with our clients during the planning phase of renovations. Recently, Mr. B. from Amherst, NH asked us to take a look at his plans to create a cathedral ceiling with a balcony above the fireplace in his family room.

The vision, as we understood it, was to create a finished passageway in what is currently the attic area above the family room between finished portions of the second floor. The look and configuration of the new balcony above the family room fireplace and cathedral ceiling would need to match the existing rear family room. The challenge was to make the modifications with a (visible) column-free implementation at the first floor living spaces.

After careful inspection and analysis, we determined that complete reframing of the overlay section of roof above the original family room and a custom design balcony support system would be necessary. The relatively complicated system of beams and supports would mean an expensive project.

Understanding Mr. B.’s objectives, we proposed an alternative design of a vaulted ceiling utilizing the original roof framing in this section. This option would not create a matching cathedral ceiling, but could still allow a balcony open to the family room. The design became much easier to implement while saving the client money.

John Turner
John Turner is a Multi-Discipline (Architectural and Electrical) Licensed Professional Engineer in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, specializing in building technology and construction. He is also a Board Certified Building Inspection Engineer (BIE).

As president of Team Engineering, John has diverse experience in all facets of construction. His specialties include residential and commercial inspection, design, energy-efficiency, renovation consulting, condominium/association properties and forensic engineering.

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