Do you live in a single-family house or a top floor and thought about changing the height, but don’t know if it is even possible? Although the work needed to raise the roof is more complex than that for increasing the square footage, increased height creates an immediate change in the perceived size of a space.

You can even raise the roof to generate two levels where before there was only one. If your goal is to gain another level and your ceiling is too low, it is sometimes even possible to increase the height of the building itself, though that kind of project requires careful studies for technical and planning feasibility.

Is it possible to gain another level of living space in my home?

Countless homeowners have asked themselves this question at some point, though ambitious work like this involves many technical and administrative issues that have to be considered before any work even begins. There are two great possibilities for gaining useful square feet in a house. One, by creating an intermediate floor in the existing interior space if the current height permits such a change; and two, by raising the height of the existing building to add another floor.

In the first case, it must be verified that the building’s feasibility (allowable square footage of livable area) is not exhausted and that the existing support structure of the building is strong enough to be able to raise the ceiling and support a new level. In the second case, in addition to the two previous conditions, it would have to be verified that the building would remain within the limits of allowable height and comply with all the urban planning regulations regarding the composition of the new facade and roof.

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It is clear that this is a complex undertaking that requires an exhaustive structural study to analyze what features the building offers and what kind of loads it can support, in addition, careful study of municipal regulations to know if it is even possible to raise the ceiling or increase the height of the building.

roof renovation

Image Source: By Riisipuuro [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

Raising a level involves adding an unplanned load to an existing building, so it is necessary to study the structure of the building and the land on which it is based to find the ideal solution.

Increasing the height of the building to gain a new level entails the reconstruction of all its enclosures, and the roof and facades must be waterproofed, insulated and coated inside and out. If it is a question of raising the ceiling to create an intermediate floor in an interior space with enough free height, the existing facade and roof structure should be studied to ensure adequate lighting and ventilation on the surface of the building. Lighting solutions will need to be researched, as well as the placement of a staircase that doesn’t make you lose too much useful floor space on the lower level. Professionals can help you make the right decision when choosing to add a new level to your home. Whether you choose to change the height of the building or raise the ceiling to do so, you will need expert coaching along the way.

What are the regulations to raise the roof? 

As you can see, the technical issues are vital, and legal issues are just as important. From an administrative point of view, your project has to comply with the urban regulations in your area. A building’s height is limited by general urban planning plans and local norms. To comply with the maximum permitted height, you need to familiarize yourself with all current regulations. If you want to increase the height of a building or raise the ceiling to create an intermediate floor, consult with construction and urban planning professionals who can guide your project from design to reality.

Cost to raise a roof

It is impossible to give an accurate price for this type of renovation, given the number of variables to be considered in each case. It is more costly to increase the height of a building than raising the roof  of a house– or even widen the house – because of the studies needed to determine if the project is permissible according to local laws, to see if the structure can withstand the new necessary load, the cost of work on the outer structure of the building, etc.


Image Source: By Galloproofing [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Is it worth it?

Taking all of this into account, the minimum space that would have to be gained in order for a project like this to be profitable would be about 300 square feet, so the relationship between cost and increased space obtained make it worthwhile to look into a remodel where you raise the ceiling to gain an intermediate floor or add another floor on top of the existing structure.

Another important question to consider what space will be used for. If it is to get rooms or even an apartment that can be profitable, then yes, it’s probably worth it. If it is to gain a little more closet space, then other, more economical possibilities are definitely worth considering.

MORE: Should Solar Power Be a Priority In Your Next Roof Remodel? 

Things to consider when you raise the roof of your home was last modified: August 14th, 2018 by Oriana Gomez-Zerpa

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