Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lowered Ceiling Discovery

The ceiling in our kitchen has been lowered.  We have known this since we bought the house.  The first floor of our house features 11 foot ceilings and it is obvious that the kitchen had a ceiling the sloped from about 8ft-9ft.  As demolition has progressed, I busted a couple of holes in the ceiling to see what was above.  We haven't been certain as to WHY the ceiling was lowered.  Leading theories had been:

a. To hide pipes from the master bathroom above.
b. To incorporate the addition better into the space.  It was thought the addition was built with a lower ceiling than the main house and they may have lowered/sloped everything to give it better flow.

Here is a rough diagram of how the ceiling looks today (as seen with the lowered ceiling still in place:

I was able to verify that the visible ceiling does indeed hide the original ceiling.  Here is the same diagram showing the hidden ceiling.

If you paid attention to the above diagrams, on one side of my kitchen, the dropped ceiling is hiding a full 36" of height!!!  Even the other side is rather deep at 18".
So.... Now I am obsessed with finding a way to get my ceilings height back.  I have been able to find  out that the original kitchen side is lowered to accommodate the supply/drain pipes to the master bath that is above it. I have not been able to get my head above the ceiling in the addition, but if my calculations are correct, there shouldn't be any plumbing over there.
Celia and I are not planning to redo the master bath anytime soon, so tomorrow, I am going to do some careful measuring to see about hiding the pipes in soffits .  In my opinion, it would be better to have full height ceilings with a few odd soffits rather than having the entire ceiling so low.  What do you all think???