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Remove ceiling joists in small bathroom extension

Our house is a 1900 semi detatched cottage; the bathroom was added in the 70s with a small back extension with the door opening from the kitchen. The extension has a pitched roof with rafters that go from the original exterior wall of the house to the 'new' external wall of the bathroom extension.
The ceiling was very low so we ripped the plasterboard off and we found that the ceiling joists go the other direction, between the 2 side walls of the extension. All the ceiling joists end inside the brick wall only one one side of the extension, while on the other side they're resting on the internal stud wall (which is in turn tied to the external brick wall), held by just a couple of nails. Only one of the ceiling joists (the one closest to the house) goes inside the brick wall on both ends
What is the function of these ceiling joists? Are they tying the walls together or something? We would like to remove them and increase the height of the ceiling, following the pitch of the roof. Is it safe to do so?
Many thanks!

1 Answer from a MyBuilder Roofer

It all depends whats above i.e. is there a roof line above or another room ? if a roof line then they can be removed within building regulations and re built to higher or lower if possible any existing height as long as there is the correct building regulated height restrictions ! if there is a room above then only possible if you lost space in the above room ! so not recommended. So the function of ceiling joist are to hold weight baring from above or to carry the roof structure.


Answered 8th Jul 2017

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