With the replacement windows coming home this weekend (WooHoo!) and the re-enclosure challenge much more in focus I can turn my attention to the roof raise itself.
I've read the Millicent Chronicles and the New Project raise inspired by Millicent in detail (links below), and I'm pretty sure I will go by way of the vertical-frame-inside-the-hat-channels-to-the-roof-deck route. I like the combination of the ease of raising the roof squarely while adding back in some structural integrity lost from cutting the top off, perhaps making it even stronger.
The challenge that's been itching the back of my mind is 1) exactly how far do I raise it, and 2) how do I incorporate a roof top AC unit (or not, and then what do I use in it's place). I can go to 13'6" in Virginia but will stay at 13' jus' cuz. That maximizes the headroom in the loft (not to mention more storage in the bulkhead amidships).
The kicker has been the AC solution which, with two teenage girls and being in a fairly humid area, is something I really should do. The only non-rooftop solution I've found on the forum that I like is a split DX system. The condenser is mounted below the floor deck and a nice louver unit is built into a bulkhead somewhere inside. The trouble I have with that is using a residential house unit in an application it wasn't meant for (bouncing around under the floor deck "this close" to the road), not to mention a more complicated installation (for me, I'm no HVAC guy).
IF I can incorporate a rooftop unit my life would be so much easier but I just couldn't figure out how to do it even reasonably well IF I wanted to maximize the height of the raise. That is, until looking through those two other killer builds.
Suddenly it dawned on me that I don't HAVE to do a symmetrical raise, right? There aren't any rules to this...I mean, it's a free country, right? I could do a hybrid, asymmetrical raise where the front ~2/3 is the full height of the raise and the rear ~1/3 is something less than that and low enough to accommodate the height of a rooftop AC unit. The rear section would have the exposed frame like in the New Project. I'll make room for the AC unit to mount on the roof (as designed), and I can also add solar panels in the future. The front section would be the full height of the raise without the exposed frame. Voila, I have my tall roof where I need it and room for the AC in the rear.