Remove ceiling/joists in room to have cathedral ceilings ?

(Sorry for the crosspost, I didn't know this group existed.)
I have a room that was added on to the back of my house. It's about 18 x 28 (feet) - a big whopping room. The outside of the room is brick, with 2x4 framing inside the brick. Across the shorter dimension of the room are 18' long 2x8's, 26" on center. There's a normal shingled roof over top, it's sort of a shallow pitch.
What are the odds I can remove all the ceiling joists and open up the room to have a cathedral ceiling ? Without everything falling down that is ! The roof ridge runs parallel to the ceiling joists.
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Normally the roof ridge runs at right angles to the joists (the joists and rafters forming a triangle). Is that not the case with your place?
The ceiling joists normally stop the roof load pushing the walls out so care is needed.
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That's something that struck me - that the roof ridge is parallel to the joists. I have a line on a structural engineer in town and will pay to get an opinion. Thank you.
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On Nov 11, 4:21 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

It might be easier and more structurally certain to replace the entire roof with scissors trusses. T
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If you dont have trusses like this drawing: http://www.spicyhome.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=0&pos=4
Then you might have something else holding up the beam of the roof. Are there columns at each end of the beam that runs along the peak of the roof?

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