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Old 01-21-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
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Ceiling issues in old home


Greetings.
I am in the midst of a rather long renovation of our 100-plus year-old American foursquare.
A previous owners replaced the kitchen ceiling. I guess the original plaster ceiling was a mess, so they installed a network of 1x4s across it and put a new ceiling over the old.
Along the way, they installed several 4x4s running across the 1x4s to simulate the look of exposed beams. I don't know if they actually serve a function.
But they installed those beams before they installed the new drywall on the ceiling. So basically, the sheets of drywall run between the exposed beams, but not under them. They installed 1/4 rounds as border pieces where the drywall meets the beams.
Likewise, the outer edge of the ceiling was bordered by 2x4s, which they used to fill the gap between the drywall edges and the walls. (see photo below)

I didn't realize this, however, until I started pulling off the rounds and border pieces, which didn't seem to fit the theme of these exposed beams.
I've also now realized that they used 3/8 inch panels on the ceiling.

So my questions:
1. Now that I have removed all the 1/4 rounds that joined the drywall edges to those "exposed beams," will that cause the drywall to sag? Did the ceiling need those rounds for support?
2. Considering that they used 3/8-inch panels, is the ceiling doomed to start sagging at some point, anyway?
3. If so, should I tear out the 3/8-inch stuff and start over? I assume it would be too much weight to simply install 1/2-inch sheetrock directly on top of what's there now.


Forgive the poor image quality. Just a cell phone pic. But you can see where they used the 2x4 to serve as a border between the wall and edge of the sheetrock. You can also get a glimpse of one of the 1x4s running between the two ceilings.


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Old 01-21-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
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Ceiling issues in old home


Want to do it right so it will never need to be worked on agin, or just do a hack job like the old owners did?
3/8 never should have been used it needs to come down. It so thin the screws can pull through and will sag.
The old plaster should also come down, if there's lath it can stay up.
5/8" drywall should back up. It's not easy to install so it may be best to rent a drywall lift. It will make it so one person can lift it and hold it in place while you install the screws. Only screw into the rafters.
Use at least 2" screws.
Once up if there's a gap between the wall and the ceiling due to the differance in thickness in the materails it would look nice to add a crown molding in a home that old.

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Old 01-21-2012, 11:14 PM   #3
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Ceiling issues in old home


If I thought the joists could support it, I'de rip out all the wood and just 5/8" sheetrock over what's there, then trim the walls with a large crown. That wouldn't be a hack job, just a lot less messy, IF you can verify that the framing can handle it via the attic.
Actually the drywall probably wouldn't be a lot heavier than the lumber that's hanging from there.
Not the best scenario, and I wouldn't do that in someone elses home, but I would my own.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:31 PM   #4
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Ceiling issues in old home


There's actually a second floor above this one, so it's a bit tougher to look at the joists above the kitchen.
I know the joists in the attic and the basement floor are very strong. But I have not seen the joists above the first floor.

I have to admit, my desire to avoid a huge mess is part of the issue here. At the same time, we plan to live in this house for a long time. And I'd rather not be redoing the thing three years from now, which is why I've halted things until I can figure this out.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:51 PM   #5
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Ceiling issues in old home


"1. Now that I have removed all the 1/4 rounds that joined the drywall edges to those "exposed beams," will that cause the drywall to sag? Did the ceiling need those rounds for support?-------------- Maybe.

2. Considering that they used 3/8-inch panels, is the ceiling doomed to start sagging at some point, anyway?-------- Yes, if you were water-base texture it. 1/2" drywall will work fine, watch the framing direction application. http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par010.htm

3. If so, should I tear out the 3/8-inch stuff and start over? I assume it would be too much weight to simply install 1/2-inch sheetrock directly on top of what's there now."---- I would, then you can look for knob&tube wiring, weakly mounted lighting fixture boxes, check the joist size to the span (older houses were over-spanned by today's code): http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par017.htm
Figure #2 grade, you won't find an ink stamp on those old floor joists, use 40# load. Use "lightweight" drywall if you need spanning strength and are working alone. Tips; http://bestdrywall.com/files/ReduceCallbacks.pdf

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021174058.pdf

Use the correct length fasteners: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par010.htm

And, welcome to the forums!

Gary
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:53 PM   #6
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Ceiling issues in old home


Thanks.
Well, I am going to rip the 3/8-inch stuff off the ceiling on Friday and go from there.

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