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Old 06-04-2013, 09:45 PM   #1
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ceiling below ceiling


i am just thinking ahead here, as i don't know exactly what i am dealing with, yet.

my new kitchen, used to be a bedroom, before that, who knows.
anyway. someone built a ceiling below the original ceiling, i am taking that down now. i was planing on sistering in joists to firm up what is original there. but, the way it is looking, i would need to do a bunch of extra work to "just" sister.

so, now i am thinking of building a "proper" new ceiling below the original. if i do do this, there would a space between the new and original. as far as insulation, what should i do with this space, if anything ? i could take down the original plaster and lathe. but if i don't have to, that would be nice.

the new ceiling would be about 8'6". original is almost 9'.

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Old 06-05-2013, 05:53 AM   #2
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now i am thinking of building a "proper" new ceiling below the original.
Just like the previous owner thought they did?

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what should i do with this space, if anything ?
clean it and stabilize the materials... then forget it.

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Old 06-05-2013, 06:38 AM   #3
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With the random range of questions the OP asks you have to wonder what sort of money pit he's got on his hands.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:07 AM   #4
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fix, if you do that just make sure you've got fireblocking installed at your new ceiling level, with that said what is the issue with the original ceiling?
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:38 AM   #5
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someone built a ceiling below the original ceiling
I lived in an old Victorian where they did this, the original ceilings were about 11' tall and they lowered them in the kitchen and living room to 9' to put in ducts for forced air HVAC, in the bedrooms and dining room they left the original height ceilings and had registers high up on the walls.


In my current house I lowered the ceiling over the tub area by the distance of the 2x6 lumber used to frame it... this gave me a perfect chase to an exterior wall for the duct of my vent fan which is mounted in the shower, it also enabled me to tile the entire shower space, including ceiling, without having to deal with transition to the rest of the ceiling space...


Just some things to think about when you're putting up your new ceilings--how can you best use that space for mechanical systems, maybe forced air ducts, maybe wiring, etc, or for aesthetics...
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:08 PM   #6
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In our new house we dropped the otherwise 10' ceiling in an 7x9 powder room down to about 8'6" to avoid it feeling like being in a tall box. Really has work nicely. You don't notice the difference in height, just that the ceiling feels appropriate for the size of the space.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:54 PM   #7
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Just like the previous owner thought they did?


clean it and stabilize the materials... then forget it.
they actually did a good job, it looks sound and nice. but it was a shallow tray ceiling. and that doesn't fit my plans.

so, your saying that dead space is ok, as long as it is sealed ?
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:57 PM   #8
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With the random range of questions the OP asks you have to wonder what sort of money pit he's got on his hands.
i knew i was in for a lot of work, but not nearly this much. "if' i had known, i would have offered much less, or nothing at all. idk. but yeah, i do have something of a money pit here. but as long as i don't "over build" i will be ok with it.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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fix, if you do that just make sure you've got fireblocking installed at your new ceiling level, with that said what is the issue with the original ceiling?
the "original" ceiling, it plaster & lathe, not in a shape that i would want to look at. but it does seem to be sound.

the second ceiling. it was a tray, and that doesn't fit my design.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:05 PM   #10
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oh, here is a pic

Last edited by Fix'n it; 06-20-2013 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:06 PM   #11
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oh, here is a pic
can't bury the j-box in there... move it to the attic above.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:19 PM   #12
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can't bury the j-box in there... move it to the attic above.
there is going to be all new electrical in that room. the empty space, if i go this route, would have proper wiring inside it.

another option :
take down the P&L. build the second ceiling = new joists and drywall. so there would not be a "empty space". but if not taking the P&L down doesn't not cause a problem, i would rather do this. as it would save me a bunch of work. the attic, in that area, is very tough to work in.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:27 AM   #13
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there is going to be all new electrical in that room. the empty space, if i go this route, would have proper wiring inside it.

another option :
take down the P&L. build the second ceiling = new joists and drywall. so there would not be a "empty space". but if not taking the P&L down doesn't not cause a problem, i would rather do this. as it would save me a bunch of work. the attic, in that area, is very tough to work in.
Don't see why you can't just run a new line over to that ceiling box and enter the wall at the gap between new and old ceilings? I assume AC/MC is acceptable in your area of Illinois?

Another thought--if you broke away the plaster in a 2' square around the existing box on the old ceiling and re mounted it to the face of the original joist--would it still be considered buried? It would technically be accessible from the attic, just not comfortably.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:12 PM   #14
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the room is gutted (except for the wall insulation and the garbage). i now know what i am working with. and the joists are going to be replaced.


Last edited by Fix'n it; 06-20-2013 at 09:32 PM.
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