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brds16 04-26-2005 08:40 PM

I hope I don't have to tear down the ceiling
 
A number of rooms in my house are lighted with recessed ligthing fixtures which, when I installed them a number of years ago called for a rough opening of 6.5"in the ceiling. I now want to update this with fancy :cool: low voltage fixtures that require a 4.375" opening in the ceiling. I suspect I know what you'll tell me but I thought I'd ask anyway, Is there a way to consrict the hole without ripping down the ceiling and starting all over? I need to know whether to buy new construction fixtures or remodelers.

housedocs 04-27-2005 06:49 AM

Hello and welcome to our forums! And I have good news...........You certainly don't need to rip down the entire ceiling & replace it in order to install the new lights. Buy the remodeling fixtures.

Now after removing the old fixtures, you're going to have a 6-1/2" holes which need to be patched up, but trust me this isn't that hard to do. You will need the following to repair the ceiling;

1 sheet of drywall, it is crucial that you get the same thickness board as what is currently hung on the ceiling. Most ceilings are 5/8" board, but do remove one light & measure the thickness to be sure it's not 1/2" instead.

Also need a roll of paper drywall joint tape, some joint compound, I'd suggest getting a bag of EasySand 90, (this is a setting compound & the 90 min mud will be ready to sand & apply a second coat in just 90 mins.) And you'll need some pieces of backer board and some drywall screws & a cordless drill or suitable screw gun. Oh yeah also need a couple -three drywall knives, a mud pan, & a couple of buckets, (1 for mixing your mud in & 1 for clean water) For the backerboard you can use strips of 1/2" plywood or OSB.

Now to patch the holes, remove the lights and then square off the hole to like a 8" square. Now cut a piece of drywall to fit the hole. Next cut 4 strips of backer these need to be like 3" x 8" to repair an 8" example hole we're workin with. Take the a strip of backer board, place it up thru the hole & position it so it's overlapping the hole about half way down one side of the hole. Screw thru the existing drywall into the backer board, use about 3 screws. Now when you look at the hole you should see a piece of the backer about 1-1/2" wide, down one side of the hole. Now install in the same manner a backer strip on the other 3 sides of the patch area.

Once you have the backer screwed in on all 4 sides you just take your patch piece of drywall fit it into the hole and you will have 1-1/2" along all sides where you can use the drywall screws to secure it into place.

At this point you just need to tape and mud the seams where the repairs have been made. I tape with a 4"-6" knife, it's important to embed the tape well, you just want enough mud for a thin layer completely covering the underside of the tape. Once that dries, you need to add generally 2 more coats of mud, each applied with a slightly wider knife than the previous in order to feather out the repair.

That's how you patch in a hole in drywall that's larger than say a couple of inches wide. For something smaller than 2" wide, I'd just tape over it with paper tape and quick set drywall mud.

Follow directions on the bag for mixing, make up small batches and add water sparingly until you have the mud the right consistency, about like soft-serve ice cream. If you opt for using either the light joint compound, (which isn't really for taping per manfacturer's specs) or all purpose joint compound, you still need to add some water & mix it up very well until it's the right consistency for taping with. Do not buy the topping compound for this as it's really just for using applying texture with.

Considering the openings for your new lights are just about 2-1/4" smaller than than the ones being replaced, if you center the new lights into the existing holes, you're only going to have about 1-1/8" gap showing around it, this could easily be taped without any further repairs being made. I've done this plenty of times when a drywall hanger got a tad wild with the roto-zip and made the cuts around heating vents or light fixtures a bit too wide. Now if my hanger did this alot I'd start docking his pay for every box I had to tape around & he'd get better with the roto pretty quick!

I hope this explains it pretty well, if you still have questions, feel free to post back. Also let us know how the project went when you get finished. Good luck and keep us informed. ;)

brds16 04-27-2005 05:55 PM

How do it stay up there?
 
Hi Housedoc, and thanks for taking so much of your time to answer my question. I gather there were two things you covered in your message: 1) how to patch a large-ish hole in drywall, and 2) how to deal with a smaller gap which apparently is what I have.

You say to position the 4 3/8 fixtures inside the larger 6 1/2 hole, and tape the gap of 1 1/8 all around the fixture. Now I don't have one of the smaller fixtures to look at but if memory serves, there are clips that are foced from inside the can to create a flange effect outside the can that then needs to meet sheetrock from above in order to lock the fixture into position. how does that square with the plan you propose http://www.diyrepair.com/forums/imag...s/confused.gif ? I don't think this locking mechanism can bridge a gap of 1 1/8" Moreover, I can do a reasonable job of taping a small crack or seam (You probably wouldn't think so but let's not quibble). 1 1/8" is a different story. Are you saying that I should use small pieces of joint tape in a pattern around the rim of the can that bridge the gap all around and use a thin layer of mud to complete the cosmetic illusion that the ceiling actually constricts around the rim of the fixture? if so then there is no structure to use to lock the fixtures into place. They need the edge of the hole to come right up to the rim.
I am planning that most of the new fixtures will be going in the same hole as the old ones; You did not seem to be suggesting to patch the hole as you describe in the first part of your message and then re cut a new smaller hole in the patch to accomodate the new fixture. would that work? would this kind of patch have enough structural integrity to carry the weight of the fixture which will probably be relatively heavy because it would have an integrated transformer to step down the voltage. thanks, Bert.
Quote:

Originally Posted by housedocs
Hello and welcome to our forums! And I have good news...........You certainly don't need to rip down the entire ceiling & replace it in order to install the new lights. Buy the remodeling fixtures.

Now after removing the old fixtures, you're going to have a 6-1/2" holes which need to be patched up, but trust me this isn't that hard to do. You will need the following to repair the ceiling;

1 sheet of drywall, it is crucial that you get the same thickness board as what is currently hung on the ceiling. Most ceilings are 5/8" board, but do remove one light & measure the thickness to be sure it's not 1/2" instead.

Also need a roll of paper drywall joint tape, some joint compound, I'd suggest getting a bag of EasySand 90, (this is a setting compound & the 90 min mud will be ready to sand & apply a second coat in just 90 mins.) And you'll need some pieces of backer board and some drywall screws & a cordless drill or suitable screw gun. Oh yeah also need a couple -three drywall knives, a mud pan, & a couple of buckets, (1 for mixing your mud in & 1 for clean water) For the backerboard you can use strips of 1/2" plywood or OSB.

Now to patch the holes, remove the lights and then square off the hole to like a 8" square. Now cut a piece of drywall to fit the hole. Next cut 4 strips of backer these need to be like 3" x 8" to repair an 8" example hole we're workin with. Take the a strip of backer board, place it up thru the hole & position it so it's overlapping the hole about half way down one side of the hole. Screw thru the existing drywall into the backer board, use about 3 screws. Now when you look at the hole you should see a piece of the backer about 1-1/2" wide, down one side of the hole. Now install in the same manner a backer strip on the other 3 sides of the patch area.

Once you have the backer screwed in on all 4 sides you just take your patch piece of drywall fit it into the hole and you will have 1-1/2" along all sides where you can use the drywall screws to secure it into place.

At this point you just need to tape and mud the seams where the repairs have been made. I tape with a 4"-6" knife, it's important to embed the tape well, you just want enough mud for a thin layer completely covering the underside of the tape. Once that dries, you need to add generally 2 more coats of mud, each applied with a slightly wider knife than the previous in order to feather out the repair.

That's how you patch in a hole in drywall that's larger than say a couple of inches wide. For something smaller than 2" wide, I'd just tape over it with paper tape and quick set drywall mud.

Follow directions on the bag for mixing, make up small batches and add water sparingly until you have the mud the right consistency, about like soft-serve ice cream. If you opt for using either the light joint compound, (which isn't really for taping per manfacturer's specs) or all purpose joint compound, you still need to add some water & mix it up very well until it's the right consistency for taping with. Do not buy the topping compound for this as it's really just for using applying texture with.

Considering the openings for your new lights are just about 2-1/4" smaller than than the ones being replaced, if you center the new lights into the existing holes, you're only going to have about 1-1/8" gap showing around it, this could easily be taped without any further repairs being made. I've done this plenty of times when a drywall hanger got a tad wild with the roto-zip and made the cuts around heating vents or light fixtures a bit too wide. Now if my hanger did this alot I'd start docking his pay for every box I had to tape around & he'd get better with the roto pretty quick!

I hope this explains it pretty well, if you still have questions, feel free to post back. Also let us know how the project went when you get finished. Good luck and keep us informed. http://www.diyrepair.com/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif


Teetorbilt 04-27-2005 11:28 PM

There are also decorative bezels that can make this much more simple.

housedocs 04-28-2005 05:40 AM

I see what you're saying, patch the 6" holes like I layed out for you then cut your new holes in for the replacement lights, or go with Teetor's suggestion which would be less work. Either one should solve your problem.

brds16 04-28-2005 12:16 PM

Who? What? Where?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Teetorbilt
There are also decorative bezels that can make this much more simple.


Any more info on the bezels? Who? What? Where? Thanks for the suggestion. B

jbfan 04-28-2005 02:20 PM

Any box store. They come in varying sizes and can be painted to match ceiling. I use them when customers want a can light removed and a regular ceiling light installed. I do not depend on the bezel to hold the weight of the light. Where I have seen them they are called ceiling medillians.

brds16 04-28-2005 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbfan
Any box store. They come in varying sizes and can be painted to match ceiling. I use them when customers want a can light removed and a regular ceiling light installed. I do not depend on the bezel to hold the weight of the light. Where I have seen them they are called ceiling medillians.

I am sorry to seem slow on this, but I am trying to understand: If these bezels/medallions (I have seen them for chandeliers etc) are primarily decorative and do not provide intergrity to lock and hold the recessed cans in place in the cavity, is there another method to hold the remodeler fixtures in place, something that does not rely on the rim of the sheetrock?

jbfan 04-28-2005 10:41 PM

If you have access to the attic, then new construction cans are the way to go. Just install them inside the opening, cut out your medallin, glue to ceiling, install trim ring.

Teetorbilt 04-30-2005 11:16 AM

Go to an elecrical supply co. They have tons of adapters that the box stores have never dreamt of.


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