Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-28-2013, 08:26 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Can't Find Joists in Porch Ceiling for Plant Hooks


I want to install ceiling hooks in my back screened-in porch from which to hang plants. I'm having a terrible time finding the ceiling joists.

I'm planning to use Stanley 3-7/8" #4 Zinc-Plated, Round Screw Ceiling Hooks (http://www.stanleyhardware.com/defau...und+Screw+Hook ) rated at 60 lbs. They seem like a better choice than toggle bolts that could rip out from the sheet rock by a heavy plant. The ceiling is very high, so I will use 24" S-hooks or chain to bring the plants down to an accessible level.

I don't have any way to get above the ceiling or into the attic to locate the joists. I have tried the knocking technique without any luck. I just can't differentiate the sounds very well. I have a stud finder, but it doesn't work very well on this rough ceiling. (It never worked very well on my smooth walls, either.)

Do the joists run parallel or perpendicular to the long side/back of the house? I'm worried that they run parallel and, if so, I will have no choice how far away from the screen to place the hook. The patio is long and narrow and I can't have plants hanging down the center.

Would the joist spacing be 24" on center, rather than the standard 16" on center, since it is a porch?

Can I just measure our 16" or 24" out from the long side (or from the short side) in order to locate a joist?

I'm sure I am making this way too difficult, but I also don't want to end up with a million holes in the ceiling or a big mess. I would be so grateful for any help.

The back of the house and porch:




Screen door is on the far left side:







I want to install the hooks in the ceiling on the right side (screen side) of the next two photos:







Thank you SO much!
Carol

Carol2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 08:41 AM   #2
Bill Kearney
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bethesda, MD USA
Posts: 1,978
Rewards Points: 1,124
Default

Can't Find Joists in Porch Ceiling for Plant Hooks


Get a better stud finder. Which one do you have now?

There might also be a bit of a gap around the electrical box for that ceiling fixture. Or the box might be nailed right to a ceiling joist. If you loosened the light fixture (AFTER having turned off the circuit breaker for it, back at breaker panel) you might be able to get a look in there. That would at least help you determine which direction the joists are running.

Worst case you pull down the ceiling, put up fresh blocking lumber where you want the plants and put up a new ceiling. I'd go with a nice tongue-and-grooved wood instead of drywall for an outside space like that.

wkearney99 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to wkearney99 For This Useful Post:
Willie T (05-29-2013)
Old 05-29-2013, 09:39 AM   #3
Member
 
MJ Force's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 196
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Can't Find Joists in Porch Ceiling for Plant Hooks


Your pictures indicate a gable roof over the porch. It's likely that the ceiling joist runs parallel to the gable. The joist could be as far 2' on center meaning that you may only have anchoring points on 1 joist which runs on either side of the electrical ceil box.

You could create some false beams and paint them the same colour as the ceiling. Would look nice too.
MJ Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 10:03 AM   #4
Member
 
MJ Force's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 196
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Can't Find Joists in Porch Ceiling for Plant Hooks


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol2
I want to install ceiling hooks in my back screened-in porch from which to hang plants. I'm having a terrible time finding the ceiling joists.
Remember that your introducing a lot of moister to that room. Warm air holds more water than cool air. If the moist warm air touches any cooler surfaces it will condense. You don't want to create a perfect environment for mold to grow. Insure the room has venting high enough to allow the moist air to escape.
MJ Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 11:08 AM   #5
Member
 
MJ Force's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 196
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Can't Find Joists in Porch Ceiling for Plant Hooks


Not to scare you Carol but here's an experience I had once.

An older retired gentleman asked me to repair a small patch of drywall in the upper corner of his sunroom where he had many plants. This room was his retirement sanctuary for him and all his special plants.

I asked him if he minded if I poked around and cutout a small section of drywall. That piece came out easily and so did the next 3 sheets of ceiling. There was nothing holding this up. 2x8 ceiling joist...gone! Eaten away by the largest nest of ants I've ever seen. It was like a scene from Alien. The supporting walls...dust. Buckets of water trapped behind a poorly installed vapour barrier. Wood dust and millions of small ants everywhere. Mold everywhere. Both of us were in horror of what we saw. It was so creepy.

The poor old guy had no money to repair this and he cried right there in front of me. So sad.

I called two of my buddies and a few subs who work for me and cashed in my favors. Stripped the entire room, replaced half the ceiling and roof, new framed walls, door and windows. Painted and finished trim. We had him up and running again in about 10 days and $800. Showed him how and when to use the new humidity sensored vents we installed. I bought my buddies a case of beer each.
MJ Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 11:09 AM   #6
Bill Kearney
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bethesda, MD USA
Posts: 1,978
Rewards Points: 1,124
Default

Can't Find Joists in Porch Ceiling for Plant Hooks


Given that the pictures clearly show outdoor screens and NOT windows, I wouldn't worry too much about moisture. It's already OUTSIDE.

The height of the rim on the sides of the roof makes it an even gamble on which way the joists might be running. It's tall enough that there could be a ledger board attached to the house and then joists hung perpendicular to the house out to the end of the gable. Then the rafters would be resting on that.

I'd start with pulling the light fixture. You could get lucky and clearly see the box attached to a joist. Then I'd use a fiberglass rod to poke perpendicular to that to see how far away the next member might be.

But, honestly, I'd start get a better quality stud finder. One more suited to a mix of materials than just a low-end one designed for interior drywall.

Do any of your neighboring houses have the same set up? It might be worth asking a neighbor with the same porch if they've dealt with this.
wkearney99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
Member
 
MJ Force's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 196
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Can't Find Joists in Porch Ceiling for Plant Hooks


Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99
Given that the pictures clearly show outdoor screens and NOT windows, I wouldn't worry too much about moisture. It's already OUTSIDE.
Oh! It looked like glass to me?? Never mind then.
MJ Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 11:19 AM   #8
Bill Kearney
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bethesda, MD USA
Posts: 1,978
Rewards Points: 1,124
Default

Can't Find Joists in Porch Ceiling for Plant Hooks


Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Force View Post
Not to scare you Carol but here's an experience I had once.
Yow, that was a scary situation. Glad you helped the poor guy out of it.

I wouldn't go into this situation assuming that's a likely outcome.

But, like anything else that's enclosed behind other materials, you do need to be vigilant against signs of impending disasters. And accept that sometimes you're going to discover bigger problems that you expect. But it's almost always better to discover problems like that and fix them than ignore them. They won't go away, but your house might...
wkearney99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 11:22 AM   #9
Bill Kearney
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bethesda, MD USA
Posts: 1,978
Rewards Points: 1,124
Default

Can't Find Joists in Porch Ceiling for Plant Hooks


Also, it looks like side soffits might be vented. If they're vented then you might be able to get a peek through the holes to see the rafter spacing. Which might correspond to the joist spacing. Or pry a section or two of them loose and stick your head or an arm up into the space to figure out the joists. They're typically held in with just a small nail or two, or staples.

wkearney99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ceiling, hook, joist, plant, stud


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kraft paper on ceiling joists for plaster jefsboys Building & Construction 0 09-30-2010 01:08 PM
Sagging Ceiling Joists Steve Burke Carpentry 12 12-13-2009 06:18 PM
Removing ceiling joists jbarre Building & Construction 5 09-11-2009 11:27 PM
Builder skipped ceiling joists in bonus room need advice minicus Carpentry 31 08-11-2008 11:44 PM
Question regarding removing ceiling joists... tonfan Building & Construction 9 11-19-2007 12:56 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.