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Leah Frances 01-08-2009 05:13 PM

How do I get my ceiling level?
I'm getting ready to hang drywall on the ceiling of my gutted sunporch. I pulled a level line from a beam that divides the room to the end @ 18 feet and the joists are not any where near level (deflection of b/w 1/2 and 3 1/4 inches).

I'm a carpentry novice.
1. Do I need to level it? I didn't notice it before demo. It won't be an expanse of drywall either (do you even call it drywall when it's on the ceiling?) - every four feet there were decorative battens with chamfered edges. They hid the seams of the fiberboard.

2. If I should level it, HOW? Let's hear those carpenter tricks of the trade.

3. The room is partitioned by a large exposed beam and the level of the ceiling on one side of the beam is 3/8 of an inch different than the other side. Do they need to match, and if so HOW?

I want to know what (and how) you would deal with this if: it was your house.

Ron6519 01-08-2009 07:16 PM

Is this sunporch heated? I'd only put sheetrock up if this was an interior type space.

Leah Frances 01-08-2009 07:20 PM

This is living space - heated and A/C. It is an old souther sleeping porch that is entirely closed in.

nap 01-08-2009 08:40 PM

if it doesn't matter to you if it is level, it doesn;t matter BUT a quality job would mean the ceiling gets leveled.

as to the 3/8" difference; if there is a beam seperating those 2 halves, it will most likely not even be noticable.

as to how to make the ceiling level;

there are several ways;

shiming the rafters

sistering boards onto the rafters

and the way I just recently learned of; suspended

the last one is made by using a product that looks similar to a typical suspended ceiling with lay-in panels but is designed to have the sheetrock screwed to the grid. For the life of me, I can't find it online. If you are interested, I will have to ask the carpenters at work tomorrow for the manufacturer of the product.

I'm sure there are other means. Maybe the others will have some ideas.

bjbatlanta 01-10-2009 01:12 PM

You can find the drywall "grid" systems at the United States Gypsum web site ( but hardly practical in this case. Pull a string across the room in several places to determine your low spots. You can add a 2"x4" to the side of the high/low joist with 3" nails or screws to flatten things out. Actually, these days 1/2" isn't that bad and probably won't be noticeable (especially if you're going to have a texture). 3/4" it's hard to get the rock to pull tight. If it were mine I'd want it within 1/4". I recommend using adhesive also which helps "bridge" small gaps and reduce the number of fasteners necessary.

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