If insulation is above the ceiling it can be a lot less messy to just layer it as you described. If the existing drywall is not level you can attach/level furring strips through it to the ceiling joists and attach the new drywall to the furring strips.
I'm not exactly sure how big, its several rooms - probably 1500 sq ft or so. And I'm not sure what it is now. Its not tiles, its all one "piece", but needs to be replaced (or I guess covered) because the prior owner had lots of strange light fixtures and other wiring coming through the ceiling.
I just wondered because it appears that is what our contractor is doing and I wondered why...
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